News from Garage | June 2021




This month the newsletter opens with comments from the curators of three new projects at Garage: Rodney Graham. Phonokinetoscope (May 17–June 27, 2021), Natalia Turnova. The Egg and the Rock (June 1–August 22, 2021), and Paweł Althamer. Silence (June 1–September 30, 2021). Phonokinetoscope continues a series of solo presentations that expand our understanding of the moving image; its forms, functions, and the emotions it can invoke. The Egg and the Rock and Silence are both commissions that offer a new perspective on modern temporality and our relationship to space.




Curator: Snejana Krasteva

Resurrecting the underestimated format of the one-work exhibition, this project offers an opportunity for a slower and a more in-depth introduction to the deceptively simplistic film installation Phonokinetoscope by Rodney Graham. In itself a mini-retrospective of Graham’s methodology, with references to both earlier and future (at that time) works, what awaits us is a vast and carefully choreographed constellation of sonic correlations, poetic congruences, and cinematic and literary associations that challenge traditional narrative building and hierarchies. In Graham’s version of the phonokinetoscope, the film projector produces an image only when the turntable is activated, which the artist delegates to an audience member and thus an element of randomness is introduced. The artist uses various visual triggers and noises to remind us that it is we, the viewers, our thought processes, actions or inactions that drive the narrative forward, and sometimes that means finding ourselves in a space immersed in darkness and temporary silence.




Garage Atrium Commission
Curator: Katya Inozemtseva

The Egg and the Rock, which is located in the atrium, brings together two large-scale anthropomorphic shapes, the texture of which is reminiscent of natural surfaces. Interconnected fragments of bark, leaves, and rocks create a complex landscape that is a clear contrast to the regular geometry of the modernist spacе of the Museum building. Both Natalia Turnova and Paweł Althamer, whose projects opened on June 1, explore the territory "after the end of art.” They reject modernity (stylistic, material, discursive) in favor of that which is natural and raw, as exemplified by Althamer’s garden and the way Turnova covers the surfaces of her works with natural artifacts.




Garage Square Commission
Curator: Andrey Misiano

Silence is a spatial installation in the form of a garden. It is an environment in which the restless city dweller can alter the regime of time, as if transported to a picturesque space in a past era where the rhythm and pace of life were not by default accelerated to the limit. According to Althamer, Silence is a space where everything happens here and now. It is only in such a space that we can truly find time for ourselves. Together The Egg and the Rock and Silence create a therapeutic situation, which deliberately diverts the viewer away from everyday temporality. While Althamer's garden welcomes you to just rest or meditate (the meditation techniques incorporate inclusive practices developed for people with disabilities), Turnova’s archaic monuments can make you forget that you are in a museum of contemporary art.





Garage announces a call for papers for the 8th Garage International Conference, Utopias of (Non)Knowledge: The Museum as a Research Hub, which will take place on September 24 and 25, 2021. Its central point of discussion refers to the model of “knowledge utopia.” Suggested by Jacques Rancière, it implies a democratic modernist approach to knowledge production where all citizens are equally involved in practices of (not)knowing. This model can be applied to the discussion of the role that museums play in the creation, transfer, and preservation of knowledge, in other words to its role as a research hub. The conference is organized by Sasha Obukhova, curator of Garage Archive Collection, in collaboration with the team of The Garage Journal: Studies in Art, Museums and Culture (Katerina Suverina, Vlad Strukov, and Andrei Zavadski). You can find out more about the application process here. The deadline for applications is June 20, 2021.




One of the main events of this year’s Garage Screen summer cinema season is a major Abbas Kiarostami retrospective, Film, and Nothing More... Curated by Evgeny Gusyatinsky, it is one of Garage Screen’s most ambitious projects to date. А globally renowned filmmaker and the first Iranian director to receive the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival (1997), Abbas Kiarostami is a unique artist who is able to grasp the spirit of cinema, its metaphysical nature and deeply poetic irrational relationships with reality. The retrospective will include all of Kiarostami’s features, rare short films, and documentaries, most of which have recently been restored. Taking place from June 30 to September 8, 2021, the program is arranged in five thematic and chronological blocks that reflect the timeline of Kiarostami’s career and artistic practice.




The Point of Displacement Festival, which explores migration and ethnocultural diversity, will take place from June 14 to 20, 2021 in a hybrid format (online and offline). The third iteration of this annual festival is co-organized by Garage, the Museum of Moscow, the State Tretyakov Gallery, the educational project Neighbors' Language School, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the integration center for refugees and migrants Kids Are Kids. This year’s program features the theatrical production Rohingya, which presents stories persecution told by Rohingya people, a music program put together by ethnographic music label Ored Recordings, a series of discussions, and a program for children and young people.




On May 30 the multimedia performance Gigant DOKU — LuYang the Destroyer by Lu Yang (he/him), took place online and offline as part of the Garage Digital program. The performance at Garage built on the artist’s recent research into the digitization of the human body and mind, the technological representation of human individuality, and the regimes of presence at a distance. In exploring these themes, Lu Yang employs motion and facial motion capture technology, creating his digital avatar, DOKU, and building his own virtual worlds filled with references to pop-culture aesthetics and anime, videogame, and sci-fi subcultures. For his Moscow performance Lu Yang, in collaboration with MetaObjects, created a special world in which a Russian dancer improvised as DOKU to a DJ set by Hmot. You can watch the performance on the Garage YouTube channel.




On June 19, Garage Screen summer cinema on Garage Square will be transformed into a space for musical experimentation. The event is timed to coincide with the exhibition Assuming Distance: Speculations, Fakes, and Predictions in the Age of the Coronacene and uses its subject matter as a point of reference. Musicians were invited to team up in pairs and create new speculative joint performances. Freed from creative restrictions, they could come up with anything from an abstract sound performance to a unique song program. The project is co-organized by Garage Museum of Contemporary Art and the Institute for Musical Initiatives (IMI). The performers are Kedr Livanskiy and Ushko, Inturist and istochnik, Ilya Baramia (AIGEL) and Koyil, CEO of Everything and The RIG.




Novoe Architecture Bureau recently received an award from Russia’s leading magazine on architecture, urban development, and design, Project Russia, for the exhibition architecture of Assuming Distance: Speculations, Fakes, and Predictions in the Age of the Coronacene. The current issue of the magazine, which was launched at Arch Moscow 2021 on June 3, focuses on exhibition architecture, and includes an installation view of Garage exhibition The Other Trans-Atlantic (architecture by Novoe Bureau) on the cover and a review of the architecture for Assuming Distance.




From May 27 to July 4, 2021 Garage is running the third open competition for architects and artists from Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan for the development of the architectural concept for Garage Screen summer cinema. The cinema will be built to the winner’s design in 2022. This time the organizers suggest that competitors consider broadening the professional and creative makeup of their team by inviting artists to join working groups. The organizer of the competition is Strelka KB and the jury includes representatives of Garage, Strelka KB partner Varvara Melnikova, and the founders of 2019 competition winner snkh, Ashot and Armine Snkhchyan. You can find out more about the competition and the application process on our website.




In April Garage and Gazprombank, the Museum’s partner since December 2020, launched a lecture series about art on paper (prints and drawings), one of the most accessible and rapidly growing areas of contemporary art and collecting in Russia. The program aims to help participants develop a better understanding of art on paper and acquire basic collecting skills. Lectures are a practical guide to the selection, acquisition, conservation, and hanging of artworks based on the experience of a collector, an artist, the organizers of an online auction and a contemporary art fair, and a restorer and conservator at Garage. The series launched between two key events for art on paper in Moscow, the Art-Space-Hopping Festival (April 24–25) and Vkus Bumagi Print Market, which will take place alongside Garage Art Book Fair (July 2–4).


CREDITS: Paweł Althamer, Silence, installation view, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2021. Photo: Egor Slizyak © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art; Rodney Graham. Phonokinetoscope, installation view, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2021. Photo: Ivan Erofeev © Garage Museum of Contemporary; Natalia Turnova. The Egg and the Rock, installation view, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2021. Photo: Ivan Erofeev © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art; Paweł Althamer, Silence, installation view, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2021. Photo: Egor Slizyak © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art; Photo: Anton Donikov © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art; Abbas Kiarostami retrospective, 2021 © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art; Photo: Alisa Liudinshina; Gigant DOKU - LuYang the Destroyer by Lu Yang, 2021. Photo: Anastasia Ivanova © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art; © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art; Cover of Project Russia, 97, 2021: The Other Trans-Atlantic. Kinetic and Op Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America 1950s–1970s, installation view, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2018. Architecture: Novoe Architecture Bureau. Photo: Alexey Narodizkiy © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art; Garage Screen summer cinema, designed by snkh, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2020. Photo: Ivan Erofeev, Daniel Annenkov © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art; Photo: Maria Dupovkina © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art



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