News from Garage | November 2021
At Garage, we believe in the transformative power of conversation and dialogue, for which art can be a very special facilitator. In this newsletter, we want to share with you several important conversations and collaborative projects that we were engaged in recently.
On November 12, the Russian translation of Russia-Container by the writer, director, and ideologist of New German Cinema Alexander Kluge was presented by the author and Garage Chief Curator Katya Inozemtseva. Publication was timed to coincide with one of the current exhibitions at Garage, Mirror Without Memory. Curated by Inozemtseva, this is the first solo exhibition of Thomas Demand in Russia and includes movies by Kluge, who is Demand’s long-term collaborator.
Russia-Container is a collage of documentary and fictional texts about Russia: historical anecdotes, excerpts from interviews, and essays. In recent years, Kluge has defined such literary forms as a “container”—a box with working materials on a particular topic. A container is a construction set, a mosaic, a puzzle, and a never a complete whole, notes translator Alexander Markin.
A video recording of the presentation will be available soon on the Garage YouTube channel.
From November 3 to December 1, Garage and the Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, with support from the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, will hold a series of online seminars linked to the publication of the Russian edition of Time for Cultural Mediation by Carmen Mörsch et al, (forthcoming early 2022). The term “art mediation” has become widespread over the past six years, but Russian cultural workers have not yet reached a common understanding of it. The goal of this project is to define what Russian and Swiss educators mean by this term and to think together about mediation’s features and particular characteristics.
The online seminars will revisit some of the key ideas elaborated by Mörsch and situate them within the specific conditions of art education practices in Russia and Switzerland today. The program will consist of two sections, titled “What does art mediation do?" and "Who does art mediation?”, which reference the eponymous chapters of Time for Cultural Mediation. Each section will be split into two sessions: the presentation of speakers' papers and discussions and collective practices for the audience guided by the speakers. The introductory and the first sessions are already online, and future sessions will also be made available on the Garage YouTube channel.
Since August 2021, Garage Digital has been unveiling events organized as part of a joint project with the online platform Rhizome (New York). The project started with World on a Wire Dialogues, a series of conversations between artists that touched upon different ways of working with digital objects and systems and the challenges that modern technologies pose to longstanding philosophical questions about nature, aesthetics, reality, and spirituality.
Participating artists were drawn from the hybrid exhibition World on a Wire, initiated by Rhizome in partnership with Hyundai Motor and presented at Hyundai Motorstudio Moscow this fall; the recent Garage exhibition Assuming Distance: Speculations, Fakes, and Predictions in the Age of the Coronacene; and the Garage Digital program. The conversations between Sara Culmann (Russia) and Theo Triantafyllidis (USA), Mikhail Maksimov (Russia) and Tabor Robak (USA), and Timur Si-Qin (USA) and Alyona Shapovalova (Russia) with Alisa Smorodina (Russia) are now available online.
As part of this collaboration, on October 23, artist collective Digital Object Alliance presented the new site-specific performance Hydrogen City at Hyundai MotorStudio to coincide with the World on a Wire exhibition. Addressing the theme of the exhibition—simulation as an artistic method and a way of cognizing the world—the work created a poetic space for modeling the future based on game mechanics, focusing on problematic areas of social structures and linking power and technology, while also offering a critical look at the issues of objectification and exploitation of marginalized communities and how these topics are represented in the mainstream entertainment industries. The eye-catching costumes for the performers were designed by stylist Alisa Cayoo.
A new initiative launched by Garage Academic Program offers further education courses for cultural professionals who wish to expand their knowledge and skills. The first project has been devised by Garage specialists who work with audiences and is focused on visitor experience and audience development.
CREDITS: Thomas Demand. Mirror without Memory, 2021. Photo: Anton Donikov (c) Garage Museum of Contemporary Art; Cover of Russia-Container by Alexander Kluge, 2021 © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art; © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art; Digital Object Alliance, Hydrogen City, Hyundai Motorstudio Moscow, 2021. Photo: Mike Simonov © Hyundai Motorstudio Moscow and Garage Museum of Contemporary Art; © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art