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The matter of memory: 1914/2014
Exhibition of the nominees of the Junior artists competition of the Central Federal District of Russia
Curated by: Daria Vorobyova, Olga Turchina
Camila Nurumbetova. Air fight. 2014, gouache on paper
Niko Pirosmani. Wounded soldier. 1914-1916, oil on cardboard. 80x52
Elizabeth Zelenskaya. Noise of pain. 2014
Alina Averianova. Soldier's two Wars. 2014, pencil on paper
Date: November 29, 2014 – January 25, 2015
Venue: MMOMA, 17 Ermolaevsky lane

The Moscow Museum of Modern Art presents the exhibition “The matter of memory: 1914/2014” displaying works of nominees of the Junior artists competition of Central Federal District. The contest was timed to the centenary of World War One, a milestone in Russia’s history. The competition centers on historical memory as to a broad interpretation of the subject. The participants were tasked to produce works dealing with memories associated with a certain locality, the memories of their ancestors and the loved ones reflected in objects preserving those memories, be it photographs, texts, architecture or oral tradition. The contest is meant to give a boost to fledgling artists aged from 14 to 18. On the one hand, it aimed at getting young artists to show interest in the Russian history. On the other hand, the contest was intended for helping to involve the young ones into today’s art practice, in which the making of an artwork goes hand in hand with analytical process.

The exhibition comprises the works of the finalists nominated in one of nine fields: painting, graphic arts, postcard, collage, art photography, sculpture, art object, installation and video. The exhibition also includes works from the MMOMA collection i.e. those dating back to WWI by Niko Pirosmani, Vasily Shukhaev, Boris Anisfeld, Boris Korolev, Mikhail Menkov, Aristarkh Lentulov, Ivan Klyun, and Alexander Arkhipenko.  

The works are put on display on four floors of the MMOMA in Ermolayevsky Lane. Thematically, the works are arranged from first to top floor of the venue to ensure a sort of developing story. The works that focus on farewell and separation standing for the start of a story are exhibited on the first floor. Military activities and images of war are portrayed in the works displayed on the second floor; those dealing with humanity and compassion pertaining to the images of army nurses are on view on the third floor. The top floor holds the works that form the final part of the exhibition. Those are centered on homeland memories viewed as history that must not be forgotten. Young artists are interpreting a variety of aspects of the war. The artist can see it as a real historical event perceived either with detachment or from the point of view of an individual who is emotionally involved. He may as well interpret the war as an allegorical generalized image of something full of horror and pain or as a tragic event befalling a person or a family.

All the works simultaneously reflect history and become some tangible media for history. The works also represent reflection showed by the young artists with regard to interconnection between the past and the present, on the role of an individual in certain historical events. Whose interpretation has been the best is up to members of a judging panel to decide. The panel will pick and award winners in each nomination on January 26th, 2015 at 12:00.   

 
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