Moscow City Government
Moscow City Department of Culture
Russian Academy of Arts
Moscow Museum of Modern Art
supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Moscow
present the project
40 Years in Room 902
Date: November 6 — 29, 2009
Venue: Moscow Museum of Modern Art (25 Petrovka Street)
In November 2009, two well-known exhibition venues — Moscow Museum of Modern Art and Ravenscourt Galleries — present two exhibitions within the framework of the project “Nico Koster.
40 Years in Room 902”.
In 1969, one of the most famous celebrity couples of the time — John Lennon and Yoko Ono — turned the last week of their honeymoon into a political and social action. They announced that they were going to spend that week secluded in room 902 of the Hilton hotel in Amsterdam, going nowhere and seeing nobody. Thus, they protested against the war in Vietnam and violence in the modern world, on the whole. Love against war.
Few people know that, during most of that week, their guest was Nico Koster, young photo-correspondent of De Telegraaf, a major Dutch newspaper. He took a lot of pictures of the eminent newlyweds, and the whole cycle reflects an intimate friendly feeling. In 1969, De Telegraaf published just one photo that became famous: John Lennon and Yoko Ono pose in bed with a giant flower-basket, and behind them on the window there are two sheets of paper with hand-written slogans: “BED PEACE” and “HAIR PEACE”.
The rest of the photographs of the cycle were not published in 1969. The negatives were lost, but 40 years after the photographer's daughter Nicole found them in an envelope with her childhood drawings.
Exhibition “Honeymoon event. 902. 1969. Amsterdam”
Moscow Museum of Modern Art (25 Petrovka Street)
November 6 — 29, 2009
At the core of the display lie 20 photographs from the notorious session that documented the “protest week” of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The spirit of the rebel 60s, the familiar faces and unexpected “confidential” views — all this was combined and reflected in the pictures created by Nico Koster. These photographs were first shown to the public in March 2009 in Amsterdam, and now it's Moscow's turn.
In two neighboring halls, a two-part multimedia installation is housed; it depicts the world's state in 1969: events in politics, culture, sports and economy, fragments of chronicles, photos and objects present the situation that framed the action “for love and peace”.
A special place in the installation belongs to the materials that reflect the international arts scene in 1969 — the complex musical context that surrounded John Lennon's creation and the context of visual arts, to which Yoko Ono belonged.
Exhibition “902. 2009. Moscow”
Ravenscourt Galleries (35 Gagarinsky Lane)
November 17 — 29, 2009
For more than 40 years, Nico Koster follows the most important tendencies in contemporary art. In late 60s, he was close to some artists of CoBrA, the famous Northern European group; today he manages and curates projects at Galerie Moderna, one of major Amsterdam Galleries.
November 11 to 15, 2009, Nico Koster shoots a new session in Moscow that continues the theme of “room 902” and mirrors the 40-year-old situation.
This time, the photographer receives his guests in room 902 — they are Russian celebrities Irina Hakhamada and Sergey Bugaev (Africa). Two days after, the photorgaphic cycle done in Hilton-Leningradskaya Moscow hotel will be exhibited in Ravenscourt Galleries, a well-known Russian-British institution.
Thus, the author unleashes the expressive and challenging concept of “indirect resemblance”. His new heroes are to some extent connected to those he had photographed 40 years ago. At the same time, they bring their own content that sharpens the interaction of political and cultural contexts.
Curators of the project:
Georgy Nikich, Natalia Sergievskaya
Partners of the project:
Galerie Moderna Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Galerie Moderna Silkeborg (Denmark)