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On 3 November 2020, the VII Moscow International Biennale for Young Art launches the second part of the Main Project at the Museum of Moscow. It will introduce three curatorial projects in one space.

The international project displays different formats and solutions for exhibiting artworks and organising interaction between curators and artists. As part of its roadmap, the Biennale held a large-scale international open call following which, out of 370 applications from 64 countries, three projects were shortlisted to be produced by the Biennale and exhibited at the Provision Warehouses housing the Museum of Moscow: I don’t know whether the Earth is spinning or not... by Lizaveta Matveeva and Francesca Altamura (Russia and USA), Personal Places // Archival Spaces by Giulia Morale and Sterre Barentsen (Italy/UK and Germany/Netherlands), forbidden body language by Elza Abdulkhakova (Russia). The projects featuring 47 artists from 10 countries will be on view in the second building of the Museum of Moscow from 3 November to 6 December.


List of curatorial projects and participating artists:

I don’t know whether the Earth is spinning or not... (Lizaveta Matveeva and Francesca Altamura):

Anastasia Korotkova (Russia)
Anna Afonina (Russia)
Dagnini (Russia)
Dan Herschlein (USA)
Evgeny Granilshchikov (Russia)
Fin Simonetti (Canada/USA)
Gaby Sahhar (UK)
Gregory Kalliche (USA)
Hadi Fallahpisheh (Iran/USA)
Joseph Buckley (UK/USA)
Maria Romanova (Russia)
Marina Stakhieva (Russia)
Matt Copson (UK)
Mikołaj Sobczak (Poland/Germany)
Nicholas Grafia (Philippines/Germany)
Nikita Seleznev (Russia)
Pasmur Rachuiko (Russia/Georgia)
Sasha Zubritskaya (Russia)
Shadi Al-Atallah (UAE/UK)
Theresa Chromati (USA)
Valeria Ghrai (Russia)

Personal Places // Archival Spaces (Giulia Morale and Sterre Barentsen):

Anya Gleizer (Russia/UK)
Bo Choy (Hong Kong/UK)
Camille Leveque (France)
Emilija Škarnulytė (Lithuania)
Esper Postma (Germany/Netherlands)
Fields Harrington (USA)
Giulia Cenci (Italy)
Jacopo Milani (Italy)
Matteo Calzolari (Italy)
Nicola Celli (Italy)
Olga Shurygina (Russia)
Rodrigo Arteaga (Chile)
Teresa Solar (Spain)

forbidden body language (Elza Abdulkhakova):

Abdulkhakova Stroganov Dance Company:
Elza Abdulkhakova (Russia)
German Stroganov (Russia)

Mariam Nagaichuk (Russia)
Eva Valieva (Russia)

Vadim Elichev (Russia)

Alena Papina (Russia)
Vadim Elichev (Russia)

Nu Simakina (Russia)

Make a Wish Choir:
Alexey Kirsanov (Russia)
Fedor Kokorev (Russia)
Victoria Kudryavtseva (Russia)
Vik Lashchyonov (Russia)
Fevralina Pokrovskaya (Russia)
Anastasia Rossokhina (Russia)
Nu Simakina (Russia)
Evgeniya Fomina (Russia)

One more work will be on display in the Main Project’s space alongside the three curatorial projects. Sasha Pirogova, who represented the Russian pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, together with her collaborator Marina Friedman, has created her first video work in two years, Out of Time, which has received a special mention by the Biennale’s Board of Experts. The work will be produced with the Biennale’s support.

The Museum of Moscow will also host the Special Project by the Moscow International Experimental Film Festival (MIEFF) — the Extracurricular Practices educational programme for filmmakers, as well as weekly screenings and panel discussions.

The space for the Main Project was designed by CHVOYA architectural bureau (Saint Petersburg).

A joint project in partnership with the Moscow Transport Museum, Route Т, is the extension of the first part of the Main Project opened in November. As part of the project, artists Igor Samolet, Alina Glazoun, Alisa Omelianceva, and Roma Bogdanov, who created site-specific works for the internal facades of Museum of Moscow, will take their projects outside to the urban environment and produce artworks for three trolleybus stops and a trolleybus interior on the Museum’s T route (Nizhnyaa Krasnoselskaya — Novoryazanskaya — Ryazansky Proezd). The project will take place mid-November.

‘In November, the VII Moscow International Biennale for Young Art approaches its final stage, which will bring together all the processes and programmes initiated at the project’s inception. The second part of the Main Project continues in international format — five curators from four countries, as well as 47 artists from across the globe, apply different approaches to adapt their projects to the new reality. This year’s Biennale was made possible by the key principles, established in the beginning: the procedural approach, transparency, horizontal networks, multidisciplinarity, and the emphasis on supporting young talent. The complex structure of this year’s project, focused on presenting the Biennale as a continuous process, has allowed us not only to put new formats in place but also to take all the participants through a radical experience, which corresponds with the present day and precedes it, simultaneously.’ Alexey Novoselov, Commissioner of the VII Moscow International Biennale for Young Art.


Main Project

I don’t know whether the Earth is spinning or not... | Lizaveta Matveeva (Russia) and Francesca Altamura (USA)

I don’t know whether the Earth is spinning or not... is an exhibition, co-curated by Lizaveta Matveeva and Francesca Altamura, that will take place on a bespoke digital platform and highlight the works of sixteen participating artists from around the globe. The exhibited works confront the estrangement, disassociation, and vulnerability festering in the heart of today’s dark times, and interweave satire, irony, the comical, the uncanny and the grotesque into various multimedia formats. Designed by experiential artist Jen Lu (USA), creative technologists Doa Jafri (USA) and Qiu Yi Wu (USA) and 3D artist Anton Kozlov (Ukraine), the digital platform will become the main venue for the show, and will also feature individual texts about each artist’s practice, as well as newly commissioned essays and poems that serve to complement the exhibition’s themes. A socially-distanced presentation, designed by CHVOYA, will be on view at the Museum of Moscow and will amplify the digital viewing experience.

I don’t know whether the Earth is spinning or not... will feature a selection of new and existing digital works:

Anna Afonina, Maria Romanova, Valeria Ghrai, and Anastasia Korotkova (Russia) will present Vorozheya (2020), a new net-based work created specifically for the Biennale. The artists have coded a digital journey that pays homage to net aesthetics of the 2000s. Their collaborative work will combine old websites with dead web elements, including sounds, icons, horoscope banners, calendars, texts and videos, which cannot be easily categorized. The viewer will be able to choose their own navigation pathway, as if they were playing a «choose your own adventure» game.

Joseph Buckley (UK/USA) has buried a newly produced plastic sculpture in an undisclosed location in the state of Connecticut, USA. His work, Aristocrat in the Earth (2020), will be documentation of the burial in the form of a PDF.

Theresa Chromati (USA) has created a digital rendering in response to a recently completed painting, paired with a soundscape (an occasional component of her work).

Dagnini (Russia) has worked with a professional technologist to create a carousel-like experience that serves as a cutting-edge archive of her characters and performances from 2019-20.

Hadi Fallahpisheh (Iran/USA) has created his first-ever animation, which delves into a new medium and format while building upon preexisting themes, characters, and motifs found typically in his camera-less photography practice.

Nicholas Grafia (Philippines/Germany) and Mikołaj Sobczak (Poland/Germany) will debut a new two-channel performance, Rooms (2020), filmed in Poland, that interweaves Filipino myths, Slavic folk tales, and current political events, with absurdist theater and dramaturgy.

Sasha Zubritskaya (Russia) will present what the artist terms a «visual long-read,» or a virtual layout that encompasses hanging elements, .gifs, videos, text fragments, and gradients to create an indeterminate narrative based on works from her 2019 solo exhibition «Master Key» at Navicula Artis Gallery, St. Petersburg.

Evgeny Granilshchikov (Russia) will present his video, DRAMA (2019), while Dan Herschlein (USA) will debut his first ever stop-motion animation.

Matt Copson (UK) will showcase an updated version of his hand-painted animation, Transcend and Die (2018/20).

Pasmur Rachuiko (Russia/Georgia) will exhibit a digital archive of his research project «Feral Forage» (2020), wherein the artist forages for wild herbs and plants, which he then cooks for others as a means to prepare for a post-apocalyptic world.

GabySahhar (UK) will debut their latest single-channel video, Truth and Kinship (2020), alongside a virtual viewing space that displays their most recent series of paintings.

Nikita Seleznev (Russia) will present his most recent film, On the Tip of the Tongue (2020), that conveys a sense of heightened intimacy through the use of found imagery, including stills from films, amateur and advertising photos, artworks, and posters.

Fin Simonetti (Canada/USA) and Gregory Kalliche (USA) have created a new CGI screensaver with sound. Their first collaborative work, Means of Egress (2020) transmutes the artists’ engagement with polar notions like public and private to a digital context.

Marina Stakhieva’s (Russia) From Home with Love (2019-20) was inspired by the artist’s return to her familial roots, and portrays a narrative about home in an intuitive combination of photos and video that depict local inhabitants within their daily environments. The artist has created a zine that houses these photographs, as well as her first-ever video.

Personal Places // Archival Spaces | Giulia Morale and Sterre Barentsen

The project has brought together artists from ten different nationalities and will be installed with the help of remote communication. It examines the definition of the archive and has allowed the curators and participants to think globally as well as locally. The selected works — which have all been conceived or adapted to be produced in Moscow — explore peripheral, often forgotten, contexts from across the world. Without flattening their depiction, they showcase local manifestations of space and time, whether this means a 19th-century town in Siberia, a fishing village in Uzbekistan, a small agricultural community in the hills of Tuscany or the subjects of the Armenian diaspora in Paris. Personal Places // Archival Spaces aims to show that, while the archive can be an authoritative collection of documents or an institutional method of coercion, it can also be used as a personal way of collecting memories or a collective effort to systematise knowledge. The exhibition intends to slow down the pace of making, consuming and thinking about art.

The curatorial project, co-curated by Giulia Morale and Sterre Barentsen, comprises art projects divided across three segments:

001. collection

The first exhibition segment articulates some of the stories hidden within material culture rather than written documents. Witnesses of human-made destruction or natural decay, artists in this group have collected remains of sorts to show how past stories survive in the world as material evidence.

The show opens with Giulia Cenci’s (Italy) Ininterrottamente (Continuously) work, examining the fragile balance between destruction and re-creation. Her conversation with three people working in the agriculture industry in Tuscany led to the creation of a new agricultural machine with old and discarded machine parts. The artist ultimately questions whether different interest groups can work together with limited resources and imagine new futures. Rodrigo Arteaga’s (Chile) Dark Waters and If Time is Infinite We Are at Any Point in Time (made in collaboration with Gabriel Arteaga), a demonstration that something as small as a grain of sand, if preserved, can store information for centuries. While the viewer may be struck by the pile of sand that accompanies the installation’s study-like environment at first, it is only by looking into the microscope that a whole new microcosm of information reveals itself. Olga Shurygina (Russia) has collected over 3,000 decorated ceramic plates and laid them on the dry sea bed of the Aral Sea to create what she has called a ‘mirage’. In doing so, the plates transform into the sea that no longer exists.

002. reconstruction

The second group of artists endeavours to create new places where marginalised histories have been erased, most often because of neglect or physical destruction through working with archival documentation and historical evidence.

Emilija Škarnulytė’s (Lithuania) film Aldona plays with sight: by retracing her blind grandmother’s daily trip to a former Soviet sculpture park, the artist portrays an unconventional way of perceiving history and historical remains, one that is tactile and imaginative rather than visual and intellectual. The work by Fields Harrington (USA) and the joint project by Teresa Solar (Spain) in collaboration with Carlos Fernández-Pello (Spain) both explore the history of new technological inventions from a less recent past, constructing parallel narratives that question the ethics of scientific discoveries. Solar explores the history of Harold Edgerton, inventor of the strobe light and of the first high-speed camera, technologies that served the American warfare in the Second World War and contributed to the development of the atomic bomb. Similarly, Fields Harrington retraces the popularisation of the spirometer, a medicalised-looking instrument invented in the 19th century to measure, quantify, and rank lung capacity that became a further motive of systemic racial discrimination against black Americans.

003. re-enactment

In this last part, artists will move beyond historical documents and official transcripts by re-enacting the stories that are hidden in a mesmerizing volume of records.

Esper Postma (Germany/Netherlands) reenacts his grandfather’s travels through Java based on his travelogue, and Camille Leveque (France) will create a digital imaginary journey, — these artists resurrect and bring archival documents live to the gallery space. Anya Gleizer’s (Russia/UK) Granny’s Bones uses archival material of the late female anthropologist Maria Antonina Czaplick to explore the entanglement of fiction and anthropology in the early 20th century. Countering a similar narrative of gender marginalisation, Camille Leveque and Bo Choy (Hong Kong/UK) both look to their female heritage. By utilizing their position as daughters and grand-daughters, they create matriarchal archives: while Leveque re-enacts an imaginary visual dialogue between herself and her grandmother, Lucie Khahoutian, Choy’s film unfolds personal and collective memories through handling objects given to her by her mother.

forbidden body language | Elza Abdulkhakova

As part of the forbidden body language project, fifteen artists will debut six dance and performance projects in one space, which will be used as a residency: for rehearsals, research process and networking.

forbidden body language intends to invalidate the taboos associated with the body. The core concept of the participating projects is the availability of body language, its diversity and capacity to adapt to each individual. One of the project’s tasks is to involve and immerse the audience in the process of creating art. Therefore, a number of the works participating in the project are creative labs that will allow those viewers who wish to participate, to become co-authors of the art. The basic scenario for adapting the project’s works for a wider audience is to set up workshops, rehearsals and warm-ups. The project will be an extension of the Six Square Meters Movement Lab launched in December 2019 on the premises of the Central Universal Science Nekrasov Library — a series of meetings and practical classes aimed to deepen and expand exploration of bodily practices and movement.

Abdulkhakova Stroganov Dance Company — Elza Abdulkhakova and German Stroganov (Russia) — will introduce their work, Dark Tale, dedicated to the examination of shadows as an unpleasant and invisible state of everyday life, revealing their variability and manifestation.

In SHTIRAS, Mariam Nagaichuk and Eva Valieva (Russia) will explore old age as another form of the human body’s existence through movement, touch, body alignment, empathy and attention.

Vadim Elichev (Russia) will recreate the situation of getting inside a jewellery box by putting together a certain idealised form of dance for one. His work The Box will focus on the perception of relationships, including intimate ones.

Alena Papina and Vadim Elichev (Russia) will present their work Female Gaze, the result of their study of gender through the lenses of anatomy, social constructs, stereotypes and personal feelings.

Nu Simakina (Russia) will set up her aphonia lab for vocal practices, which will encourage participants to look for their own voice, explore its sound in public and private contexts, connect the ability to speak freely with the feeling of their voice and what they articulate aloud. The lab will conclude with a performance.

The participants will be determined following the results of an open call. They invite professional performers, vocalists, artists and individuals interested in vocal practices. Please make sure to submit an application until the end of the day on 10 November. Click here to fill in the application form.

Make a Wish Choir (Russia) — Alexey Kirsanov, Fedor Kokorev, Victoria Kudryavtseva, Vik Lashchyonov, Fevralina Pokrovskaya, Anastasia Rossokhina, Nu Simakina, Evgeniya Fomina — will attempt to unite art objects through listening, sensing and providing them with a voice, building relationships with them and giving agency to the sound.

The schedule of screenings and other events of the project will be published on the Biennale’s website, and on the Six Square Metres Motion Lab social media accounts.

Out of Time

Sasha Pirogova, who represented the Russian pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, has created her first video work in two years, Out of Time, which has received a special mention by the Biennale’s Board of Experts and will be produced with the Biennale’s support.

‘This work is essentially an innovation as it offers a new perspective on art, its irreplaceable role in the world. This is a view of love as the greatest phenomenon, and how this phenomenon manifests itself in the art world.

This work is about love and this great feeling permeates every moment of it. We hope that what you see will have a powerful, life-affirming impact on your life and change it for the better. At any rate, we have done our best to make it so, all you need to do is tune in and feel it!

We have taken the responsibility to tackle this eternal theme, knowing full well that this is what we all desperately need today, what has supported and will continue to support all of us at all times,’ say the authors Sasha Pirogova and Marina Friedman.

Special Project of the VII Moscow International Biennale for Young Art and Moscow International Experimental Film Festival (MIEFF) | The Extracurricular Practices interdisciplinary educational programme.

Extracurricular Practices will occupy a separate area in the Main Project’s space. The special project will include weekly film screenings, discussions and meetings with students. It is an educational programme for young filmmakers that intends to undermine the established status quo and expand the students’ understanding of what film and moving image can be. By combining contemporary art theory and experimental practice, the project will invite twelve participants, representatives of various Russian film and art schools, to look at film direction from a different angle. The program will feature eight film screenings dedicated to film collectives. The collective is a variety of opinions and experiences, and in the programme we have tried to maintain this diversity — both in terms of gender, racial and class representation, and in terms of cinematic form. The project will run at the Museum of Moscow from 3 November to 6 December.

The second part of the VII Moscow International Biennale for Young Art’s Main Project will bring together the entire structure of the Biennale that has previously launched the first part of the Main Project at the Museum of Moscow with the results of the open call for artists, seven special projects (some of which are still on view at different Moscow venues). Additionally, alongside the Winzavod Foundation for the Support of Contemporary Art, the Biennale has launched its Educational Programme, which consists of three sections: Salon of Rejected Categories — a cycle of five international panel discussions; The Biennale Diary that brought together the theorist and art critic communities; and the experiential part: a series of masterclasses by printing workshops. As part of the Biennale for Young Art, the Parallel Programme, which includes 23 projects produced and exhibited by various Moscow institutions, has been running since September. The Biennale will conclude with the Portfolio Review Programme aimed at identifying young talent from Russian regions who will be selected for participation through an open call that launches on 5 November. The programme will take place from 1 to 4 December in Moscow and will cover the following areas: art, media art and art criticism. The institutional partners of the Portfolio Review Programme are the NCCA, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Dialogue of Arts magazine, Artguide magazine and the Moscow School of Contemporary Art.


Special Projects of the Biennale for Young Art in October and November

Andrei Voznesensky Cultural Center in collaboration with the BAZA Institute of Contemporary Art will present the CLOSED FISH EXHIBITION. RECONSTRUCTION project, a reconstruction of one of the key events in the history of Moscow’s conceptualism — the Closed Fish Exhibition by Igor Makarevich and Elena Elagina, who are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their creative partnership this year. The exhibition opens on 21 October and will run until 22 November. The artistic director and author behind the idea: Yan Ginzburg, curator: Dmitry Khvorostov.

The State Museum Exhibition Center ROSIZO is hosting The Map of Human Nature exhibition, which will run until 1 November. More than 200 contemporary artists submitted applications to participate in the special project, 19 of which were selected.

The following projects are currently on view at other Moscow venues:

This Is All That exhibition. Until 15 November at the Electromuseum in Rostokino Gallery;
Surroundings exhibition. Until 8 November at the Peresvetov Gallery;
Un/Archivation exhibition. Until 29 November at the Nagornaya Gallery;
The gathering exhibition. Until 29 October at the Bogorodskoye Gallery;
Fences are behind fences. Until 8 November at the Here Gallery;
Systems — supersystems exhibition. Until 22 November at the Khodynka gallery;
Family Values exhibition. Until 10 January at the Peschanaya Gallery.

The Moscow International Biennale for Young Art is one of the most ambitious projects in the realm of contemporary art in Russia. The Biennale’s mission is to draw attention to new talent, foster and encourage creative initiatives of the new generation of artists and curators, create proper conditions for their public expression and, as a result, to develop the Russian contemporary art community and integrate it into the international art process. The Moscow International Biennale for Young Art was first held in 2008. The foundations for the project were laid by the Qui Vive? festival of young art, run annually by the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA) from 2002 to 2006 in collaboration with the Workshop Exhibition of Young Art (held annually by the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, from 2001 to the present day). The project is actively expanding and continues to search for new ways to support emerging art by partnering with arts and cultural institutions interested in promoting young artists as well as through working with the urban environment.. The VII Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, which comprises the Main Project, Special Projects, Educational Programme, Portfolio Review Programme and Parallel Programme, will run until 6 December. The comprehensive event schedule is available on the Biennale’s website:

The Moscow Museum of Modern Art is the first Russian State Museum that was founded in 1999 by Zurab Tsereteli, President of the Russian Academy of Arts. His private collection of more than 2,000 works of distinguished 20th-century artists laid the foundation of the Museum’s permanent display that is now considered one of the most remarkable collections of modern and contemporary Russian art. With six venues across the city, MMOMA has become the staple of the country’s cultural life. MMOMA Education Center, situated in the very heart of the capital, provides access to an open arts library, a museum cafe, a lecture hall, and a display of artworks from the MMOMA permanent collection. Museum’s priorities lie in the areas of arts education, promoting emerging and young artists, in-house book publishing, development of inclusive projects, lab research, and conservation work. At present, the Museum is actively developing its regional programme and contributing to maintaining a unified rhythm in the country’s art scene. MMOMA has celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019/2020.

The Museum of Moscow was founded in 1896. It is located in a unique architectural ensemble of federal importance, the Provision Warehouse on Zubovsky Boulevard. The Museum’s collection boasts 800,000 artefacts, including a rich display of archaeological finds. The Museum of Moscow incorporates several affiliate museums: the Archaeological Museum of Moscow, the Old English Court, Lefortovo History Museum, and Gilyarovsky Center. The official website of the Museum:

The opening hours of the Museum of Moscow have changed to accommodate the Main Project of the VII Biennale. It is now open from 12.00 to 22.00 (msk).