Traces in the Labyrinth. Images of antiquity in contemporary Russian art The Collection. Vantage Point programme
about the exhibition
The Moscow Museum of Modern Art presents Traces in the Labyrinth. Images of antiquity in contemporary Russian art, an exhibition that brings together the MMOMA collection artworks based on ancient Greek and Roman stories and pictorial themes.
The title of the exhibition Traces in the Labyrinth refers to one of the most famous legends of Ancient Greece – the myth of Minotaur and the Knossos labyrinth. The heroes of this legend – Theseus, Ariadne, Daedalus and Icarus – depicted in one of the pieces, set several topics in the exhibition. Four thematic sections – kings and gods, female images, heroes and monsters – match the four figures hidden in Alexander Dzhikiya's labyrinth. This art object takes centre stage in the exhibition.
Ancient heritage has multiple interpretations, that were studied by the museum's researchers. They suggest looking at the works of contemporary artists through the prism of symbolic images – archetypes – rather than through art history classification. The structure of myth, chosen as the basis of the exposition, makes it possible to unite in one space works very different both in style and in conception. The works of artists who regularly work with the ancient classics are combined with the pieces whose authors do not directly refer to classical models. Viewers are invited to make their own journey through the labyrinth of “modern ancient times”. Follow the thread of knowledge that runs through the comments on the exhibition pieces.
The project is part of the special research programme Collection. Viewpoint. It is designed to familiarise the viewer with a significant collection of artworks in the museum's holdings. The exhibition will feature works by artists from the museum's collection: Lev Kropivnitsky, Valery Koshlyakov, Vitaly Pushnitsky, Dmitri Prigov, Zurab Tsereteli, Konstantin Latyshev, Valery Katsuba, Eleonora Zharenova, Lyubov Nenasheva, Dmitri Semakov and other authors.
Alexander Djikia. Labyrinth. 2009 Courtesy of the MMOMA PR Department
Konstantin Latyshev. Real beauty. 1996 Courtesy of the MMOMA PR Department
Dmitry Semakov. Untitled. From the Gates and Civilisations series. 2010 Courtesy of the MMOMA PR Department
Lev Kropivnitsky. Minotaur and Nymph. 1990 Courtesy of the MMOMA PR Department
Natalia Parkhomenko. Four Square Game of Hephaestus and Isis. 2008 Courtesy of the MMOMA PR Department
Valery Koshlyakov. Heads of heroes I. 1991 Courtesy of the MMOMA PR Department
The Collection. Vantage Point program
Collection. Vantage Point is a long-term exhibition program developed specifically for the MMOMA Education Centre in addition to the series of large-scale thematic exhibitions that have become emblematic for the museum. One of the program’s distinguishing features is a different, more focused and intimate approach to the study and demonstration of museum collections, as well as a much more dynamic rhythm of the exhibition. The programme brings together exhibitions of various types — from monographic and archival to interdisciplinary. Intended to explore individual segments of the collection, these essentially laboratory projects often address private, non-mainstream, artistic subjects and allow new exhibition solutions to be tested. The programme provides an opportunity to consider a wide range of phenomena — names, trends, images and ideas in the Russian art of the XX-XXI centuries from different positions and perspectives. In turn, the museum collection itself serves as a unique resource and a convenient “vantage point” for talking about art, history, science, and culture in general. The programme was launched at the end of 2017 and is implemented by the curatorial staff of the Research Department of MMOMA.
The programme authors: Andrey Egorov and Anna Arutyunyan.