How to Gather?. 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art

In Events and Exhibitions / September 9, 2015

HOW TO GATHER?
ACTING IN A CENTER IN A CITY IN THE HEART OF THE ISLAND OF EURASIA

The Moscow Biennale has recently announced the participants and preliminary schedule of its sixth edition, a planned 10-day gathering that will take place from September 22 to October 1, 2015, at Pavilion No. 1 in Moscow’s VDNKh (the Exhibition of Achievements of the People’s Economy), curated by Bart De Baere, Director of M HKA, Antwerp; Defne Ayas, Director of Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; and Nicolaus Schafhausen, Director of Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna.

For the duration of 10 days, the 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art aspires to be a think-in involving all participants and visitors present, hosting art and cultural workers to provide a means for artistic and critical reflection to be exchanged through thinking in action. Driven by the questions of how to gather, how to live together and how to activate new capacities for the future, in collaboration with more than 70 Russian and international artists and thinkers on site, the program aims to re-articulate current dimensions of art presentation.

6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art curators: Bart De Baere (Director of M HKA, Antwerp), Defne Ayas (Director of Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam) and Nicolaus Schafhausen (Director of Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna). Courtesy of the 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art office. All rights reserved.
6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art curators: Bart De Baere (Director of M HKA, Antwerp), Defne Ayas (Director of Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam) and Nicolaus Schafhausen (Director of Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna). Courtesy of the 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art office. All rights reserved.

The 6th Moscow Biennale is a declaration of intent and an invitation to engage. It unfolds as a space of gathering, in which diverse forms of thinking enhance the understanding of what art can be. Counting on the commitment of its participants, the program invites visitors to fully and actively participate in a common undertaking to articulate their experiences of creative and intellectual practice. Using an infrastructure developed for this purpose at VNDKh Pavilion No.1, designed by Fedor Dubinnikov of MEL | Architecture and Design, participants and visitors are to engage in an exchange between individuals and commonality, Moscow and the world, the so-called East and the West. The biennial includes a media machine as part of its infrastructure to document, edit and reflect upon on the spot. After the 10-day gathering, different archival formats will follow up on the biennial, including a feature documentary by Singaporean film director Ho Tzu Nyen, a website with annotated documentation, a book, and a documentary exhibition from October 3 to November 1, 2015 at the biennial’s site.

VDNKh, Pavilion No. 1 (Central). Photo: Ekaterina Allenova / Artguide. Used here by kind permission from Moscow Biennale. All rights reserved.
VDNKh, Pavilion No. 1 (Central). Photo: Ekaterina Allenova / Artguide. Used here by kind permission from Moscow Biennale. All rights reserved.

Over the period of 10 days between September 22 and October 1, 2015, the majority of participants will be present in Moscow to engage in planned events and unpredictable encounters; they will let the biennial happen in the moment.

System thinkers Rem Koolhaas (architect), Saskia Sassen (sociologist), Ulrike Guérot (political scientist), Mariana Mazzucato (economist), Eyal and Ines Weizman (architecture theorists), Ackbar Abbas (professor of comparative literature), Evgeny Gontmakher (economist), Yanis Varoufakis (economist) and Pascal Gielen (sociologist, art theorist) will offer their take on the question of How to gather?

Artists such as Babi Badalov, Sergey Bratkov, Els Dietvorst, Honoré δ’O, Fabrice Hyber, Elena Kholkina, Li Mu, Augustas Serapinas, Luc Tuymans, Peter Wächtler, Anastasiya Yarovenko, Qiu Zhijie and Constantin Zvezdochotov will realize works on site.

Recurring daily statements and performances by Saâdane Afif, Ricardo Brey, Vaast Colson, Gabriel Lester, Leon Kahane, Alevtina Kakhidze, Andrey Kuzkin, Taus Makhacheva, Mian Mian, David Polzin and Suchan Kinoshita, u/n multitude and Anton Vidokle are spread over every full day, whereas special open meetings with Burak Arikan, Simon Denny and Maya Van Leemput, among others, may trigger more intimate dialogues between invited artists, theorists and the public through a diversity of possible offers formatted in divergent ways.

Birdhead, Ives Maes, Otto Snoek and Maarten Vanden Abeele will develop a photography-based vision of the state of Moscow today over the whole period, and every day one artist will be a focus of attention through an extensive video program including contributions by Maria Thereza Alves and Jimmie Durham, Keren Cytter, Ieva Epnere, Evgeny Granilshchikov, Nastio Mosquito, Chan-Kyong Park, Jon Rafman, Meggy Rustamova and Lu Yang.

Gabriel Lester, MurMure, installation, 2014. Courtesy of Leo Xu Projects, Shanghai. Used here by kind permission from Moscow Biennale. All rights reserved.
Gabriel Lester, MurMure, installation, 2014. Courtesy of Leo Xu Projects, Shanghai. Used here by kind permission from Moscow Biennale. All rights reserved.
Anton Vidokle, film still from This Is Cosmos, 2014. Courtesy of the artist. Used here by kind permission from Moscow Biennale. All rights reserved.
Anton Vidokle, film still from This Is Cosmos, 2014. Courtesy of the artist. Used here by kind permission from Moscow Biennale. All rights reserved.

In a changing rhythm, one-time events such as keynotes and performances not only touch upon the biennial’s lead topics, but also offer inroads for the program as a whole.

Preliminary schedule
Tuesday, Sept. 22: Rem Koolhaas (architect), Saskia Sassen (sociologist).
Wednesday, Sept. 23: Rana Hamadeh (artist), Michelangelo Pistoletto (artist).
Thursday, Sept. 24: Ulrike Guérot (political scientist), Inventing Ritual by MadeIn (performance).
Friday, Sept. 25: Mariana Mazzucato (economist), Hanne Lippard (artist).
Saturday, Sept. 26: Ackbar Abbas (professor of comparative literature), Donna Kukama (artist).
Sunday, Sept. 27: Ilya Budraitskis, Tom McDonough, Maya van Leemput, Lee Weng Choy.
Monday, Sept. 28: Eyal and Ines Weizman (architecture theorists), Anna Jermolaewa (artist).
Tuesday, Sept. 29: Pascal Gielen (sociologist, art theorist), Katja Novitskova (artist).
Wednesday, Sept. 30: Evgeny Gontmakher (economist).
Thursday, Oct. 1: Almagul Menlibayeva (artist), Yanis Varoufakis (economist).

The events will include further contributions by: Flaka Haliti, Isa Genzken, Liam Gillick, Alexander Komarov, Anatoly Osmolovsky, Studio for New Music Ensemble Moscow, Alexander Ugay, Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, and Johanna Van Overmeir.

Hanne Lippard, reading for fans, Performative minute, KW, 2014. Photo by Joanna Szproch. Used here by kind permission from Moscow Biennale. All rights reserved.
Hanne Lippard, reading for fans, Performative minute, KW, 2014. Photo by Joanna Szproch. Used here by kind permission from Moscow Biennale. All rights reserved.
Rana Hamadeh, Can You Make A Pet Of Him Like A Bird Or Put Him On A Leash For your Girls?, 2015, sound play. Photo by Jacquelin Ross. Courtesy of the artist and Western Front, Vancouver. Used here by kind permission from Moscow Biennale. All rights reserved.
Rana Hamadeh, Can You Make A Pet Of Him Like A Bird Or Put Him On A Leash For your Girls?, 2015, sound play. Photo by Jacquelin Ross. Courtesy of the artist and Western Front, Vancouver. Used here by kind permission from Moscow Biennale. All rights reserved.

The Moscow Biennale is the epicentre of a vast effort by the Moscow art scene that includes more than a hundred exhibitions throughout the city, structured within the categories Special Guests, Special Projects and a Parallel Program, ranging from a Louise Bourgeois survey show and a new project by Anish Kapoor, up to group exhibitions that present diverse perspectives on the Moscow and broader Russian art scene. Only on the grounds of VDNKh are there three major exhibitions, besides the Greater Caucasian Pavilion, which will be built by The Unbound art collective, invited by the biennial as a fourth, autonomous curator.

The Special Guests and Special Projects program includes Andrey Bartenev’s Say: I Love You!, curated by Olga Sviblova and Vasily Tsereteli; Louise Bourgeois’s Structures of Existence: The Cells, curated by Kate Fowle; Peter Weibel’s Technē Revolution, curated by Joseph Backstein; Anish Kapoor’s My Red Homeland, curated by Maria Nasimova; Alexander Ponomarev’s Windtruvian Man, curated by Alexandra Danilova; Michal Rovner’s Dislocations, curated by Olga Sviblova and Anna Zaitseva; Andrey Filippov’s Department of Eagles, curated by Elena Kuprina-Lyakhovich; Immortality Forever exhibition curated by Olga Sviblova; Future – Visual Arts in the Imaginary Future exhibition curated by Sasha Burkhanova, Rostan Tavasiev and Galina Tebieva; Pavel Pepperstein’s exhibition Future Enamoured with the Past curated by Olga Sviblova; Video Art Residence “ORACLE” curated by Katya Bochavar, Marta Rukazenkova and Anna Fatyanova; Seeing Sound exhibition curated by Vitaly Patsyukov; The East: Deconstruction exhibition curated by Anna Zhurba; The Tomorrow That Never Was exhibition curated by Polina Zakharova and Claudia Paetzold; Repeat Film Cinema exhibition curated by Alexandra Paperno, Natalia Nusinova and Ekaterina Inozemtseva; Metageography: Space – Image – Action exhibition curated by Nikolay Smirnov and Kirill Svetlyakov; the Panopticon exhibition curated by Elena Komarenko and Alena Shapovalova; and many more. For a complete list of Special Guests, including the venues and the opening dates, please visit the Special Guests section.

The Parallel Program includes Maxim Santalov’s Avantgraphics curated by Marina Rudenko, Igor Sever’s Bunker Deterritorialization curated by Igor Ponomarev; the Revision of Borders exhibition curated by Kirill Gavrilin, and many more. For complete information about the Parallel Program, including the venues and the opening dates, please visit the Parallel Program section.

The 6th Moscow Biennale is organised by the Moscow Biennale Foundation and is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Government of Moscow, and VDNKh. The commissioner of the biennial is Joseph Backstein. Rietumu Bank is the general sponsor of the 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. Rietumu is the leading private bank and one of the biggest patrons of the arts in Latvia, known also for its support of Latvian-Russian cultural links.

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