Joschka Fischer zeigt Russische Kunst
2003-06-03 - Von Joe F. Bodenstein – PROMETHEUS
ARE YOU CRAZY?
2003-05-26 - WITH ELENA KOVYLINA
ARE YOU CRAZY? is the title of a series of artist talks which raise the issue of "irrationality" and open this important element in the works of young artists for discussion. Everyday situations are normally judged according to logical criteria. In contrast, artistic actions create the possibility of pushing the limits of the given social standards or even going beyond the established narrow confines of rational behaviour; for an artistic act does not require the legitimisation of a predetermined goal.
Contemporary Russian Art Newsletter
2003-05-01 - Olesya Turkina – www.newsletter.net.ru
Contemporary Russian art is a phenomenon that emerged quite recently, 15 years ago, simultaneously with Gorbachev's perestroika. Its instantaneous and brilliant appearance on the international arts scene was related to certain utopian hopes of the late 1980s. In the epoch of the political transformation of the world, as earlier in the epoch of the great geographical discoveries, it seemed possible to discover an unknown land of Russian art (likewise, Cuban, Chinese, Mexican, South African art), left behind since the time of the avant-garde. Were the hopes placed on Russian art justified, or during the process of its institutionalisation, did actuality turn out to be much more interesting than cultural demand? How does contemporary Russian art function now, at a time when artists have an ambiguous attitude to national identification? The task of this News Letter is to show what constitutes the Russian art scene in 2003, propose certain "thematic" routes, mapped out for contemporary Russian art, including such sections as political, feminist, corporal, media. These themes, repressed in the preceding period, became the object of artistic reflection during the process of fundamental changes that took place in the USSR. Then artists had the opportunity to remove themselves from the uniformity, even in their opposition to Soviet political, economic, aesthetic context. The political context, the existence of art in the epoch of mass-mediasation, gender differences, and the corporality of art have remained important for contemporary Russian art throughout the three periods into which it can be tentatively divided. These are, first, the period of discovering the unknown, revolutionary Russia which began in 1987 (in fact the forerunner of this period was the underground art of Moscow and Petersburg, historically the most active centres of art) and lasted until the early 1990s. The second period was distinguished by the political and corporal radicalism of the generation of artists which replaced it. It culminated in 1997-98. And finally, the third period, which started in the late 1990s and continues to this day, is characterised by a certain neo-modernist tendency, expressed in the wish to embody the Great Narrative in art, and to institutionalise contemporary Russian art.