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Archive for the ‘AES+F’ Category

Photography in contemporary Russia – Art Radar speaks with curator Olga Sviblova, AES+F and Igor Moukhin

Posted by artradar on August 18, 2010


MOSCOW PARIS CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION MUSEUM SHOWS

With France-Russia Year 2010 in full swing, Maison Européene de la Photographie (MEP) and the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow (MAMM), formerly the Moscow House of Photography, partnered for the photo exhibition “Photography in Contemporary Russia, 1990-2010, currently on display in Paris. Art Radar Asia spoke with Olga Sviblova, curator and director of the MAMM, along with reknowed photographer Igor Moukhin and artist Tatiana Arzamasova of AES+F.

Vlad Loktev, '1:0', photograph, 1999. Image courtesy of Maison Européene de la Photographie.

Vlad Loktev, '1:0', photograph, 1999. Image courtesy of Maison Européene de la Photographie.

Olga Sviblova has achieved almost superstar status in the art world for her documentary filmwork, numerous curatorial endeavors and tireless dedication to the arts, especially Russian photography. Art Radar Asia managed to catch up with the busy Sviblova who answered questions about the state of contemporary Russian photography, it’s growth since the early 1990’s and the pervasive misperceptions of Russian contemporary art.

“Russian photography, like Russian contemporary art, is quite unknown in the world,” Sviblova says frankly. “It is much less present when you compare it with photography or contemporary art from another country like America, from European countries like France, like Germany, like Britain.” Such statements seem to contradict the international fame that some Russian artists have achieved such as rising stars AES+F and established names like Oleg Kulik and Igor Mukhin. For Sviblova, however, widespread acclaim for Russian artists is still the exception, not the rule. The curator elaborates further on the effects of the economic downturn on Russian art:

“Russian art was forgotten. And also for Russian art and photography, there were not institutions that could support it … there was also the question that the Russian market inside the country was not constructed.”

It was in this climate that Sviblova founded the Moscow House of Photography, now know as the Multimedia Centre for Contemporary Art, in 1996. That same year Sviblova organised Russia’s first photobiennale, followed by the first Moscow International Photography Festival in 1999. Efforts such as these changed the climate of the art scene.

“So now we have in Russia a completely different situation … we have instutions for art and photography, we have our museums. In another sense photography has started to be open in the Russian region, photography started to be popular and contemporary art started, in the beginning, to be popular.”

Exploring the popularity of photography

For Sviblova, there is no boundary between art and photography, they are part of one another, and photography has always been art. However, photography as a medium has exploded in popularity and is, according to Sviblova, one of the “most important arts today”.

Igor Moukhin, "Moscou", photograph, 1988. Image courtesy of Maison Européene de la Photographie

Igor Moukhin, 'Moscou', photograph, 1988. Image courtesy of Maison Européene de la Photographie.

Factoring into the success of photography in Russia are the new freedoms afforded to artists. This new freedom which allows photojournalistic, “street” photography to “show the face of Russia”, a truthful representation of the people, society and Russian life.

“You really can tell that today photography is an extremely popular media. Today nobody asks me if photography is art or is not art; it’s really extremely popular in Russia.”

Russian photographer Igor Moukhin echoed the same ideas when we asked him if photography was being embraced within Russia.

“People have ceased and to look [at] and trust the TV. There is no independent press. And on the Internet  [there are] a lot of photos, photos about today, yesterday, about life, and these photos discuss.”

Moukhin uses the term “direct photo” in reference to his photographs of Soviet youths and comments on the subjectiveness of his photography, saying that it is not universal since context is necessary. To artists such as Moukhin, context and knowledge of Russian history are necessary to grasp the messgae of his “direct” photography. Yet not all Russian photography is specific to Russian experiences. Communication between countries is another factor when examining the popularity of Russian photography. Acknowledging a lack of communication between Russia and other countries, Sviblova highlights the importance of photography as a method to dispel misconcenptions, and to speak about what has happened in Russia in the past and what is happening now.

Nikolai Polissky, La Tour, photograph, 2000. Image courtesy of Maison Européene de la Photographie.

Nikolai Polissky, 'La Tour', photograph, 2000. Image courtesy of Maison Européene de la Photographie.

As Olga Sviblova states, the MEP exhibition in Paris presents yet another chance “to show what kind of new photography was born in that time [1990-2010] … we can show what has happened in Russia: on a social level, emotional level, economic level, and political level”. Images of revolution from the first and second Chechen wars also make up an important part of the exhibition and Sviblova stresses how photographers began to tackle issues outside of Russia, on an international level.

“We tried to show history … we tried to show the first and second Chechen wars, what was the Russian strategy … we tried to show the best photographers working at the time … At the same time, we tried to show what happens in the country, we tried to show the youth generation, the old people.”

While some artists use documentary photography to focus on Russian experiences, others use documentary photography to create ties to the rest of the world.  As the birth of “new Russia” took place, contemporary street photography captured it from every angle.

Russian photography, international issues

Although it is one of the most popular types of photography in Russia, the exhibition includes much more than just documentary-style images. What Sviblova calls classical art photography and fashion photography make up the remainder of the show and include names such as Oleg Kulik and Arsen Savadov.

AES+F, 'The Islamic Project: New Liberty', 2003, lambda print. Image courtesy of the AES+F website.

AES+F, 'The Islamic Project: New Liberty', 2003, lambda print. Image courtesy of the AES+F website.

Sviblova also speaks in length about the popular artist collective AES+F, a group that uses photography as a tool to address universal, and often controversial, concepts.  In reference to images from “The Islamic Project” series Sviblova remarks:

“After September 11 their images started to be so famous, distributed through the Internet and often given out without the signature of the artist because it was like popular art. It was not the mirror of reality, but also the magic mirror of the future … AES+F is one of the most sophisticated, one of the most complicated, and at the same time one fo the most magic artist [groups].”

In a brief Art Radar interview with AES+F’s Tatiana Arzamasova, the artist sheds some light on the collective’s use of photography in recent series such as “The Last Riot” and ‘”The Feast of Trimalchio”. “We use photography as a tool,” she remarks.

On the artists’ website they make no attempt to hide their process, showing how they use assorted images as a starting point for the final product. As a collective,the artists of AES, with the exception of Vladmir Fridkes, do not consider themselves “traditional” photographers. When asked if the international community still had misperceptions about Russian art and Russian photography, Arzamasova indicated that the idea of Russian photography as socialist media is still present. “[People] think of Russia as poor…they still think of the Cold War” Arzamasova states. Undaunted by such stereotypes, AES+F continues to stretch the boundaries of what Russian art and photography is considered to be. Olga Sviblova concludes:

“Great photography is not just image and document of reality, it’s much more metaphoric. If you know the language of the artist, you can read the message and through this message you can see not just today, or the past, you can see our future”

Other stand-out artists featured in the exhibition, which will run until 29 August this year, include the Fenso group, Sergui Tchilikov, Vladmir KupriyanovGeorgy Pervov, and Vladmir Fridkes.

EH/KN

Related Topics: Russian artists, photography, curators

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Posted in AES+F, Collaborative, Curators, Events, France, From Art Radar, Gallery shows, Interviews, Museum shows, Olga Sviblova, Paris, Photography, Professionals, Russian, Venues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

World premiere of new AES+F photo collages at Moscow’s Garage Center – video

Posted by artradar on August 10, 2010


RUSSIAN ARTIST COLLECTIVE PHOTOGRAPHY VIDEO

Made up of artists Tatiana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovitch, Evgeny Svyatsky, and Vladmir Fridkes, internatinoally acclaimed Russian collective AES+F returns once again to Moscow’s Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in the center’s newest exhibition, “The Feast of Trimalchio“.

AES+F, The Feast of Trimalchio. Triptych #1. Panorama #2. 2010, Digital Collage.  Image courtesy of Garage Center for Contemporary Culture

AES+F, 'Triptych #1. Panorama #2', 2010, digital collage. Image courtesy of Garage Center for Contemporary Culture.

Curated by Olga Sviblova, the collective’s interpretation of Satyricon, a work by Roman poet Gaius Petronious Arbiter, features a nine channel video installation of a hotel resort paradise threatened by disaster. The artists’ website states:

the atmosphere of ‘The Feast of Trimalchio’ can be seen as bringing together the hotel rituals of leisure and pleasure … On the other hand the ‘servants’ are more than attentive service-providers. They are participants in an orgy, bringing to life any fantasy of the ‘masters’.

The show, which runs from 19 June to 29 August, features both the video installation as well as several brand new, never-before-seen panoramic digital collages.

Watch Garage Center’s short preview of “The Feast of Trimalchio” here (video length, 1:07 mins)

EH/KN

Related Topics: AES+F, Russian, photography, video art

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Posted in AES+F, Collaborative, Consumerism, Fantasy art, Human Body, Moscow, Museum shows, Olga Sviblova, Photography, Russia, Russian, Utopian art, Video | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Art Dubai 2009 – who sold what to whom? 15 galleries talk to Art Radar

Posted by artradar on March 23, 2009


MIDDLE EAST ART FAIR

Which artists were favourites? 15 exhibitor galleries talk to Art Radar in the final day of the fair about sales, attendance and some new collector trends.

art-dubai

Summary:

  • Middle Eastern collectors showing first signs of interest in East Asian art
  • Pieces in the price range US$20-30000 sell best
  • Sales down compared with last year; booths have mixed results
  • More art fair visitors from institutions
  • Russian collector base changing

Set out below is a round-up of comments from a selection of galleries participating in the fair.

Triumph Gallery – Russia

Ruth Addison: “The fair is going OK rather than fast in terms of sales but it is great in terms of contacts and opportunities. Some of our artists have been invited on residencies. We did not expect too much because of 1) the recession 2) Russian artists are new to the Middle East and 3) this is the first time for Triumph at the fair. Most interest has been shown in AES+F.”

Aidan Gallery – Russia

Aidan Salakhova, Director: “Sales have been slower, much as we expected. We have sold 2-3 pieces. We may come back next year but we don’t plan to attend any art fairs in the next 5-6 months. We were the first private gallery in the USSR when we opened 17 yeas ago. In Russia now there is so much change happening to the local collector base, many people are losing money and other new collectors who are making money – perhaps from the government – are entering the market and replacing them. Our aim is to survive the next couple of years and wait for the market to settle”

Grosvenor Gallery London

Connor Macklin “The fair has been better than expected for us. The mood is different this year but we have made sales in the range of US$2,000 to US$100,000 per piece”.

Haunch of Venison – London, Berlin, Zurich, New York

Adrian Sutton, Senior Sales Director “We have had a successful fair. We have sold one piece and are close with two other pieces and if they come off, sales ( of Indian artist Jitish Kallat and Wim Wenders ) will be over a quarter of a million US dollars in total.”

October Gallery London

Elizabeth Lalouschek Artistic Director: “We have found that there has been more interest in larger works. We have sold 10 works with prices varying from US$2,500 to US$90,000 including two El Anatsui works. This fair we have noticed more of an international attendance and more museum directors than in previous years. Perhaps this is because the art fair is being held at the same time as the Sharjah Biennale.”

El Anatsui at October Gallery

El Anatsui at October Gallery

Mario Mauroner Vienna Austria

“This is our third time here and it has been very quiet. Most interest has been shown in Barthelmy Toguo from Cameroon. We did well at Bologna and Arco so Art Dubai has been disappointing . But we set up in 1972 and have survived recessions dating back to the 1973 oil crisis so I don’t doubt we will survive this too.”

Galerie Kashya Hildebrand  Switzerland

Kashya Hildebrand “This is our third trip and we are very happy because members of the Royal Family have bought Asian art for the first time – a Korean artist….a major development.

There is a also a group of serious Dubai-based Iranian collectors who come to the fair. They take their purchases very seriously, pore over the pieces, ask lots of questions and return each day. Last year this group also began to buy Asian art for the first time which is very exciting.”

Korean artist Ran Hwang purchased by Royal Family

Korean artist Ran Hwang purchased by Royal Family

Galerie Volker Diehl Moscow, Berlin

Monica F. Eulitz International Director:  “The fair has been very well attended and we have seen buyers from the entire Gulf region this year not just local participants. We have sold a few pieces in the US$20,000-30,000 range.”

 Kalfayan Galleries  Greece

Roupen Kalfayan: ” Sales have been so-so but it has been wonderful for contacts. Business is slower than last year. This is our second year.. We have had a lot of interest in the Syrian photographer Hrair Sarkissianwho will be exhibiting at the Istanbul Biennale. He started to receive attention from collectors last year and we have placed his work with European collectors at the fair this year. Also Tarek Al Ghoussein.”

B21 Dubai

Tessa de Caters: “We have made some sales and the video and digital Iranian artist Leila Pazooki has been receiving attention.

Pyo Gallery  Korean

Jeong Yim Gho, Chief curator “It is slow compared with last year. Last year was pretty good but not this year though we have made a few sales in the US$20-30,000 range” Most interest was shown in Park, Sung-Tae.

Hakgojae Gallery, Seoul

Kim Jyon director “This is our first visit and sales have not been good. U Fan has sold and there has been a lot of interest in Lee Lee Nam but no sales yet of this artist’s work.”

Aicon GalleryNew York, Palo Alto, London

“Sales are reasonable but much slower than last year”

Bodhi Art Mumbai

Puneet Shah Asst Gallery Manager: “It has been slow fair for us. We have made no sales. The artist which has attracted most attention is Subodh Gupta.

Edwynn Houk Gallery New York  US

Edwynn Houk “This is our first year and we have made a good beginning. We have sold 6 pieces, all photographs by Lalla Essaydi. We have found that Western artists seem to have less resonance with local collectors this year but perhaps interest will develop over time. We would like to come back to Art Dubai”

Related categories: art fairs, Middle Eastern art, collector news

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Posted in AES+F, Dubai, El Anatsui, Fairs, Gallerists/dealers, Indian, Jitish Kallat, Korean, Market watch, Middle East, Museum collectors, Overviews, Russian, Subodh Gupta, Syrian | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dasha Zhukova experiments with exhibition of 12 leading video artists on giant outdoor screen – Moscow Times, Reuters

Posted by artradar on December 7, 2008


tondo8

 

 OUTSIDE VIDEO ART RUSSIA

Daria Zhukova’s Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow is closed for renovations until February 2009  when it will reopen with Christie’s owner Francois Pinault’s exhibition of his personal collection. In the meantime Zhukova is showing an exhibiton of 12 video art on outdoor jumbotron screens  (normally used for advertisements) in Moscow.

screen

“Fashion designer and It-Girl Dasha Zhukova’s nonprofit Garage Center for Contemporary Culture has rarely been out of the art-world spotlight since it opened this September. Now, her exhibition space in the former bus depot is making an open-air assault on Moscow’s public with a monthlong exhibition of video art on a giant screen over the Mosenergo power plant. 

The clips that make up “Moscow on the MOVE,” which began showing last Saturday, were handpicked by Hans-Ulrich Obrist, co-director of exhibitions and programs at London’s trendy Serpentine Gallery. Videos by twelve artists and filmmakers from around the world will be shown in groups for a week each and then replaced by new 50-minute segments.

The project, based on a similar Olbrist venture in Seoul in 2000, is conceived not as a film to be screened but as a part of the city itself. “During my first visit, I was struck by the city’s Jumbotrons,” Olbrist wrote in a statement. “Millions of people see them every day. It’s like something out of Blade Runner — facades of buildings interwoven with giant billboards of moving images.”

For this new-media venture, Olbrist has selected a who’s who of contemporary video artists. Among the 12 participants are 1996 Turner Prize laureate Douglas Gordon, last year’s Russian representatives at the Venice Biennale the AES+F group and multimedia guru Doug Aitken, who carried off the Golden Lion, one of art’s highest accolades, from the 1999 Biennale. The form’s precursors are also represented, by Dziga Vertov’s 1929 classic “Man with a Movie Camera,” Soviet documentary-maker Artavazd Peleshyan and German new wave legend Alexander Kluge.

Zhukova described the project as an “experiment — an unusual example of contemporary art leaving the confines of traditional museums or exhibition spaces.” Apart from the Russian Museum’s “Art Tour,” in which masterpieces from the collection were literally hung up on the street, and the now-defunct “Empty” video festival on Tverskoi Bulvar, there has indeed been little in the way of “outside art” in the city. “It’s a way of bringing art to everyone,” she added.

Moscow  Times 

“This is the first of its kind for Moscow, this is the
first time that we have a video art project in the middle of the city, in the
open air, so that’s new and exciting, I think there are some artists that
we’ve included in our line-up who haven’t done anything formally in Russia so
that’s also definitely something people will be excited to see,” said
Dasha.

Reuters

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Posted in AES+F, Art spaces, Collectors, Dasha Zhukova, Moscow, New Media, Nonprofit, Open air, Overviews, Russia, Russian, Video | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Russian collective AES+F talks to the Art Newspaper about their meteoric success over the last year

Posted by artradar on August 1, 2008


Last Riot AES+F

Last Riot AES+F

 

RUSSIAN TOURING SHOW 2008 On the eve of their latest show, Russian collective AES+F discusses multiculturalism, the market and their new work.

One of the most talked about works at the last Venice Biennale was a slick digitalised three-screen video in the basement of the Russian Pavilion in which a host of beautiful youths worthy of any Gap ad engaged in stylised slow motion battles in a fantasy landscape to the strains of Wagner’s “Götterdämmerung”.

The piece was Last Riot by the Moscow-based collective AES+F—the name comes from the initials of members Tatiana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovitch and Evgeny Svyatsky, who joined forces in 1987, with photographer Vladimir Fridkes arriving in 1995.

Although the group were no strangers to the art world, this epic, bleakly futuristic extravaganza has catapulted it onto the international stage. They have just had a major exhibition at Macro in Rome and this month they open their first UK solo show at RS&A which then tours to Les Abattoirs in Toulouse, the Salzburg Museum and the Ormeau Baths in Belfast.

The Art Newspaper: Did you intend Last Riot to be a criticism or a celebration of our high-tech, perfection-obsessed world?AES+F: It has some kind of criticism but we try not to be very didactic in our criticism so it is both admiration and criticism—all the time we try to be on the border as we have very mixed feelings about what is happening now.

 

TAN: It created a weird world where technology and fashion fused with direct references to art history.AES+F: We wanted to make compositions reminiscent of mannerist and Baroque painting and especially Caravaggio but also to construct a virtual world which refers to contemporary virtual culture and virtual reality and all these kinds of computer games, video games and Hollywood movies; it’s a landscape that is continuous throughout and goes from a desert at night to a snowy morning in the mountains.

 

TAN: What is it about mannerism and the Baroque that appeals to you?AES+F: We feel that contemporary visual culture is very similar to that of the Baroque: everything is extremely expressive, figurative and very visual and founded on images and at the same time very decadent. We try to make it seductive but when you make it too beautiful it begins to be ugly so we are also trying to establish the border between ugliness and beauty. It is also not clear who is the good guy and who is the bad guy and it is very important to us that it should not be clear.

 

TAN: Last Riot has spawned a series of pristine white sculptures which you are now showing in the UK for the first time.AES+F: We are premiering the whole series of eight aluminium figures painted with white enamel paint that is usually used for cars. They come from Last Riot but in the Last Riot prints and videos they are just normal figures. In these sculptures they became mutants, they are part monsters: for example one girl has the tail of a dinosaur.

 

TAN: Another work that you are showing for the first time is Europe-Europe, a series of porcelain figurines in the 18th-century style of amorous couples. But instead of presenting frolicking shepherds and shepherdesses, you depict more controversial contemporary couplings: a skinhead and a Turkish girl, a blonde female police officer in full riot gear undressing for an Arab teenager, a western manager and three Chinese toy factory workers—what is the intention of this piece?AES+F: This is generally a very interesting question for us, what is Europe now? And what is so-called multiculturalism? The task was to put some questions about contemporary European identity and so we made this kind of impossible utopia—and the question is, can these communities live together culturally, or not? So we wanted to present this utopia of possibility, this idyllic situation.

 

TAN: Last Riot and the large sculptures are created by, and use the language of, digital technology but these new pieces rely on more traditional, handcrafted techniques.AES+F: We just use any techniques according to the ideas of the project so we can use very traditional bronze sculptures and porcelain and also digitally manipulated video and prints. They are all tools.

 

TAN: Russia is now becoming a major player in the global art market. What do you feel about that?AES+F: It’s just the beginning of the boom—it is going to get bigger and bigger. New private museums are opening and also state museums, and the public interest inside Russia is growing very fast. Step by step these new rich people are turning from collecting antiques to collecting contemporary and also international contemporary art. Hopefully after, the art that is just marketable will follow more deep and serious engagements.

 

See (in new window)

  • Full interview from The Art Newspaper here
  • Youtube video of Last Riot here

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Posted in AES+F, Gallery shows, New Media, Russian, Sculpture, Themes and subjects, Video, Virtual | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »