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A P A R T M E N T
October 17 - October 19Free
By appointment only – RSVP on the website to attend.
A P A R T M E N T is an experience of isolation as recorded in art objects made by 6 emerging artists currently living and making in Russia. The exhibition offers a view into highly personal and site-specific narratives, showing us that we are in fact bound together in many ways during this destabilizing moment.
This exhibition is organized in the midst of a global pandemic. All around the world, the need to quarantine has prompted radical acts of reimagination. In the United States, we are standing at a crossroads and actively questioning what have been seemingly immutable systems of privacy and digital modes of existence, race and the collective body. This re-examination and disruption of our society is mirrored in the acts of undoing that are surfacing in the praxis of young Russian artists.
Contemporary Russian artists always work with constraints that come with functioning within a post-Soviet cultural space. Resistance to censorship and state control, self expression in a collectivist society, facilitation of change in a stagnant political environment are all still as integral in the contemporary works as they were in the ones that were created behind the Iron Curtain. Russian art education still places a heavy emphasis on academicism and realism, which forces those who want to engage in conceptual art contexts to undo what they have learned and, often, dismantle their own disciplinary training. In figuring out how to make work during quarantine, the lockdown became yet another layer of constraints for the artists in this exhibition.
In all of the works included in this exhibition you will find private artistic acts that mark this collective moment. The artists’ responses to the current circumstances range from documenting and collecting to personal acts of resistance, but all are innovating in response to the changes in systems and routines of everyday life, быт.*
We might be unable to transcend physical distance right now but we are still able to relate to each other’s experiences, regardless of our differences. No matter if you are living this moment in a Moscow apartment or a backyard in Portland, we all are existing in a reality of personal isolation and global connectivity. Apart from each other, we are still connected.
– Misha Davydov, curator
*Быт is a not quite translatable word that stands for a mode of life and the everyday.