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Garage Museum of Contemporary Art announces Garage Triennial of Contemporary Art
The inaugural edition, on view March 10–May 14, 2017, will feature work made in the last five years by artists from across Russia. © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.

MOSCOW.- Garage Museum of Contemporary Art announce the Garage Triennial of Contemporary Art, the first recurring exhibition and research project dedicated to Russian art. The inaugural edition, on view March 10–May 14, 2017, will feature work made in the last five years by artists from across Russia. Garage Chief Curator Kate Fowle will lead a curatorial team comprising Garage curators Katya Inozemtseva, Snejana Krasteva, Andrey Misiano, and Sasha Obukhova. The resulting exhibition will showcase the best of Russian contemporary art made from 2012–2016, including established and lesser–known artists, some of whom are being shown in Moscow for the first time. A concurrent exhibition of primary material sourced from Garage Archive will provide a historical counterpart to the Triennial.

In focusing solely on artists living and working within the Russian Federation, the Triennial explores the immensely complicated notion of national and cultural identity. The borders of the largest country on earth encompass those living in megacities and in small towns, on the shores of the Black Sea or on the Pacific coast, in Siberia or the Caucasus. Russia’s geographic range is matched only by its cultural variety, manifesting a delicate yet resilient national identity; even though an artist belongs to one of 200 nationalities that inhabit the Russian Federation, speaking one of the 100 languages registered within the territory, they still exist within Russian culture. The 2017 Garage Triennial will be the first time this vast artistic landscape has been surveyed and presented to the public.

Leading up to the Triennial, Garage curators have visited local institutions and individuals in more than 40 Russian cities, not only selecting artists for the exhibition, but documenting the local communities for Garage Archive. Research is taking place across the country’s nine regions: the Central, South, North West, Far East, Siberia, Urals, Volga, North Caucasus, and Crimea Federal Districts.

The Triennial’s chronological point of departure is 2012, a pivotal moment in recent history. Allegations of voting irregularities during the December 2011 legislative elections sparked a wave of protests across the country that continued throughout the 2012 presidential elections. New laws came into force in June 2012, which imposed stringent penalties for unauthorized demonstrations, while others have been used to challenge individual freedoms. At the same time, sweeping changes in the art and cultural fields has provided some optimism in the current moment. Museum departments and programs have been overhauled, with a new emphasis placed on contemporary art, and new institutions, foundations, and artists initiatives are starting to highlight contemporary art’s latent potentiality.

For more than ten years, biennials have introduced international artists to Russian audiences in Moscow and other cities across the country. Garage Triennial is the first to introduce Russian art on an international stage. Launching in 2017—the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution—this radical statement, capturing the zeitgeist of the newest generations of practitioners in the country, offers a fresh perspective on social and cultural tendencies from a place that is largely unknown for contemporary art. Just as the Revolution encouraged Russia’s first Avant Garde, Garage is looking to spur the next.

On the occasion of the Triennial, Garage will develop an online platform that provides access to information gathered by the curators during their research, which will constitute an atlas of the country’s contemporary art community, featuring descriptions of regional institutions, as well as biographical information about some of the country’s most interesting artists today.

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