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Blog of the 6th Moscow Biennale

The Opening Day

Moscow Biennale

The 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art has the title “How to gather? Acting in a Center in a City in the Heart of the Island of Eurasia”

Biennale of contemporary art is not a mere temporary art institution or an important cultural event. Biennale is a living community, where we co-exist — people and art objects, managers and visitors, artists and art critics, workers of manual and intellectual labour.

Marina Simakova and Andrey Shental, our blog contributors, spoke to the Biennale participants and found out how it feels “to gather” in the first day of the biennale.

Faina

art blogger

VDNKh is known by its complicated historical legacy. What do you think of VDNKh as an exhibition venue for the Biennale of contemporary art?

I think it’s a very fitting place for contemporary art. People come to the park to relax, why not let them see some art while they doing so?! I think it’s very cool. As for how the venue fits the very concept of Biennale, I think that it’s also very fitting because VDNKh has history. If we consider the pavilions, then every country has its own pavilion, and this shows us how we could live together, on the same territory, reflected in the title of the Biennale.

The main question of the Biennale is «How to gather». Is there anyone you would not like to gather with?

Personally, I have no problems with anyone. Some small disgusting people? I’m joking. No, no.

The title of the Biennale mentions the so-called “Eurasia Island”. Do you consider yourself a citizen of Eurasia?

I’m a citizen of Uzbekistan and I study here, so it is my own ‘Eurasia.’ But I do not consider myself a citizen of Eurasia, I think of myself as a citizen of the world. When one says that he or she is the citizen of Eurasia, one separates him- or herself from the entire world.


Konstantin Aleksandrovich

retired active citizen, historian, collector of aphorisms

VDNKh is known by its complicated historical legacy. What do you think of VDNKh as an exhibition venue for the Biennale of contemporary art?

There is a lack of space for the exhibition. The Venice Biennale is a ‘biennale’; ‘biennale’ is a word of foreign origin, it is equivalent to ‘exhibition’ in Russian. VDNKh itself is an exhibition. The territory (of the pavilion — editor’s note) is small. In terms of design….I don’t like it. It feels like I’m at the construction site.

The main question of the Biennale is «How to gather». Is there anyone you would not like to gather with?

The politics of multiculturalism in France has collapsed, and you all know why. Now it has become a kind of disease in Europe, a very serious one. That is why there should be actions taken with the help of everyone including artists (since “beauty will save the world”) in order to solve this problem.

Is there anyone I wouldn’t like to live with? I will answer with an aphorism that I came up with a while ago: “All people are brothers. Some are brothers by reason, others — by mistake.” I would like to live together with my brothers by reason.

The title of the Biennale mentions the so-called “Eurasia Island”. Do you consider yourself a citizen of Eurasia?

Yes, I’m a common resident of Eurasia. But I cannot agree that Eurasia is an island; it is a continent. Once Putin said that Russia is a part of the world; East is on the right and West is on the left. And we have to take into account that Eurasia is ⅙ part of the world, and by no means an island.


Polina

volunteer, artist assistant

VDNKh is known by its complicated historical legacy. What do you think of VDNKh as an exhibition venue for the Biennale of contemporary art?

I think it’s an appropriate venue, because it has a long history and is made up of architectural sites related to the very important All-Union Exhibition of Economic Achievements. Even though that exhibition had nothing to do with art, it is still related to culture. It is an excellent space that includes different cultures representing this Biennale.

The main question of the Biennale is «How to gather». Is there anyone you would not like to gather with?

I’m quite peaceful and easily get along with people, but if a person is not ready for compromise and behaves aggressively — and this doesn’t depend on one’s sex or nationality — maybe, it would be hard for me, because I have quite a gentle nature.

The title of the Biennale mentions the so-called “Eurasia Island”. Do you consider yourself a citizen of Eurasia?

I think so! I guess it’s an overarching term. I think it unites Europe and Asia — these two big parts of the world. To be in the center is a very pleasing feeling.

Babi Badalov

artist

VDNKh is known by its complicated historical legacy. What do you think of VDNKh as an exhibition venue for the Biennale of contemporary art?

I think it’s very experimental. I find VDNKh to be one of a few places in Moscow that still has the authentic Communist architecture and ambience, and it is very interesting to see how they experiment with contemporary art.

The main question of the Biennale is «How to gather». Is there anyone you would not like to gather with?

Actually, before I came to France, I lived in the Eastern European society. We are often victims of the media, you don’t know what’s real and what isn’t. I wear a t-shirt with a portrait of Obama, the first black American president. I live in Azimut hotel, I travel to VDNKh metro station from there and I haven’t seen any negative, hateful reaction to my t-shirt. In media I heard that Russia hates America and Obama in particular. When I speak to my Russian friends, they don’t think like that, they are not the idiots that hate Obama. Russia is not like this, like media tries to convince us. They don’t see West as an enemy.

The title of the Biennale mentions the so-called “Eurasia Island”. Do you consider yourself a citizen of Eurasia?

I am presenting my new work on the notion of Euromentalism. After the Soviet Union collapsed, we’ve been witnessing rapid changes. If you look at Russia or any other country, you may notice that the European lifestyle and technologies are predominant. That is why, I think, it is an island for me, with a synthesis of democratic, new, free, liberal, superinteractive forms of display within a framework of totalitarian architecture.

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Автор

Moscow Biennale
Moscow Biennale
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