04 Oct 11

The “Moscow Research Program” is an intense 3-day series of meetings with artists and intellectuals in Ilya Kabakov’s former studio in Moscow from October 3–5, 2011, in the lead up to and as part of preparations for dOCUMENTA (13)

The “Moscow Research Program” is an intense 3-day series of meetings with artists and intellectuals in Ilya Kabakov’s former studio in Moscow from October 3–5, 2011, in the lead up to and as part of the preparations for dOCUMENTA (13).

The studio of Ilya Kabakov, late 1970s. Left to right: Elena Elagina, Lev Rubinstein, Nikita Alekseev, Victor Skepsis, Ilya Kabakov, Maria Konstantinova, Andrey Monastyrsky, Emilia Kabakov


Artistic Director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, and dOCUMENTA (13) Agent, Member of Core Group, Raimundas Malašauskas, will engage in researching the practices of a number of artists and other intellectuals. Invited to participate are artists Viktor Alimpiev, Alexandra Galkina, Alina Gutkina, Alice Ioffe, Taus Makhacheva, Alexandra Paperno, Sergey Sapozhnikov, Alexandra Sukhareva, David Ter-Oganyan, Anya Titova, Arseniy Zhilyaev, and Alexei Penzin and Keti Chukhrov of the group Chto Delat. Other invitees include curator Daria Parkhomenko, geneticist and seeds expert Konstantin Sidoruk, solar and alternative energy specialist Alexander Gordienko, mathematician and neuroscientist Mikhail Burtsev, the psychologist and psychotherapist Natalya Rivkina, who employs hypnosis and trance techniques in her work, theremin expert and great grandson of Leo Theremin, Peter Theremin, and biologist and monkey language researcher Anna Smirnova.


This event is scheduled to take place in the apartment which once hosted the studio of renowned Russian artist Ilya Kabakov from 1968 to 1988, after which time he left the city and emigrated to Long Island, New York, where he currently lives. The Studio is today owned by the Moscow Union of Artists, and maintained by Joseph Backstein, co-host of the “Moscow Research Program.” Kabakov built the studio in the attic of the building located on Sretensky Boulevard, very near the centre of Moscow, just one kilometer from the Kremlin, in 1968. The studio was at the time one of the main meeting points for the Moscow underground art world up until 1988. Seminars, master classes and other activities were held regularly in the studio, and Kabakov often invited his friends and colleagues to present new projects—albums, paintings, installations, performances.


“It is a pleasure and an honor to be meeting artists in Ilya’s old studio,” states Christov-Bakargiev. “I love the atmosphere there, its privacy, poetry; it is a space of withdrawal that creates focus, intensity, and the possibility for the sharing of ideas in a spirit of re-performation and invocation. It is a bit like a notebook.”


“While ‘documenta’ is conceived as an historic event occurring every five years,” states Malašauskas, “it is happening in a context of total accessibility of historic and infinite material in real time. Surfing the net in the post-studio era does not eliminate an intensity of being in the same room with an open door to history. Guests, including time, are invited to walk in rather than fly out. What has happened is meant to merge with what is about to happen, or is about to unfold as a possibility. In the continuum of dOCUMENTA (13) these acts of parallel movement are shifting sounds and spaces of the exhibition in Kassel. What will happen in Moscow, will not stay just in Moscow.”


Artistic Director's Statement of Intent for dOCUMENTA (13):


“dOCUMENTA (13) is dedicated to artistic research, thinking, and forms of imagination that explore matter, things, embodiment, and active life in connection with, yet not subordinated to, ideas. These are terrains where politics are inseparable from a sensual, energetic, and worldly alliance between current research in various scientific and artistic fields and other knowledges, both ancient and contemporary. dOCUMENTA (13) is driven by a holistic, eco-feminist, and non-logocentric vision that is shared with, and that recognizes the knowledges of animate and inanimate makers of the world, including people.” C. Christov-Bakargiev


This performative research event is realized in collaboration with V-A-C foundation (VICTORIA — the Art of being Contemporary) and the Moscow Biennale.


VICTORIA — the Art of being Contemporary is a young institution founded in Moscow in 2009 committed to supporting contemporary art in Russia. With a focus directed towards contemporary art and cultural practice, and the aim of providing a ground for creativity in a wider sense of the word, the V-A-C foundation strives to be actively engaged in artistic production, art education development and in helping young Russian art.


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