The results of the project
At a press conference, TASS News Agency summed up the results of the international project “Art Platform for the Promotion of Ural Contemporary Art”, which is implemented by the Sinara Charitable Foundation with the support of the Presidential Grants Fund. Natalia Levitskaya, President of the Sinara Foundation, Zhenya Chaika, curator of the project, Lev Shusharichev, participant-critic, and Fyodor Telkov and Anastasia Bogomolova, artists, told how the Art Platform helped create a community of contemporary art in the Urals, why critical texts are so important, and also showed zines dedicated to Fyodor Telkov, Asa Marakulina, PLAR and ZONK projects. The result of the collective educational process was the appearance on the website of the “Art Platform” of 25 critical texts about Ural artists.
– “Art-Platform” has been implemented since 2018. Initially, when the project was conceived, it was important for us to create texts about artists who do not have monographic publications about themselves. The idea of the project is to form a community of people who talk about modern trends, write about art, promote it in Russia and in the world, through the active interaction of critics and artists. In the city space, in the very center of Yekaterinburg, there is a street exhibition that explains what the project was dedicated to, guests and residents of the city can get acquainted with the work of the participants, learn new names among the authors of modern art. Art-Platform has its own Russian-English website, which contains texts created during the project, which will also promote the Ural art, “said Natalia Levitskaya, President of the Sinara Charitable Foundation.
The curator of the project Zhenya Chaika opened the veil of secrecy and told how the work on the appearance of critical texts about the Ural contemporary art took place.
– The very first task was this: in three minutes, the critics had to choose an artist based on 92 portfolios and present it in English. We started working with a tutor, Jonathan Habib Enqvist, so the participants had to introduce the artist so that an expert who was not in our context would understand who they were talking about. During the online seminars, special attention was paid to the development of the glossary: what terms should be used to describe art, so that it is perceived by the professional community. We checked our vocabulary during zums with Nadine Reinert to see if the Swiss tutor understood everything. The great art historian Willem Jan Renders, the most academic participant of the project, who personally worked with the artist Ilya Kabakov, gave the task to make a description of one work. For example, he took his classic installation “The Man who flew into space from his apartment”. As a bonus, he told me how, together with Kabakov and the curator of the collection from the Pompidou center, he mounted it at his exhibition, ” said Zhenya Chaika.
Lev Shusharichev, a critic of the Art Platform, especially remembered the “Russian environments” from all the workshops, when the children read and analyzed critical publications. “We talked so much about the text that we couldn’t wait to start writing it. For me, the most difficult thing was to fit the idea succinctly and briefly in a thousand characters. I also remember the exercise when it was necessary to describe the artist without naming him, so that for others his name was not immediately obvious, but at the same time understandable. Such exercises expand the palette and the understanding of what the text can be. It’s great that the “Art Platform” is not a classical school of art criticism. I enjoyed the process immensely, when for several months we met three times a week on the zoom platform, talking, reading, thinking about art – it reconfigures the brain and changes the skills. Now many people write various notes on social networks, but we do not have a platform and a culture of art criticism: someone says that art criticism is dead, but, as we see, it is not. In my curatorial practice, I communicate a lot with different artists and constantly feel a request for comments and feedback. I want to verbalize the practice, because not every artist is ready to write. We hope that the project will continue to evolve, building horizontal connections,” says Leo Sushirice.
For the artist Anastasia Bogomolova, participation in the project meant meeting the demand for high-quality communication in the professional community, the opportunity to talk about art practice, communicate with other artists, and rethink their own projects. “I believe that the project is very important for artists, critics, curators and for the entire artistic process. After all, the text travels much faster around the world than the artist himself or his work, ” concluded Anastasia Bogomolova.
Artist Fyodor Telkov, whose work was written by a tutor from Switzerland, Nadine Reinert, attracted the international format of the “Art Platform”. “Such a platform is necessary, because it cultivates specialists of a new level, and artists at the same time acquire critical texts. Our Russian artists do not integrate into the Western art market, including because they do not know its laws, they do not have mandatory things to enter there, and not many people fully understand the importance of the text about themselves,” the artist concluded.
During February, 250 sets of zines will be sent to cultural institutions and art curators in Russia and Europe.