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Interpreting Object in the Moscow Conceptual School.

 
Interpreting Object in the Moscow Conceptual School.

event site and dates

PROEKT_FABRIKA
20 september 2009 — 18 october 2009

From MANI  Collection (The Moscow Archive of New Art).

Curator: Aleksandra Danilova

Co-curator: Elena Kuprina-Lyakhovich

Conceived as a research exhibition, the project uses concrete historical material to demonstrate features of this sphere of artistic production. It not only gives an idea of the diverse typology of the object as a genre—it also identifies the basic principles of its aesthetics.
The material of research was the collection of MANI (Moscow Archive of New Art), chronologically the first private collection of Moscow Conceptual art. The uniqueness of this collection lies in the fact that it was formed “inside” the Moscow conceptualist school. The initiative to create it came from the artist Nikolai Panitkov, one of the founders of the Collective Actions group. Thus the MANI collection is capable of presenting the authentic viewpoint of the Moscow Conceptualists with regards to “new art.”
The theme of the object as key for the current exhibition arose with good reason. Obviously, the last century offered many new types and genres of visual work. It considerably expanded the boundaries of the artistic and transformed the very concept of a work of art. One of the most radical transformations in the sphere of culture was the creation of the object as an art form. This decisively shifted emphasis within the field of culture, and made everyday objects part of a highly complex intellectual and visual game. Over its nearly century-long history, the object has become more than a mere formal category that indicates the typology of a certain group of works. One could say that it has become an independent genre with its own laws, which develops in accordance with certain stylistic and generic principles. Moreover, it gradually created its own aesthetic system, trying to spread its principles to the entire sphere of art. Many leading theorists who turned in their studies to the problem of the object came to the conclusion that “object-oriented thought” is a characteristic trait of contemporary consciousness, and in art it creates a situation where any phenomenon can essentially be interpreted as an object. On the other hand, a minimization of physical expenditures in the process of artistic production enabled masters working in various fields to achieve a maximum breadth of interpretations, and the visual void or ugliness of a visual image is becoming a synonym of the primacy of the idea over its material realization. It is no accident that one of the most vibrant pages in the history of the object’s development in the twentieth century is the one of conceptualism.
The MANI collection has a unified group of objects created by Collective Actions, Inspection Medical Hermeneutics, Ilya Kabakov, Andrei Monastyrsky, Rimma Gerlovina, and many other well-knowned artists; not only do they present the object as one of the most important genres of contemporary artistic production, but in their concentrated form they embody the idea of the new aesthetic. Furthermore, the conceptual object by and large turns out to be the heir to previous traditions. Frequently, works of artists have visual “twins” or conceptual analogues that exist in other artistic systems. For example, No Filth (1986) by Andrei Monastyrsky bears external resemblance to Jasper Johns’s brzone Flash Light (1958), and Flush (1987) by the Peppers Group can be compared to the portable shells of Hadrian Pigott Instrument of Hygiene (1995), as both have in their pre-history the famous readymade of Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917, while Nikolai Panitkov’s work In All (1988) amusingly echoes works by Mona Hatoum and Haim Steinbach. Supplied with commentary by curators and artists, these objects allow us to follow the changing attitude toward the object in art. Thus the conceptual object, presented as part of a broad artistic polemic and aesthetic rhetoric, attains a new context and a new space for reflection.
 
Alexandra Danilova

Artists:

  • Yury Albert
  • Nikita Alekseev
  • "Champions of the World" Group
  • Igor Chatskin
  • Ivan Chuikov
  • Maria Chuikova
  • "Collective Actions" Group
  • Andrei Filippov
  • Rimma Gerlovina
  • "Inspection Medical Hermeneutics" Group
  • Ilya Kabakov
  • Georgy Kizevalter
  • Maria Konstantinova
  • Igor Makarevich
  • Adnrei Monastirsky
  • Nikolai Panitkov
  • "Peppers" Group
  • Viktor Pivovarov
  • Dmitry Aleksandrovich Prigov
  • "SZ" Group
  • Sergei Volkov
  • Vadim Zakharov






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