Moscow City Government
Moscow City Department of Culture
Russian Academy of Arts
Moscow Museum of Modern Art
Contemporary City Foundation

supported by

Interros Publishing Program

present a special project as part of
The 3rd Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art

Ultra-New Materiality
Curated by: Andrey Parshikov
Date: September 24 — October 25, 2009
Venue: Moscow Museum of Modern Art at 17 Ermolaevsky Lane, floors 2-5
Opening: September 23, 19:00

Twelve video artists take part in the «Ultra-New Materiality» project. It is worth stressing that among the participants, apart from Russians, there are artists of the post-diaspora (people who left Russia after the fall of the Soviet state) and even one Eastern European artist whose family is connected with the first wave of the Russian emigration of the 20th century. The fact that not all artists live and work in Russia, shows that this project goes beyond local Moscow art context.

The meanings, tendencies and problems that the artists express in their works are topical not only for peripheral zones of the modern art, but also for the global intellectual scene. It is very important that the viewer understands it, as it then becomes clear that this project is devoid of gloss and superficiality of national art events, and demands less piety and more involvement. The viewer is given greater freedom to assess and understand what he sees; the condition of eminence of a work over the spectator is retracted, bringing it closer to common viewing.

Besides the choice of medium, the artists were neither limited by any set topics, or exposition requirements, nor were they forced to reach any final product, aimed at disclosing a particular subject. It is the choice of artists, who managed to build a coherent narrative out of their 12 solo projects.

The artists describe contemporary reality, focusing their attention on concrete problems, concerning the same social aspect, rather than on universal meanings. These are such aspects as the existence, the functioning and critic of the middle class — a class new to Russia, and slightly less novel to the West, — which is engaged in «non-material production». It represents, first of all, the so-called «creative class»(R. Florida), namely managers, journalists, — the people who are currently demonstrating the biggest interest to contemporary life, including contemporary art, and have a certain bearing on the political situation, while appearing quite inert at first sight. In is, it its essence, the story of the splendor and misery of «non-material production» society that questions its «non-materiality».

This story is by no means abstract; it consists of the investigation of concrete problems, everyday structures, and distinctive human feelings. Most works in this project can be said to follow the tendency best described as sentimental-critical. At the moment contemporary art is turning its attention to the person, to reality, to individual perception of a created image, and it is the most interesting moment in contemporary art. It is made possible only by the return of emotionally-focused work, which is best reflected in time-based arts, such as video. For a long time, a contemporary artist?s camera has been directed at the floor, or the ceiling, or random objects, but now more and more often it shows people, or objects they can reach out for. Ultra-New Materiality tells the story about present day reality which is «within a human reach» (J. Kassavetis), without any generalizations, metaphysics or abstraction.

The most important goal of the Ultra-New Materiality is to criticize reality not from the position of an impartial observer, but from the position of an involved researcher, who values the subject of the research and its results, as if they could actually change something.

Andrey Parshikov

Participants of the project «Ultra-New Materiality»:

Alina & Jeff Blumis
Dmitry Bulnygin
Marina Chernikova
Evgeny Fiks
«Found Clothes Factory» Group
Alina Gutkina
Yakov Kazhdan
Elena Kovylina
Eléonore de Montesquiou
Ksenia Peretrukhina
Masha Sha

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