MOSCOW CITY DEPARTMENT OF CULTURE
RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF ARTS
MOSCOW MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
ZIP Group. ZIP Workers’ Club Station
Date: March 20 — May 1, 2017
Venue: Ermolaevsky 17, MMOMA
Curator: Elena Selina
The Moscow Museum of Modern Art in partnership with XL Projects presents an exhibition by the Krasnodar art group ZIP Group (Eldar Ganeev, Evgeny Rimkevich, the brothers Vasily and Stepan Subbotin). «ZIP Workers’ Club Station» is a total urban installation, which unfolds on the four floors of the museum each of which has its own title: «Now», «The Day Before Yesterday», «Afterwards», and «BARcelona». All the installations presented are made by the artists with their own hands, and some of them specially for the show in MMOMA.
«ZIP Workers’ Club» — is the name of the bus and tramway station in Krasnodar, at which one has to disembark in order to walk to the Plant of Measuring Instruments (ZIP). Now, the former plant complex hosts the group’s studio and occasionally its exhibitions are held there. Therefore, the exhibition title refers to the real location which marks the starting point of the group’s career. However, according to the curator, Elena Selina, the exhibition should not be understood as an artistic conclusion or a retrospective; it is rather a moment of pause in anticipation of many more stages to come.
This show resembles a construction that can be taken to pieces and then put back together again. The installations are made of all sorts of materials such as wooden boards, objects from the abandoned plant, improvised materials and artistic tools. Here one will come across a grove of giant trees, a school bus, exotic islands and a bar where ZIP Group’s own music videos are shown on a plasma screen (as a punk band the artists call themselves RIP). Handcrafted objects referring to the group’s history or their vision of the future are mixed with old photographs, archive materials and recorded interviews with workers talking about the routine and boredom of factory work. Every object in this mix has an intrinsic meaning: some are reminiscent of the past, some respond to the current situation and others encourage viewers to get involved in a creative process.
While, as a rule, projects exhibited at Ermolaevsky lane unfold from the fifth to the first floor, the ZIP Group’s exhibition invites viewers to proceed in the upward direction. At the start of the journey the viewer becomes acquainted with the group’s trademark characters — the dolphin and the Cossack — and then proceeds to learn about their public activities, namely the Krasnodar Institute of Contemporary Art, the festival «Mozhet!», the art-dacha space «Pyatikhatki». As well as founding and running these activities, the artists also manage the Typography Cultural Center. The floor titled «The Day Before Yesterday» focuses on the beginning of the group’s career: it reveals the components of a vending machine where the user chooses the price for its products and takes a look at their first exhibition, its location and the ZIP factory artefacts which featured in it. The whole third floor is dedicated to a model of an ideal world consisting of islands, small-scale utopias, where people, dolphins and some of the group’s favourite characters perfectly coexist. In fact, dolphins play an important role in the group’s imaginary world. According to ZIP-legend humans are living in the world of dolphins who, compassionate toward humanity, are trying to the best of their abilities to improve our life conditions, for example by collecting garbage when no one can see. On the fourth floor viewers are invited to the «BARcelona» bar — the place of meetings and collective activities.
The exhibition offers an interesting experience to both viewers and the artists. For the latter it is an opportunity to pause and look at a large part of their work presented within one space and reflect. Who are they now? Where have they come from and what is their starting point? What kind of future do they envision? And what do we have to undertake to make this future happen? Roaming around the exhibition one probably would like to ask oneself similar questions about one’s own life. The group has provided its answers and the viewer may come up with his or her responses after visiting the show.
With the support of XL Projects the catalogue «ZIP Workers’ Club Station» is released to coincide with the exhibition. This book, which is the first ZIP Group monograph, offers a thorough overview of the group’s past projects illustrated with photographs and sketches and includes essays by the curator Elena Selina and prominent critics Valentin Dyakonov, Elena Ishchenko and Sergey Khachaturov.
About the artists:
ZIP Group (Stepan Subbotin, Vasily Subbotin, Evgeny Rimkevich and Eldar Ganeev) is a Russian artistic group created in 2009 in Krasnodar. ZIP Group has founded the Krasnodar Institute for Contemporary Art (KICA), the independent festival of urban art «Mozhet!», the art-residence «Pyatikhatki» and has also co-founded the Typography Cultural Сenter. The group’s title is the acronym from the title of the Plant of Measuring Instruments, in the premises of which since 2009 the group’s studio has been located. In 2013 ZIP Group and the prominent members of KICA (Julia Kapustyan, Tatyana Stadnicheno, Viktor Linsky) received the Innovation Award for the best regional contemporary art project for the exhibition «Krasnodar: Lines on the Plan. History of KICA» (the project was shown in the exhibition space Fabrica in Moscow).
About the Curator:
Elena Selina was born in Moscow. In 1988 she graduated from the Lomonosov Moscow State University with a degree in Art History. Since 1993 Elena Selina has been the curator of one of the oldest galleries in Moscow, XL Gallery (Sergey Khripun is the director of the gallery), and of the non-profit exhibition space, XL Projects.
As a curator Elena Selina has more than 200 exhibitions to her name, including those held in the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation, the Manege Central Exhibition Hall.
In 2013 Selina received the Innovation Award for the best curatorial project for the exhibition «Reconstruction» held in the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation.
One of her latest major projects was the exhibition in memory of Vladislav Mamishev Monroe «Archive-M» held in 2014 in MMOMA at Gogolevsky Boulevard.