MOSCOW CITY DEPARTMENT OF CULTURE
RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF ARTS
MOSCOW MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
FREE WORKSHOPS SCHOOL OF CONTEMPORARY ART
As part of the «Young Lions» Project
NOT A MAINLAND
Date: September 21—October 22, 2017
Venue: MMOMA, 10 Gogolevsky Boulevard, Moscow
The curator of the MMOMA Program for Support to Young Artists: Daria Kamyshnikova
The curator of the «Young Lions» program: Marina Bobyleva
The Moscow Museum of Modern Art together with the Triumph gallery presents a solo exhibition by Sofia Gavrilova titled «Not a Mainland». The solo project of the artist will be held within the «Young Lions» exhibition program and the MMOMA Program for Support to Young Artists.
The exhibition is the result of research carried out by Sofia Gavrilova in Chukotsky District, Chukotka. Remarkably, the region’s distance from the country’s capital is one of the greatest in the world — the flight from Moscow to Anadyr is the longest domestic flight that doesn’t pass over borders or water. The region’s residents refer to Moscow as «the mainland», despite the fact that geographically it shares the same landmass with the rest of the country. The area’s geographical remoteness manifests itself not only in citizens’ conscious perception of the region as isolated, separated from the mainland area, but also in the absence of any economic, social and cultural connections with the center apart from what little remains from development programs carried out in the region during Soviet times and occasional infrastructural projects from the post-Soviet years.
In Chukotka, clashes between different civilizations, largely shaped by the region’s geography and climate conditions, can be witnessed everywhere and it is not always evident which culture and lifestyle is the dominant one. Sofia Gavrilova’s project is aimed at exploring the culture and mode of life of the aboriginal communities living in this area and studying the influence of recent historical events on the daily routines and traditional practices of the communities of marine hunters.
The exhibition consists of a total installation divided into several sections. While photographs and video-works offer the documentation of the contemporary social and cultural processes that take place in the region, the research section, comprising archival newspapers and governmental decrees, including those relating to the forced relocation of aboriginal communities, is devoted to the issues of the Soviet colonization of Chukotka and its impact on aboriginal communities. Both the project’s content and its artistic realization aim to start a conversation on the development of tools for the representation of territory from a non-colonial perspective and relationships between the center and periphery.
Sophia Gavrilova (b. 1987, Moscow) is an artist and curator. She mainly works with photography and installation. In 2009 Gavrilova graduated from the Geography Department of the Moscow State University, where later on she completed a doctoral degree. In 2013 she graduated from the Rodchenko Art School (Vladislav Efimov’s studio). Sophia Gavrilova took part in numerous group exhibitions in Russia and abroad. Her works are featured in the collection of Multimedia Art Museum (Moscow). Sophia Gavrilova is a laureate of the Silver Camera photography competition (2011). In 2012, 2013 Gavrilova was featured twice on the longlists for the Kandinsky Prize and the Innovation Prize competitions, the latter of which saw her win an award from the Stella Art Foundation. Currently she is working on her PhD thesis at the University of Oxford.