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Moscow Museum of Modern Art
School of Contemporary Art ’Free Workshops’
SAMPLE Gallery

Daria Neretina, 'Eaten egg 2.0', 2017
Porcelain, ready-made, flexible installation
Ludmila Baronina, 'Fabric #4', project 'Let me in', 2018
Textiles, acrylic, stabilized moss, embroidery
Apollinaria Broche, 'To rain', 2019
Ceramics, enamel
Anton Kushaev, 'Fire in the middle', 2019
Acrylic on canvas, gold leaf
Anastasia Zhegal, 'Spirits of place', 2019
Mixed media
Date: April 16 — May 12, 2019
Venue: MMOMA, Petrovka, 25

Curatorial team:
Elizaveta Vorobieva
Svetlana Dorogina
Anna Naumova
Sofia Simakova

Project’s concept:
Elizaveta Vorobieva
Svetlana Dorogina

The Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the School of Contemporary Art ‘Free Workshops’ and the online gallery SAMPLE present a collaborative project ‘Rub the Bronze Dog’s Nose’. The exhibition will bring together 22 young artists and will explore the belief in everyday practical magic and the occasionally intuitive dependence on superstitions and magical rituals. The title of the show evokes one of the most visible features of Moscow life — the tradition of Lomonosov Moscow State University students to rub the noses of the four bronze dogs at the metro station ‘Ploshchad Revolyutsii’ before their finals. The curatorial team includes the graduates of the ‘Free Workshops’ School Elizaveta Vorobieva and Svetlana Dorogina, as well as the co-founders of the SAMPLE gallery Anna Naumova and Sofia Simakova.

The exhibition ‘‘Rub the Bronze Dog’s Nose’ is the first collaboration of the Museum and the Gallery intended to elaborate a new platform for communication, establish experience sharing between young curators and offer the School’s and the Gallery’s artists an opportunity to take part in new projects and, thus, to be ‘on the market’. A series of educational activities will take place as the part of the show, and on April, 24th an art auction will be supporting young art and introducing some artists of the School of Contemporary Art ‘Free Workshops’ and the SAMPLE gallery.

The magic thinking is a part of being human. We tend to seek connections and consistent patterns even where there are none and believe in the possibility of changing reality by magic. In Russia people believe that one should split over the shoulder and throw a look into the looking glass if forced to turn back before resuming their route; they feel discomfort seeing a black cat crossing their way. That is to name only a few of multiple superstitious practices that are imbedded in our minds not unlike the elementary rules of courtesy.

In psychology the propensity to find sense in absurd things and to give providential meaning to random events is referred to as ‘apophenia’. Due to this psychological attribute, an individual perceives a connection between the shamanic ritual and the rain and disregards all the cases of ineffectual ritual, when no rain ensues. Once established in culture these connections persist for centuries.
One may find on the web millions of sites dealing with signs, divinations and rituals: ironical, scientific, quasi-scientific, for female or male audience, intended for different purposes and tasks. What is common for all of them is a completely bizarre mixture of archaic notions and contemporary reality, science and magic, humour and deadly seriousness. The notions of ‘signs’ and ‘rituals’ as such lose their original interpretation and acquire additional meanings from utterly different spheres.

This accumulation and intertwining of meanings become a major point of the project. The question that the curators ask the artists (and themselves in their curatorial quality as well) is the following: how magic signs, superstitious beliefs and rituals could provoke the process of contemporary art creation. Offering their response, the participants have tried to bring together the archaic perceptions and contemporary technologies, to deconstruct linguistic components of superstitions or, on the contrary, to enrich them with allusions to mythology and legends, to invent new superstitions and rituals to be included into a mythology of their own.

Curators and artists invite everyone interested to take part in the special challenge on the Instagram — to tell people in your social networks about a superstition you particularly stick to or a magic ritual that has particularly impressed you and to ‘hand the baton’ to three of your friends! Just put the accounts of the organizers and the hashtags of the exhibition in your post: ‘#потриносбронзовойсобаки’ and ‘#mmomaxsample’. On the completion of the project, we shall select 5 most extraordinary stories and award winners with souvenirs.

Exhibition participants: Ludmila Baronina, Katya Bondar, Apollinaria Broche, Dina Gimadieva, Evgenia Gorskaya, Aleksey Dubinskiy, Anastasia Zhegal, Ekaterina Zhingel, Julia Iosilzon, Anton Kushaev, Roman Mokrov, Valeria Mordashova, Daria Neretina, Danya Orlovsky, Vera Petrova, Sari Szantho, Yury Selivanov, Anastasia-Sukhareva-Morozova, Lena Tsibizova, Timur Shaimukhametov.

About the School of Contemporary Art ‘Free Workshops’

The School of Contemporary Art ‘Free Workshops’ is the educational platform of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art intended for young artists and curators working in the field of contemporary art. The school was founded in 1992 by a group of artists and art historians, including Alexandre Ponomarev, Vladimir Kupriyanov, Vladimir Nasedkin and professors of the Moscow State University Vera Dazhina and Valery Turchin. While participating in the School’s educational modules, the students have the opportunity to study under illustrious professors, successful cultural figures, renowned philosophers and theoreticians of contemporary art. During their studies young artists and curators engulf themselves in the art world, taking part in workshops, group exhibitions, and festivals. Being integrated into the Museum structure, the School gives the students a unique opportunity to study the theoretical and practical aspects of contemporary art, so to say, from within. At all stages of the artists’ progress the Museum and the ‘Free Workshops’ School offer them a substantial support: participation in group exhibitions (annual exhibitions of young art the ‘Workshop’, group projects by young curators), the chance to organise their first solo exhibition (the MMOMA program in support of young art), the acquisition of works for the MMOMA collection.

About the SAMPLE Gallery:

The SAMPLE is the multidisciplinary project focused on the task of introducing works and art practices of promising young artists from all over the world to the wider audience. SAMPLE seeks to challenge the stereotype about the inaccessibility of contemporary art, to establish the dialogue between young artists and collectors and to turn buying contemporary art into a simple and pleasurable experience. The online gallery presents over 400 works by 38 artists. Throughout its existence, the www.sample-art.com project has organised 6 art auctions, 3 exhibitions, participated in the ‘Night at the Museum 2018’, sold over 600 artworks. The three-year experience of the SAMPLE project, its auctions, exhibitions and educational programmes allow us to reinvent the interaction between the artist and his public. The SAMPLE Gallery was founded in 2016 by Anna Naumova and Sofia Simakova. In 2018 Alexandra Lekomtseva also became co-founder of the project. The SAMPLE actively collaborates with commercial companies actively involved in contemporary art and culture. The SAMPLE team consults and curates the projects engaging young artists, elaborates the concept of art projects’ promotion, designs the scenography of the artistic venues and organises cultural events.

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