Government of Moscow
Moscow Department of Culture
Embassy of France in Russia
Russian Academy of Arts
Moscow Museum of Modern Art
French Cultural Centre in Moscow


«Translation». Video Works from the Public Collections of France.
The exhibition is held within the official program preceding the Year of France in Russia
Curated by: Olivier Michelon
Date: September 11 — November 2, 2008
Venue: Moscow Museum of Modern Art at Petrovka street, 25 (floor 3)
Opening: September 10, 19:00
Press-conference: September 10, 17:00

Expecting the Year of France in Russia, Moscow Museum of Modern Art presents the newest pieces of French video art. A truly museum exhibition of such a high level and importance, devoted entirely to the French video, is held in Russia for the first time ever. The organizers expect this project to open to Russian auditory new sides of French culture and also to contribute to the development of cultural cooperation between the two countries.

Facing the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, video became a universal medium of artistic expression, as its technical and representative capacities respond to the violent rhythm of contemporary life. Nevertheless, despite being easy-available, this type of art is often misunderstood by the wide public, whereas traditional genres of art, like painting, sculpture and even photography, gain much more interest and response. Video demands specific attitude, thoughtful and attentive observation, and total immersion into the events shown on the screen.

Moscow Museum of Modern Art has a remarkable experience in exploring, conserving and demonstrating video art, because during the last years, video has been an essential part of practically every major exhibition project. In 2007, the museum held the first and unique investigative exhibition "History of Russian video art. Volume 1", curated by Antonio Geuza.

Examples of French video art, chosen for the present exhibition by curator Olivier Michelon, demonstrate different tendencies in contemporary art of France. Eleven works from vast museum collections of France are united by the theme of movement — in real or symbolic space. For example, Laurent Grasso makes an ominous dark cloud slip over the empty streets of Paris. Guillaume Leblon finds himself in a state of moving while making a video, as he crosses flooded landscape. Jan Kopp, Anri Sala and Brice Dellsberger appeal to the problems of the mixture of languages, cultures and genres.


Curator Olivie Michelon:

«Nowadays, while speaking of video transmission, we are much more interested not even in correlation with visual spheres of art, but in acceleration of the process of globalization. Images are transmitted faster, places of their production are expanding, and their location is no longer limited by traditional western centres. The outskirts are translating video-images themselves and dont want to play just the role of acceptor anymore. Satellite television, blooming development of DVD market, YouTube, availability of means to make video (portable video cameras, mobile phones, etc) — all these devices are united by what we cal "video". Its a kind of new form of language that permits everyone to talk (to replay) and to understand (to watch).»


Participants of the "Translation" exhibition:

  • Laurent Grasso. Untitled (Fonds régional d’art contemporain d’Ile-de-France, Paris)
  • Angela Detanico, Rafael Lain. The Waves (Fonds régional d’art contemporain d’Ile-de-France, Paris)
  • Anri Sala. Lakkat (Musée d’art contemporain du Val-de-Mame, Vitry-sur Seine)
  • Jan Kopp. Westlich (Fonds national d’art contemporain, Bureau du mouvement des œuvres et de la régie, Puteaux)
  • Laurent Montaron. Readings (Fonds national d’art contemporain, Bureau du mouvement des œuvres et de la régie, Puteaux)
  • Bojan Sarcevic. Cover Version (Fonds national d’art contemporain, Bureau du mouvement des œuvres et de la régie, Puteaux)
  • Guillaume Leblon. April Street (Musée départemental d’art contemporain de Rochechouart)
  • Guillaume Leblon. Notes (Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Paris)
  • F. Scurti. La Linea (Tractatus Logico-Economicus) (Fonds régional d’art contemporain de Poitou-Charentes, Angoulême)
  • Brice Dellsberger. Body Double X (Fonds régional d’art contemporain de Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur, Marseille)
  • Mircea Cantor. Deeparture (Fonds régional d’art contemporain des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou)


About the curator:

Olivier Michelon was born in 1975. In 1999-2004, he contributed to the "Gazette des Arts", writing for the column of modern art. His texts were published in various catalogues (including the catalogue of the collection of the Centre Pompidou in Paris) and magazines, including the "Beaux Arts Magazine" (France), "02" (France), "20/27" (France) and "Metropolis M" (The Netherlands). Since 2006, he is director of the Departmental Museum of Contemporary Art in Rochechouart in France and gives lectures on modern art at the School of Louvre.

Main exhibitions organized by Olivier Michelon:

  • Anthony MacCall (Serpentine Gallery, London, UK; 2007-2008);
  • After the Rain (Musée départemental d’art contemporain de Rochechouart, France; 2007);
  • Movement of Images (Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; 2006; together with Philippe-Alain Michaud);
  • Bruno Peinado: KombiNaçao (Paço das Artes, São Paulo, Brasil; 2003).
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