Compiled and edited by Viktor Misiano, introductions by Bogdan Mamonov and Valeriy Ayzenberg
’ESCAPE/DIARY’ is the first volume of the three-volume ’Impossible Community’ catalogue dedicated to the eponymous project initiated by the Moscow Museum of Modern Art and curated by Viktor Misiano . The ’Impossible Community’ seeks to thematize the problem of human communication and collaboration, the dichotomy of their potential and limits, of their inescapability and contradictions. The ESCAPE Program was established by Valery Ayzenberg in 1999 and included Bogdan Mamonov, Anton Litvin, and Liza Morozova. Over time the group members have changed. The ESCAPE Program presently comprises Valeriy Ayzenberg and Konstantin Adjer. The story of this art group forms the first part of the editorial project ’Impossible Community’.
The book was intended to fill the information gap about the ESCAPE Program as a part the Russian artistic community of the 2000s. The ESCAPE Program was the first Russian art group to get the ’Art Moscow’ Contemporary Art Award; it represented Russia at the 51th Venice Biennale and other international festivals of contemporary art.
’ESCAPE/DIARY’ is the story of ESCAPE Program told by its members. The book features not only the documentation of the artists’ projects but also materials concerning the specifics of their artistic collaboration and personal relations. Since the ESCAPE Program explores the dialectic of art and life, the group’s personal correspondence, diaries, documentation of professional debates and even everyday photos are no less important a part of their archive than their very art.
The catalogue includes all the fifty five projects of the ESCAPE Program from 1999 to 2011, twenty three exhibitions at the ’Escape’ gallery, in itself a special project of the group, as well as the projects of the ESPACE Program (1998-1999) the precursor of the ESCAPE.
The book design was elaborated by the group participant Konstantin Adjer. It is structured as a sort of organizer, or a diary. This design evokes the poetics of interaction, which is the focal point of the ’Impossible Community’ project. In the same way that the ESCAPE Program assimilated some already existing social forms (tourist office, gallery, stand at the fair), its catalogue took an already existing print format of a diary.