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Cosmoscow Art Fair, Moscow (11–13 September 2020)

The Turbulence Open Call was launched in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic to support the Russian community and search for the new statements relevant to this situation of uncertainty. The world was in turmoil and panic, and it seemed that it would never be the same. Now we are beginning to realize that the crisis has exposed the existing problems, such as inequality, disunity, isolation, intolerance and others. The pandemic exacerbated negative trends and resulted in the rise of suspiciousness and xenophobia. However, amidst chaos and anxiety, we saw acts of transnational solidarity of unprecedented scale, opened new channels of communication and launched collective creative processes.

Title of the project refers to the phenomenon of wake turbulence, a multi-layered metaphor of our new reality. In physics, turbulence is a form of spontaneous organization of matter, a path from chaos to order that reminds of the grass-root community self-organization. However, in times of any crisis, there is always hope for a new beginning, the creation of a better world instead of the lost one. The show included video installation by Polina Kanis "Toothless Resistance", which calls into question the dichotomy of "action" and "inaction", an installation and performance by Alexey Taruts called "Lavrussia NRG", which is a play on the name of a hypothetical supercontinent and refers to an unthinkable past, and a project by Ekaterina Muromtseva, who has reproduced a self-organized balcony gallery that the artist opened in her apartment in Zagreb during quarantine.

Curated by Anastasia Shavlokhova, Vera Trakhtenberg, Daria Yartseva, Andrey Shental

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Moscow Region (15 September 2018)

"Swallow's quarry", presumably, was dug for the needs of the glass factory. Today it hums alarmingly, towering against the background of the highway connecting Moscow and Nizhniy Novgorod. At the end of the sand production, it was not leveled or reclaimed. Deepened by several meters, it was flooded and turned into a closed mini-ecosystem. Today it is home to fish, buckthorn and wildflowers that have settled in a circle. The brinks, which are inhabited by swifts, attract people from the surrounding villages. In August, birds of the swallow family leave their summer residences and go to warm countries, abandoning holes and nests until the next spring. During the quiet period, the participants of the pop-up exhibition occupied their homes for several hours with their works.


The swallow quarry can be perceived as a metaphor for "unearthing", where intervention in geological layers that disrupts the familiar flat landscape, brings together different eras and becomes multi-storey communal housing for a variety of biological species. On the one hand, the quarry bears witness to a history of reckless industrialization and its aftermath. As it sits between congested highways and a Buddhist retreat center at the site of a pioneer camp, it oversees post-Soviet urbanization, capital accumulation, and the import of ideologies. Bringing out the geological chronicle to the surface of the day, the quarry is also a witness of prehistoric eras, when ancient seas existed on the site of the Moscow region. In its twisted and porous structure, human and natural history, inanimate and living, anthropogenic and non-human, geological (geo) and biological (bios) collide.

Swallow's quarry was a transient collective exhibition. Idea: Andrey Shental, photography: Anton Zimmerman. Participants: Sergey Babkin, Alexey Taruts, Irina Gorbacheva, Maria Andreeva, Arnold Trautwein




CCA Winzavod, Moscow (18 December 2017 - 28 January 2018)

Arseny Zhilyaev's solo exhibition envisions an imaginary future museum created in the times after the humanity has destroyed itself. The collection was allegedly assembled by the super-reasoning algorithm or generative artist Robert Pasternak. Identifying with surviving artifacts from bygone eras, he attempts to trace his “ancestry” and, like a child, construct his own image. 


In the hall the visitor could see reconstructions of famous spaceships or "hyperobjects" that were presented in the form of deliberately kitschy ancient statues. Also one could find a giant timelime reminiscent of art historical narratives, that was based on Pasternak's surfacing across galaxy debris and remnants of the internet images. During the show, the sculptures were weekly moved across the space, following arbitrary algorithms, while AI was producing curatorial statements based on e-flux press releases.

Curated by Andrey Shental

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Cell Project Space, London (2013) 


This programme investigates the notion of austerity as a creative tool for visual experimentation and social analysis. Incorporating what Hito Steyerl names as “lumpen proletarian” visual imaginary and internet byproducts, the films presented in this programme criticize the pristine visuality of mainstream culture in a tongue-in-cheek manner. It can be read as a parody of the recessional aesthetics of the new conservative measures as well as a critique of the previous liberal policies that stimulated a high-paced consumerism and that ultimately led to the present state of affairs.

Participants: James Corbett, Jean-Luc Godard, Ilya Korobkov, Oliver Laric, Daniel Lopatin, Jesse McLean, Takeshi Murata, Jean-Gabriel Périot, James Richards, Chooc Ly Tan. Curated with João Laia and presented at Cell Project Space (London), Waterpieces International Contemporary and Video Art Festival (Riga), FUSO International Video Art Festival (Lisbon), XCÈNTRIC festival (Barcelona), BIOS Cinematheque (Athens), etc. Curators: Andrey Shental and Joao Laia.

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