The Fifth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art will be held from 19 September – 20 October 2013 at Manege in Moscow. The Curator is Catherine de Zegher. The Commissioner and Artistic Director of the Biennale is Joseph Backstein. The Fifth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and Moscow Government.
Catherine de Zegher, the Curator of the Fifth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art was the Artistic Co-Director of the 18th Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2012), Guest Curator in the Department of Drawings at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Visiting Curator at Tapies Foundation in Barcelona. In previous years, de Zegher held positions as Executive Director and Chief Curator of The Drawing Center in New York (1999-2006) and was Director of Exhibitions and Publications at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.
Commenting on her plan for the upcoming biennale, Catherine de Zegher emphasized: “Entitled ‘Bolshe Sveta / More Light’ the 5th Moscow Biennale promotes enlightened conversation and action, at the crossroads, where different concepts of space and time, and consequent structures of thought and sensibility, are elaborated. In many parts of the world, the contemporary global network society is developing a very specific space-time dimension that tends to clash with other space-time dimensions. In this interconnected world, space and time concepts no longer acknowledge our place in a present that is here and now, because in the flow of globalization, a local chronotopy in which our perception of time is connected to a geographically defined place, is supplanted by a global chronotopy. With world time increasingly ticking in a homogeneous manner to the rhythm of neo-liberal capitalism, space is obliterated by time. The artists in the 5th Moscow Biennale point out an urgent need to enact another kind of movement in the world. By entering slow time and slow attention, there is an increased receptiveness to sensation and movement—an unfolding that profoundly belongs to art and aesthetics. Together with audiences, these artists engage in the continuities between past, present, and future, through a focus on daily routines and habits, in a time that is of the present, sometimes intimate and domestic, and that is related to our environment. The most familiar meanings of place and time are here linked with great currents of space-time, of thought and art, in an attempt to shed more light on large problems and questions of our time in society.”
The catalogue of the 5th Moscow Biennale, one of the most memorable art events of the year in Moscow, will not only introduce innovative thinking and practices of a wide group of international and local artists, but will also contain a set of unique texts by leading historians and critics of contemporary art. The authors include Keti Chukhrov, Alexei Penzin, Pascal Gielen, Svetlana Boym, Gabriel Gorodetsky, Souchou Yao, and Catherine de Zegher.
Location: Manege, Manezhnaya Square, 1. Moscow, Russia.
The main project will be shown in the central exhibition hall of Manege. Today, Manege is one of the most prestigious venues in Moscow. Its building was initially constructed in 1817 by Spanish engineer Agustín de Betancourt. The Manege is an architecturally unique building and is situated next to the Kremlin in the centre of Moscow. In 2005 the building underwent major reconstruction and is now equipped with the most modern exhibition facilities.
History of the Moscow Biennale
The First Moscow Biennale took place in January-February, 2005. It demonstrated the openness of Russia to the world’s artistic tendencies. The international curatorial team (Josepn Backstein, Daniel Birnbaum, Iara Boubnova, Nicolas Bourriaud, Rosa Martinez and Hans-Ulrich Obrist) presented the first exhibition in Russia of such an international scale and reputation worldwide. The main exhibition, Dialectics of Hope, included works of 45 artists and was demonstrated in the building of the former Museum of Lenin.
The Second Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2007) was also presented by another international group of curators (Josepn Backstein, Daniel Birnbaum, Iara Boubnova, Nicolas Bourriaud, Fulya Erdemci, Gunnar B. Kvaran, Rosa Martinez and Hans-Ulrich Obrist). The main venues were the Federation Tower (Moscow-City) and the space of TSUM Art Foundation.
The Third Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2009) was curated by Jean-Hubert Martin. The main exhibition, Against Exclusion, in the Centre for Contemporary Culture Garage included 78 artists.
The curator of the Fourth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art was Peter Weibel. The main project titled, Rewriting Worlds, included works of 65 artists and 16 artistic groups from 33 countries. It took place at Centre for Design ARTPLAY and at the space of TSUM Art Foundation.
Eija-Liisa Ahtila (Finland, 1959)
Umida Akhmedova (Uzbekistan, 1955)
Vyacheslav Akhunov (Uzbekistan, 1948)
Viktor Alimpiev (Russia, 1973)
Anonymous Artists (India)
Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan (Philippines / Australia, 1965, 1962)
Shuvinai Ashoona (Canada, 1961)
Abilsaid Atabekov (Uzbekistan / Kazakhstan, 1965)
Richard Bell (Australia, 1953)
Peter Belyi (Russia, 1971)
Andrea Bianconi (Italy, 1974)
Geta Bratescu (Romania, 1926)
Alexander Brodsky (Russia, 1955)
David Claerbout (Belgium, 1969)
Collective of Artists (Russia): *Vladimir Arkhipov, Leha Garikovich, Sergey Kalinin, Egor
Koshelev, Mikhail Kosolapov, Paulina Koulik, Alexey Kuripko,
Pavel Kuznetsov, Anton Litvin, Diana Machulina, Anton Nikolayev,
Marina Perchikhina, Lisa Plavinsky, Alexander Podosivov,
Yuri Shabelnikov, Vika Shumskaya, Irina Steinberg, Imperator
WAWA (Vladimir Aleksandrov), Vlad Yurashko
Lorraine Connelly-Northey (Australia, 1962)
Adam Cvijanovic (US, 1960)
Edith Dekyndt (Belgium, 1960)
N.S. Harsha (India, 1969)
Mona Hatoum (Lebanon / UK, 1952)
Jumaadi (Indonesia / Australia, 1973)
Amar Kanwar (India, 1964)
Aisha Khalid (Pakistan, 1972)
Bouchra Khalili (Morocco / France, 1975)
Suchan Kinoshita (Japan / The Netherlands, 1960)
Valery Koshlyakov (Russia / France, 1962)
Eva Kotatkova (Czech Republic, 1962)
Elena Kovylina (Russia, 1971)
Nicolas Kozakis and Raoul Vaneigem (Belgium, 1967, 1934)
Ricardo Lanzarini (Uruguay, 1963)
Farideh Lashai (Iran, 1944-2013)
Mark Licari (US, 1975)
Mikhail Vasiliev-Lukachevsky (Russia, 1986)
Gabriella Mangano and Silvana Mangano (Australia, 1972)
Erin Manning (Canada, 1969)
Masasit Mati [Jameel Alabiad and Co] (Syria)
Julie Mehretu (Ethiopia / US, 1970)
Alan Michelson (US, 1953)
Tom Molloy (Ireland, 1964)
Wangechi Mutu (Kenya / US, 1972)
Avis Newman (UK, 1946)
Ed Pien (Taiwan / Canada, 1958)
Catherine de Zegher is currently the Artistic Co-Director of the Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2012). As Guest Curator in the Department of Drawings at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, she organized the exhibition On Line. Drawing Through the Twentieth Century (2010-2011), for which she received a Best Show AICA Award. Juxtaposing approximately 300 works, the exhibition makes an argument for a history of drawing that sheds the institutional reliance on paper as support by highlighting key shifts in artists’ drawing practices throughout the century. A Visiting Curator at the Tapies Foundation in Barcelona, de Zegher is developing several projects, of which the first exhibition Alma Matrix: Bracha Ettinger and Ria Verhaeghe was juxtaposed with Eva Hesse. Studioworks (2010). Her next exhibition will present the work of two contemporary artists from India, Ranjani Shettar and Alwar Balasubramaniam (2012). In 2013, she is curating the Australian Pavilion in Venice presenting the work of Simryn Gill.
Until recently, de Zegher was the Director of Exhibitions and Publications at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, where she was part of the transformation team overseeing the re-installation of the renovated museum building by Frank Gehry and outlined the exhibition program (2007-2009). Previous to this position, she was for many years the Executive Director and Chief Curator of The Drawing Center in New York (1999-2006). Under her leadership, The Drawing Center originated and presented many significant historical and contemporary exhibitions on drawing that have toured widely. In addition, de Zegher launched and ran a new publication program, including the Drawing Papers; strengthened the institution’s services to emerging artists; and invigorated the Center’s commitment to scholarship and education. Before de Zegher took up her work in North America, she was the co-founder and Director of the Kanaal Art Foundation in Kortrijk, Belgium (1988-1998).
De Zegher is the curator of many acclaimed exhibitions, such as America: Bride of the Sun. 500 Years of Latin America and the Low Countries (1992) at the Royal Museum of Fine Art, Antwerp, and Inside the Visible. An Elliptical Traverse of Twentieth-Century Art in, of, and from the Feminine (1994-1996) at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Her most recent curatorial and editorial work includes: Mona Hatoum: Beyond the Violence Vortex into the Beauty Vortex (2011); Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker: Violin Phase(2010); Bracha L. Ettinger: Art as Compassion (2009); Cristina Iglesias: Deep Fountain (2008); Julie Mehretu: Drawings (2007); Freeing the Line (2007); Eva Hesse Drawing (2006); Joelle Tuerlinck: Drawing Inventory (2006); Persistent Vestiges: Drawing from the American Vietnam War (2005); 3 x Abstraction: New Methods of Drawing by Hilma af Klint, Emma Kunz, and Agnes Martin (2005); Richard Tuttle: It’s a Room for 3 People (2005); Giuseppe Penone: The Imprint of Drawing (2004); The Stage of Drawing: Gesture and Act. Selected from the Tate Collection (2003); Anna Maria Maiolino: A Life Line/Vida Afora (2002); Untitled Passages by Henri Michaux (2000); The Prinzhorn Collection: Traces upon the Wunderblock (2000); and Martha Rosler: Positions in the Life World (1998). Many of her projects and books promote the feminine principle.
In the last ten years, de Zegher has received four best show awards from AICA and AAMC. Author and editor of numerous books, one of her most recent publications is the October Book Women Artists at the Millennium co-edited with Carol Armstrong (MIT Press). As a resident at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center of the Rockefeller Foundation, and as a recipient of the Arts Writers Grant of Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation in 2007, she wrote On Line. Drawing Through the Twentieh Century (1910-2010), a book that was to accompany her large-scale exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2012, she edited and wrote all our relations for the 18th Biennale of Sydney. De Zegher is now preparing an anthology of her collected essays on the work of contemporary women artists.
Joseph Backstein is the Art Director of the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. From 1991 he was Director of the Moscow Institute of Contemporary Art, and in 2003 was appointed Head of the Contemporary Art Department of the Russian Institute of Cultural Research. Mr Backstein Holds a PhD in philosophy from the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Sociology and is a member of the International Association of Art Critics. He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Gothenburg (Sweden), and is the author of numerous publications.