Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Open Systems

Self-Organized Art Initiatives in Russia: 2000–2015

06 Nov - 10 Dec 2015

APPENDIX Gallery (Moscow) View of the group exhibition War Without Specific Reasons, 2007 Photo and courtesy: Valerie Oleynik
Boundary Research Group (Voronezh) Documentation of the action Miraculous Transformations, 2005 Photo and courtesy: Boundary Research Group
View of Vladimir Bystrov's exhibition Emptiness for the Beloved, 2000 Photo: Maxim Gorelik Courtesy Valery Aizenberg
Elektrozavod Gallery (Moscow) View of Dmitri Filippov's exhibition Echo of Something Beautiful, 2015 Photo: Vlad Shatilo Courtesy Natalia Timofeeva
Self-Organized Art Initiatives in Russia: 2000–2015
6 November - 10 December 2015

Since 2000, the Russian art scene has witnessed the rise of artists’ DIY initiatives, including independent non-profit spaces, exhibitions in deserted factories and underground crosswalks, street festivals, internet projects, and apartment shows. Together these reflect the autonomy of emerging generations of artists from both state-run and private institutions.

Open Systems is a live, research-based exhibition that presents over 40 self-organized initiatives, exploring the phenomenon through the perspectives of artists who have pioneered projects over the past 15 years. Every Saturday, practitioners from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Krasnodar, Nizhny Tagil, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, and other cities across Russia will have meetings and public debates in the exhibition space exploring various forms of self-organization and their historical ties to one another.

An introductory conference dedicated to international practices will be followed by four, weekly sessions, each focusing on a different form of self-organization in Russia: projects held in private spaces, such as artists' apartments; in rented public venues; in city parks, streets, or in the country; as well as curator-led initiatives. Well-known projects like ESCAPE and France Galleries—artist-run spaces integral to the development of Non-Spectacular art in Russia—and the activist street movement Occupy Abay camp will be presented alongside lesser known initiatives. These include Svetlana Gallery, where exhibitions were held in the closet of gallery founder Svetlana Shuvaeva, and Triangle Curatorial Studio, established in Moscow in 2014 by 15 young curators in the former Elektrozavod power station. The project will conclude with a final discussion bringing together established, emerging, and little-known practitioners from the previous four sessions.

The exhibition space will accumulate documentary materials after each session, including photo and video documentation, drawings, plans, invites and other printed materials, as well as objects from exhibitions. The show will also feature video footage of interviews with representatives from seven initiatives, in addition to a comprehensive digest of self-organized projects specially prepared for the exhibition.

XI Rooms Gallery (Samara), 39 Gallery (Moscow), Agency of Singular Investigations (Moscow), Art Business Consulting Gallery (Moscow), Artists’ Private Collections Internet Project, Alexader Povzner’s Studio (Moscow), Artraum Project (Moscow), Bobby Gallery (St. Petersburg), Brown Stripe Gallery (Moscow), Bystrovka Project (Krasnoyarsk), Cheremushki Apartment Gallery (Moscow), Cultural Transit Foundation, (Ekaterinburg), Dom Gruzchika Laboratory for contemporary art (Perm), Elektrozavod Gallery (Moscow), Escape Gallery (Moscow), France Gallery (Moscow), Gallery for One Viewer (Moscow), Gallery of One Work (Samara), GBI Gallery (Ekaterinburg), Youth Festival of Independent Art ‘Go! Where Do You Go?’ (Moscow), Ice Project (Samara), Intimnoe Mesto Space (St. Petersburg), The Kitchen Women’s Art Workshops (Moscow), Krasnodar Institute for Contemporary Art (Krasnodar), Kubiva Gallery (Nizhny Tagil), Leto Group Festivals (Moscow), Luch project (Moscow), Luda Gallery (St. Petersburg), MediaImpact: International Festival of Activist Art (Moscow), MOZHET! Festival for contemporary art (Krasnodar), Nepokorennie Open Studio (St. Petersburg), Noga Action Center (Ekaterinburg), North-7 Base (St. Petersburg), Exhibition Projects at Occupy Abay Camp (Moscow), Office Gallery (Moscow), Original Typography (Moscow), Parazit Gallery (St. Petersburg), Phantom Exhibition (St. Petersburg), Private Property Gallery (Moscow), Pusto Festival (Moscow), Random Gallery (Moscow), Reality Raum Residenz Online Reality Show, Red Artist-Run Space (Moscow), Red Square Gallery (Moscow), Skot Gallery (Nizhny Tagil), Svetlana Gallery (Moscow), Supostat Internet Project, Sweater Gallery (Ekaterinburg), Triangle Curatorial Studio (Moscow), Turnichki Laboratory For Contemporary Art (Rostov-On-Don ), VATA Gallery (Rostov-On-Don), Voronezh Center For Contemporary Art (Voronezh), White Cube Gallery (Novosibirsk), Universam Artist-Run Art Fair (Moscow), Yama Gallery (Krasnodar), ZHIR Gallery (Moscow)