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The Language of Animation in Contemporary Russian Art

The Language of Animation in Contemporary Russian Art
1 july—29 august 2022

At first glance, the exhibition title seems to refer to the work of animation artists. But our focus here is not cartoons. It is the language of animation itself, which ever more often is replacing the language of traditional figurative art. The language of animation is not a professional corporate dialect, but a basic visual means of communication in the modern age. It appears in computer interfaces, on public transport, and has a place on the cinematic “big screen” as well.

The concept of “animation” includes a continual replacing of one concept with another. It’s not often these days that we recall the etymology of the word: “anima” means soul. When we speak of being animated, we usually mean vivacious and dynamic, alert and in motion. But the function of animation can be looked at from a different angle: its task is to unify people who may speak different languages through the use of images. In 1978, Yury Lotman predicted an amplified role for animation, as it allows one to see the picture of the world as full of heterogeneous elements coalescing into a new synthesis.

The exhibition showcases three independent projects: Mechanicus, Animators, and Man the Circuit.

Mechanicus is connected with the tradition of automatons that imitate people or animals.

Animators also begins with a reference to a historical prototype – the work of the “New Artists” of the 1980s, who masterfully expressed themselves in the language of animation, laying the groundwork for the millennial generation. After this we see the language in action in three different areas: the art of abstract forms, the art of reality and its social and ecological dimensions, and the art of fantasy and Cosmism.

The motif that runs throughout Man the Circuit, originally conceived in avant-garde art, has transformed into an effective and efficient means of discussing contemporary people and their place in the world (the anthropological shift, artificial intelligence, the dangers of standardization and unification…). In the exhibition, this motif runs through two groups of works. The creators of the works in the first group use established informational pictograms with figures as “found objects” of sorts, while artists from the other group create their own characters using similar form-generating principles. This is how the artists react to the changes in the cultural environment, nowadays entangled in nets of visual communication and overflowing with symbols and signs.

The project features works by Igor Shelkovsky, Timur Novikov, Oleg Kotelnikov, Inal Savchenkov, Sergei Bugaev (Africa), Andrei Krisanov, Andrei Medvedev, Vadim Ovchinnikov, Viktor Tsoi, Boris Kazakov, Evgeny Kondratyev (Debil), Ivan Sotnikov, Lera Nibiru, Maxim Svishchev, Andrei Suzdalev, Asya Marakulina, Marina Alekseyeva, Vladimir Rannev, Olga Chernysheva, Ivan Tuzov, Viktor Grigoryev, Mikhail Karasik, Andrei Lyublinsky, Evgeny Semyonov, Platon Petrov, Andrei Bartenev, Antonina Fatkhullina.

Exhibitions
30 paintings from the life of Peter the Great

30 paintings from the life of Peter the Great

9 june—9 august 2022

The exhibition “30 paintings from the life of Peter the Great” is taking place on the Field of Mars in Saint Petersburg. The project is a reconstruction of an exhibit that was held 150 years ago at the same location and is dedicated to the 350th anniversary of the first Russian emperor. Fourteen original paintings from the 1872 exhibition were discovered in the State Russian Museum’s funds. They were digitally restored and will be exhibited in the form of outstanding quality canvas prints. The honour to fill the gaps and create modern interpretations of the same historical subjects was granted to the students, alumni and professors of Saint-Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts.

Nicholas Roerich. In Search of Shambala

Nicholas Roerich. In Search of Shambala

27 september 2019—1 march 2020

An exhibition held at the Malaga Branch of the Russian Museum presents more than seventy paintings by Nicholas Roerich, dedicated to the influence of culture on religion and vice-versa, and reflecting the spiritual quest of the artist.

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