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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
Igor Tcholaria. Taming the Chaos

Igor Tcholaria. Taming the Chaos

23 september—7 november 2022

Taming the Chaos, a solo exhibition of the work of Igor Tcholaria, numbers some 60 paintings, graphic artworks and sculptures. Igor Tcholaria was born in Abkhazia, which stretches along the coast of the Black Sea. He received his basic grounding in art at the Sukhumi Art School, and subsequently continued his education in Leningrad, at the Vera Mukhina School and the Academy of Arts.

Armchairs, chairs and stools in Russian art of the 18th-20th centuries

Armchairs, chairs and stools in Russian art of the 18th-20th centuries

18 august 2022—9 january 2023

This exhibition will introduce viewers to the furniture preserved in the Russian Museum, a collection the public is not very familiar with. It will also open up a new perspective on well-known Russian works of art. What kinds of chairs exist? What are they made of? What do people do while seated? What poses do they adopt? What does an empty chair mean? A synthesis of painting, graphic art, sculpture, applied art, and design, the Russian Museum’s exhibition stimulates ideas on these questions and more.

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