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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Russia gave France a collection of 65 works by contemporary artists

In Paris, the Centre Georges Pompidou on Tuesday, an event occurred which without exaggeration can be called historic. Big collection of Russian contemporary art in the second half of the twentieth century ( 1950-2000) donated (!!!) The state Museum of contemporary art charity Foundation of Vladimir Potanin and six months of exposure will always remain in the funds of the Centre. The day before the Vernissage observer “MK” took a walk with the curators through the exhibition, I learned how to not just gathered this collection, admired the courage of the Director and felt a difference in the life of museums we have.

photo: Marina Raikin

Director of the Centre Pompidou Bernard Blisten not yet uttered his brilliant speech at the opening: “For us this is a very important acquisition, because at the centre Pompidou already has a large collection of Soviet modernism – Malevich, Goncharova, Larionov and others. This is not hard to make, up to the fifth floor, where all of your famous avant-garde artists, but unfortunately to date we have not had the collection of the Soviet art of the second half of the XX century. And it seemed to us absolutely necessary to have in our congregation such a collection to fill this gap”.

The Vernissage took place on September 13, and on this hot September day (and on the street plus 30) will undoubtedly go down in history as a matter of national importance.

And yet – the fourth floor of the Pompidou Center, one of the most visited museums in the world. The strange thing is, I think, hasn’t happened yet open, not a speech, not drinking champagne, and people are already in full roam the exhibition, the paintings with objects and looking at it while they are hung and bolted plates. Even some dogs brought along. At us it is impossible.

– I do not understand, after all, the exhibition is open or closed? How many visitors? – ask the curator from the French side, Nicolas Lucci-gutnikova. He’s half Russian, said that the question is understood but answers in French:

The public went and then, when we began to mount the exhibition. We created such a complex system approach/approach, to one side to protect the thousand 200 meters of space, where there is a hanging of the exhibition, and on the other never to close the Museum. In General, the whole exhibition was done in such a short time that it took the efforts of all services of the Museum. It was like a challenge, a bet and hope we win.

photo: Marina Raikin

The story of this unique project began years ago. Director of the Multimedia Art Museum Olga Sviblova came to Paris with the mission of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation to find a Museum where you can make a major exhibition to celebrate the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and France in 2017 will be just 300 years, as Peter was first organized in France its Embassy.

I know the French museums – they have drawn up the plans for 2 years forward , – says Olga Lvovna, and Pompidou also had it figured out. But then the stars aligned – the Pompidou Centre celebrates 40 years. Its Director, Bernard Blisten announces the 16th year of the donor. He’s thinking about expanding the collection. “And if we’ll gather a collection of contemporary Russian art, which you have very little?”- I asked him. He agreed.

Sviblova curator of the Russian side. Work has begun on the search for the paintings, scattered around the world. Full of endless negotiations and sometimes exhausting coaxing collectors, artists or their heirs, adventure delights and Grand gestures. After all, the cost of the work is considerable, and to imagine that collectors or relatives of the artists will easily want to part with the paintings, the cost of which exceeds the limit, it is difficult. Thank you, Vladimir Potanin Foundation in two times increased the budget, and it is possible to buy the 197 work.

I found two works of Rabin 64 -year after by collectors .but collectors said that the two will not give, and only one. Or Bernard Blisten only one day was in new York, but went to the devil horns to see Rimma and Valery Gerlovins who were the first conceptualists. Proud to have got this work of Andrey Monastyrsky, Tate modern is now able to cry .

Generally From 1,000 at the start to the finish, that is, prior to the exhibition, reached the 250 – according to the French curator, and according to Russian under 400 because Sviblova considers another, and each document, rightly asking:”Photo campaign is not a work?”

On the selection principle says French curator Nicolas Lucci-Gutnik.

Those artists that have been exhibited before in the Western museums without contenttext was not understandable to our public. And it was important for us to put them in historical context. And there are videos that show Moscow’s Manezh exhibition bulldozer so that the public could enter even in the context of historical.

Now the exhibition represents a map of contemporary Russian art – if not a detailed, contoured, but with a well-built system. Non-conformism were born during the Khrushchev thaw and Khrushchev also hunted in the basement, devoid of public life. Well presented Moscow conceptualism, Sots art, there are the halls of the Leningrad and Restructuring. Here , as the top names in the art history of the USSR and Russia ( Kabakov, Bulatov, Dmitry Prigov, Rabin, Steinberg, Monastery, Brewers and others), and half-forgotten group “Amanita”, the “world Champions”, “Peppers”, the first conceptual Gerlovin. And next to them the signs of Russian collectors – Semenikhin, Tsukanov, ilina, private museums and the many who donated work and thereby immortalized his name.

Dmitry Prigov at the Pompidou has two rooms, someone area, someone else’s work at all. Was wondering who decided, in the end, the fate of works – be they at the Pompidou, or…? Offers curators were seriously filter: first curatorial Board of the Centre Pompidou from 30 experts, and then the national Council at the level of the Ministry of culture and only after that works 99.9 received a print and become part of the collection. Despite the fact that the Centre Pompidou has always been in the avant-garde and the first, for example, showed a solo exhibition of Erik Bulatov, Bernard Blisten admits that during the year work on the Russian collection has opened for many artists such as Dmitry Prigov. Or artists, for many years living and working in Paris – shelkovskogo, Yankilevsky, Rabin.

photo: Marina Raikin

We continue the tour with Sviblova before the eyes of Soviet history 70-80s, full of paradoxes of naive, idiocy, which is fun in a sad lie dissected artists. This is the famous theme – work/wages (these two words are written in a column on a dark Board). I remember the character from “twist of fate” – “I have a Salary good, but small.” The famous “Milk” Igor Shelkovsky (healthy triangular package with a small metal area , so lonely stuck on the same plane, wonderful handkerchiefs band “the Peppers” – with a naive picture of Soviet life. The mausoleum of yellowed dominoes Alexander Kosolapov. The room with the portraits of teenage girls from the distant 90s. the Group AES +f was made in the early 90’s girls, unmotivated murder committed under aggravating circumstances. Half of these children are killers. Who? For nice people – do not understand.

Behind the glass laid out commitment documents “Amanita” by 40 percent to improve the efficiency and quality of the conceptuality of the work, happenings, and 25 percent. Their verbs -calls list: acquire, nurture, labor, strain, and so on. But with colored boxes by Gerlovina, cheerful spring, unseasonably, Sviblova has a story behind it.

On one, you see, it is written:”the Soul. Not to open, and then fly away”. 73-year notice. And in the 90s the squat on Furmanny I made for artists once a week of exhibitions on the theme “Art as pleasure and pleasure as an art. And here we thought that living in 91-m to year, derived from European humanitarian aid, but nothing good I can not answer . Invented – we have the Russian soul and began to breathe in boxes, seal them with wax and then try to send. Breathing Prigov, Rubinstein was breathing, I was breathing – taking with you to the airport 30 boxes. We pass customs. The customs officer asks:”What do you have there?”Soul,” I said. “As the soul?” -“The Russian soul. Do you have it?” -“I have. To open the can?”- “You can, but it will fly.” Come on in,” and waved his hand. We didn’t know the 91-m 73 -m Rimma Gerlovina did the cubes with the soul. I here so many amazing threads I saw.

All we have done is for artists. 65 Russian artists , 60 of which did not dream to be in the Babur, now here. Second, the collectors came together and realized how good it is to give. Finally, this action is important for the young Russian art – we have a galaxy of talented artists. It is difficult: the market is worth and to avoid danger of suffocation, it is necessary to look at. Our task is to make these collections of Russian art has appeared everywhere in the world.

Ask the Director of the Centre Pompidou:”During the year of preparation of the Russian exhibitions have you experienced political pressure? After all, the relationship of Europe to Russia now quite certain – the evil Empire”.

– One second, absolutely. I would never have let on I was pressed. Moreover, I will say that for me, this exhibition – in any case not the end. It’s only the beginning. I believe in the power of art , in the power of education, that’s why I decided that this collection will be shown six months and I believe that through this we can awaken interest in what was totally unknown to the European art. And I’d like to tip my hat to you, Russian, for that sense of pride that you feel in relation to their culture, that it became the engine of this project and allowed it.

The exhibition “the Collection” will run until the end of March and will be accompanied by a large educational programme with the participation of Russian artists.

From Paris.


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