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Elena Kovylina in Bologna

janvier 18, 2018

The russian mixed-media artist Elena Kovylina, included in 2017 in the top 100 recognized Russian artists (according to InArt gallery in conjunction with the national rating Agency), having taken 14th place as one of the most interesting artist in the contemporary art scene, is participating in a group show  @Istituzione Bologna Musei | Villa delle Rose, curated by Lorenzo Balbi and Suad Garayeva-Maleki

It’s OK to change your mind!

Contemporary Russian art from the Gazprombank Collection

20 January – 18 March 2018

Opening Friday 19 January 2018 h 6.00 p.m.

Villa delle Rose (via Saragozza 228/230 | 40135 Bologna, Italy) reopens to the public from the 20th of January to the 18th of March 2018 with an exhibition that draws attention to the intriguing contemporary art scene of Russia.

With Sergey Bugaev, Elena Kovylina, Victor Alimpiev MishMash (Michail Leykin and Maria Sumnina), Sergey Bratkov, Anatoliy Osmolovsky, Olga Chernysheva, Yuri Palmin, Vladimir Dubossarsky, Alexandra Paperno, Semen Faibisovich, Pavel Pepperstein, Alexandra Galkina, Michail Rozanov, Alexander Gronsky, Sergey Sapozhnikov, Alina Gutkina, Svetlana Shuvaeva, Daria Irincheeva, Arseny Zhilyaev, Irina Korina

In conjunction with the exhibition Revolutija. From Chagall to Malevich from Repin to Kandinsky, on view at MAMbo – The Museum of Modern Art of Bologna from the 12th of December, the venue in via Saragozza presents It’s OK to change your mind! Russian contemporary art from the Gazprombank collection, curated by Lorenzo Balbi (Art Director of the MAMbo) and Suad Garayeva-Maleki (Chief Curator and Collection Director of YARAT Contemporary Art Space in Baku, Azerbaijan).

On the centennial anniversary of the October Revolution and within the social context sprouting from the Soviet era and the fall of the Berlin Wall, how does art come to terms with the past and develop in the present? Within Russia torn between openness to and isolation from the European Union and the United States, how do the artists of the latest generations navigate between the need to preserve their own cultural identity, history, memory and the need to experiment and open up to international audiences?

As stated by Bart De Baere, director of the M HKA, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Antwerp and one of the authors of the exhibition catalogue, even though Russia has been one of the cradles of modern art and still harbours a varied, intellectually stimulating and visually sophisticated artistic community, there is still a lack of awareness at international level of the extraordinary liveliness of its contemporary production.

Within this context and in line with the curatorial decision to host international projects at Villa delle Rose from 2018 –, It’s OK to change your mind! offers a possible interpretation of Russian contemporary art and a new vantage point for reflection on the legacy of the early 20th century avant-garde, through the works of twenty-one artists and collectives in various media, from the Gazprombank Collection. At a time of global political uncertainty and turmoil, protest once again takes a form of abstraction and seemingly apolitical quotidian encounters become a push for social change. The exhibition charts a spectrum of various artistic positions, from those commenting on individual struggles and local vernacular to those exploring the dystopian dreams of building alternative realities.

While the Russian avant-garde of the last century called for concentrated action towards a certain goal, the artistic force today seems to be diffused and indeterminate. Many of the works emit an aura of being suspended in time and space in a state of perpetual expectation of a better future. Nostalgic sentiments describe a desire for a peaceful and more equitable society while the new Russian identity is being negotiated through juxtaposition of old traditions with the new global youth culture.

Evoking at times the philosophy of Russian Cosmism, according to which colonizing space would lead to immortality, one way of achieving a new beginning becomes possible by breaking away from the ordinary and into a new, often post-human realm. Many works in the show reappropriate the hard architectural forms of the avant-garde in order to deconstruct them into the building blocks of the new world order. Architecture thus acts as both a stand in for humanity in its intimate habitat and a mise-en-scene for the new societal play.

Artists in the exhibition together herald a paradigm shift despite the confusion and uncertainty facing their generation. The title of the show, suggested by Svetlana Shuvaeva’s eponymous work and itself borrowed from a popular slogan of a multinational corporation IKEA, highlights the sense of play inherent within current artistic practice. The processes of achieving a new status quo remain fluid and manifold, and whether it is through repurposing our immediate environment or landing us on the moon change is coming and it will be OK.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue in English and Russian, with an insert in Italian.

To know more, click here


Elena Kovylina is also @Lamont Gallery until February 3, 2018

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