In the last week, we’ve marked the first anniversary of the war now taking place in Ukraine with an installation by exiled Ukrainian street artist/muralist Waone in New York and exiled Russian artist Kuril CHTO in Lisbon. Today we bring news of a reorganized urban art-related biennale being mounted in Moscow this May.
“According to the Chinese curse, may we live in interesting times,” says Andrey Parshikov, curator of the IV Biennale of street art ARTMOSSPHERE on the website for this newest iteration of a festival mounted in public space and gallery space that is at least partially funded by the government. Selections of artists were made with consultation of a ten-member international committee of advisors from the commercial, publishing, institutional and intellectual world who have expertise in graffiti, street art, and its various expressions more broadly referred to as Urban Contemporary. The fourth edition of the international event, this year more than 70% are nationals; 38 Russian and 15 international artists.
The expert committee, according to organizers, have allowed for a diverse range of artistic formats and techniques to be employed by the participants, resulting in something that sounds like it will be more of an experimental exhibition than previous editions; featuring murals, graffiti, public art, installations, performances, and theatrical actions that will be open to the public.
“This season we are bringing back the original idea of the show – street art should live in the urban environment, in the open space,” says Sabina Chagina, one of the co-founders of the biennale in 2014 who is now the Art Director of the Winzavod Contemporary Art Center and Artistic Director of the Biennale. Winzavod has provided a varied artists compound of creative spaces for a decade and a half in Moscow that many credit as a laboratory for cultivating opportunities for experimentation and support for artists working in the public realm.
“Two years ago, ARTMOSSPHERE received permanent institutional support from the Winzavod Contemporary Art Center and became part of it,” says the press release about the collective exhibition that has launched parallel programs and special projects in public space in the last decade.
A difficult exhibition program to pull off during peacetime, this one is mounted during a hotly debated war that is being watched by most of the world. Like all arts programming, people will be measuring it at least in part to see how it responds to the times and political realities.
International artists include: ARIS ONER (Germany), Matteo Ceretto Castigliano (CT) (Italy), Amaro (Brazil), Pablo Harymbat (Argentina), IHAR (Belarus), Varenje Organism (Israel), GAYA SOFO (Armenia), Maria Bokovnia (Germany), Daria Goffman (Armenia), Filip Radonjic (USA/Serbia), Neon Spidertag (Spain), Hakob Balayan (Armenian Center of Experimental and Contemporary Art (NPAK) (Armenia).
Artists from inside the Russian Federation include: Anastasia Litvinova (Moscow), Sasha Braulov (St. Petersburg), Wearing Tail and artist Eldar Ganeyev (ZIP Group) (Moscow-Krasnodar), Lubov Vink (Krasnoyarsk), Philip Kitsenko (Moscow), Masha Smorodina (Moscow), Alena Troitskaya and Ksenia Sharapova (Moscow-Cyprus), Fork (Moscow), Alexander Gushchin (Yekaterinburg), Out Band Mucha (Samara), KTK (Moscow-Spb-Ekb), Anya, come! (Khabarovsk), Anna Tararova (Moscow), Elena Kholodova (Moscow), Alexandra Kuznetsova (Moscow), Ozerki, Andrey Shkarin and Maria Yefimova (Moscow), Galina Andreeva (Moscow), Krasil Makar (Ekaterinburg), Twenty Two (Moscow), New City Artists, Ivan Volkov (Protvino), Frukty Vrukty (Perm).