press release

In association with the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) Moscow, and Centre for Contemporary Art - Winzavod, Calvert 22 presents new work from a selection of emerging artists from Russia. This unique presentation aims to convey a vivid sense of current artistic practice in Russia and introduce a new generation of artists and perspectives to the UK.

The participating artists have been co-selected by Joseph Backstein (Director of ICA, Moscow and Commissioner of the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art) and David Thorp (Calvert 22 Associate Artistic Director) and drawn from the ICA, Moscow and the prestigious START programme, established by the Centre for Contemporary Art - Winzavod in order to promote and develop young artists from across Russia.

Both the ICA, Moscow, and Centre for Contemporary Art - Winzavod, have created a unique forum and context for a discourse in contemporary art among young Russian artists that has been largely missing from the Moscow art scene previously. Beside the ad hoc relationships that usually and perhaps naturally exist between artists, there was no formal means of offering practical and ideological support to assist—especially younger—artists in developing their ideas and being able to discuss and engage with contemporary art practice more globally.

All of the artists involved in this exhibition have directly benefited from being a part of these two programmes. Although they do not represent a trend or even a dominant 'school' (such as the YBAs in the UK for example) they do noticeably demonstrate an engagement with contemporary art that is in dialogue with ideas currently being expressed elsewhere in the world.

Several of the artists as well as studying in Russia have studied abroad; and between them they work across the disciplines of film, sculpture, photography, painting and performance. Whereas their precursors mounted a critique motivated by the repressive conditions that sought to control their practice, these artists, with more of an awareness of global discourse, critically appraise the mores of Western art while exploring their social and cultural identity. Tanya Aakhmetgalieva's monumental textiles investigate the individual and the collective aspects of feminine identity. An engagement with the physical and psychological conditions of space is a repeated premise whether it is Anya Titova's descriptions of cultural and social spaces, or Yulia Ivashkina's imaginary settings for human indifference, Taus Makhacheva's critiques of consumption, environment and identity or Olga Bozhko's sculpture and environments in which nature and consumerism collides. Literary reference and language is a common concern; Alexander Ditmarov's referencing contemporary artists and the dead classics, Sergey Ogurtsov's sculptures made from key texts by writers such as Antonin Artaud and Gaston Bachelard and Arseniy Zhilyaev's research into Sartre and a post-soviet interpretation of his philosophy.

only in german

Practice For Everyday Life
Young Artists from Russia

Künstler: Tanya Akhmetgalieva, Olga Bozhko, Alexander Ditmarov, Yulia Ivashkina, Sergey Ogurtsov, Taus Makhacheva, Anya Titova, Arseniy Zhilyaev