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We invite you to an exhibition of contemporary Russian art called EXTRA-CURRICULAR / AFTER SCHOOL. On view April 6 - 28, 2012.

The exhibition features the work of five artists: Vladislav Efimov, Kirill Alexandrov, Vladimir Kupriyanov, Nikita Alexeev, and Victor Alimpiev. The exhibition’s curator is the director of the State Center for Contemporary Art in Russia, Leonid Bazhanov, and the executive curator is his deputy, Vitaly Patsyukov. The exhibition developed out of cooperation between Czech Centre Moscow and the State Center for Contemporary Art in Russia.

Dana Brabcová, the director of Czech Centre Moscow, said about the exhibition, “The review EXTRA-CURRICULAR / AFTER SCHOOL aims at the intensification of a reciprocal gallery exchange between the Czech Republic and Russia. Therefore we chose as our partner the prestigious and here in Russia well respected State Center for Contemporary Art. We hope that the exhibition will be a success and look forward to leading Czech artists displaying their works in a Moscow gallery in the coming year."

Executive curator Vitaly Patsyukov added, “The exhibition resulted from the attempts of Russian curators to present contemporary Russian art to the Czech public and its goal is to establish periodic exchanges of exhibition projects between Prague and Moscow. The exhibition offers a cross-section of various tendencies in contemporary Russian art, which cannot be reduced to a single conceptual school or technological line of evolution in contemporary art. The works of a new generation of artists, who are not well known to the Czech public, are at the same time connected to the works of the independent Moscow artists whom the Czech design-critic, Jindřich Chalupecký, grouped together with the informal name of ‘the School of Sretěnský Boulevard.’”

Those participating in this exhibit and representing the major trends of the Moscow art scene express their own perspectives within the framework of determining artistic expression while maintaining a purity of style and personal position. The graphic installations of Nikita Alexeevcontain a clear expression of the tradition of Moscow conceptualism, combining signifying (textual) pictures with visual phenomena. The “texts” of Nikita Alexeev, presented through the strategies of the philosophy of language and contemporary character symbolism, derived from the culture of Zen Buddhism, organically collocate with the visual considerations of the artist in order to achieve a reciprocal dialogic commentary. The objects of Kirill Alexandrov, an artist who in recent years has become a pioneer of the neo-constructivist wave, offer a paradoxical artistic communication. His work succeeds in expressing elements from the post-Fluxus period organically related to pseudo-scientific forms, when the unmediated relationships between the mechanism of the work of art and its physical structure are revealed.

The video art of Victor Alimpiev offers a radical and full-blooded testament to the most up-to-date ideas in Russian visual symbolism. The well-known composition SWEET NIGHTINGALE (2004), which appropriates traditions from theater culture, addresses one of the archetypal conditions of contemporary Russian society, its aspiration for democratic autonomy and its simultaneous traditionalism or archaism, which is already a virtual cliché. The art of the fourth project participant,Vladislav Efimov, is determined by multimedia technologies and contains within itself musings on the naturalness of scientific cognition - on the traditional relationships between the instructional forms of science and the reflective nature of art. The “sonorous” and “flying” objects of Vladislav Efimov carry a deep irony within themselves, flavored by romantic thinking about the childlike passion for invention. The exhibition concludes with a project from one of the most well-known representatives of contemporary photo-art, the artist Vladimir Kupriyanov, who transformed traditional photography into a stereoscopic object-installation, into a multilayered visual world, which encloses within itself the sharpening of conflicts within contemporary social processes and the multidimensional consciousness of ordinary people.

Vitaly Patsyukov added, “The project EXTRA-CURRICULAR / AFTER SCHOOL is inseparably connected to the radical culture of the sixties and seventies. These works organically expose and cultivate the search for a Russian visual culture, which is tied to the problems of the contemporary “spectacle society,” beginning during the period of perestroika and ending with the crisis of the liberal-democratic process in the last decades, which escalated at the beginning of our millennium. The project introduces all of the basic genres and technologies of the contemporary Russian art scene, whose forms and images are open and visually approachable even through the entire contingency of their testimonies and their aesthetic reflection of the artistic gesture. 

The exhibition was suppported by ROSATOM a Mir.1200. 

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