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Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA) Projects within the 55th Venice Biennale

Lost in Translation
Curated by Antonio Geusa
May 29–September 15, 2013

Lost in Translation is a large-scale exhibition of contemporary Russian art which brings together over one hundred works made in the past forty years from the collection of MMOMA and other public and private collections.

Contemporary history proves that, despite the fall of the Iron Curtain in December 1991 and the consequent end of the isolation and immediate entrance of Russia into the global village, translation is still a fundamental element to trigger proper understanding of individual artworks and the layers of meaning they carry. In many cases, this is a complex procedure requiring, besides the plain translation of the verbal meaning of a message, the addition of an explanatory account shedding light upon the given historical, cultural, political, social, and economical environment the work is motivated by and refers to.

Lost in Translation draws together artworks that are particularly difficult to decipher without the basic knowledge of the “Russian context” they were born in. They will be displayed together with their “expanded translation”—a concise verbal account with essential references, which facilitates readability and help the viewers grasp the meaning of the work and relate it to international contemporary art discourse. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with entries on each exhibit, and is complemented with film screenings, talks, performances, and a multidisciplinary conference.

Participating artists
Yuri Albert, Nikita Alekseev, Sergey Anufriev, Bluesoup, Sergey Bratkov, Alexander Brodsky, Erik Bulatov, Vladimir Dubossarsky and Alexander Vinogradov, Elena Elagina, Semen Faybisovich, Andrey Filippov, Rimma and Valery Gerlovin, Lyudmila Gorlova, Iced Architects, Dmitry Gutov, Anna Jermolaewa, Alisa Joffe, Ilya Kabakov, Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid, Irina Korina, Valery Koshlyakov, Alexander Kosolapov, Oleg Kulik, Sergey Leontiev, Anton Litvin, Vladimir Logutov, Igor Makarevich, Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe, Andrei Monastyrsky, Semen Motolyanets, Vladimir Nemukhin, Timur Novikov, Boris Orlov, Peppers, Pavel Peppershtein, Viktor Pivovarov, Alexander Ponomarev, Gia Rigvava, Mikhail Roginsky, Yuri Shabelnikov, Sergey Shutov, Leonid Sokov, Alena Tereshko, Avdey Ter-Oganyan, Vadim Zakharov, Konstantin Zvezdochetov, and others.

Bart Dorsa. Katya
Curated by Dimitri Ozerkov
May 29–September 15, 2013

Katya is an exhibition of collodion and silver glass photographic plates and bronze sculpture presented in a specifically organized dark space. The project delivers an intimate story of a Russian girl discovered in Moscow by the American artist. Katya, the subject of the exhibition, personifies the archetype of mythic crossroads—a primary theme in Dorsa’s work.

Katya was born in the Far East of Russia to a candy maker and a lighting technician at a local cultural center. When she was three years old her parents separated. Soon after, her mother turned to religion and took the vows to become a nun. Mother and daughter moved into an Orthodox monastery, where they stayed until Katya turned 13 and they both relocated to Moscow. With her new freedom in the megalopolis, Katya entered the Moscow freak circle of extreme subculture where she became involved in various forms of body modification.

Katya’s journey from strict Orthodox monastic life, where she spent ten years from the age of 3 to 13, through the Moscow underground, is chronicled on her skin, face and body. Dorsa imprints her form on glass and in bronze, capturing the topography of the untraceable crossroads—a mythic location “between the worlds” as well as a highly personal moment in life, a moment of transition from suffering to illumination. Katya’s body language exposes emotions that reign between brave publicity and fragility. Seemingly identical, images of Katya are reproduced with obsessive repetitiveness, which brings about an intense symphonic effect. The exhibition is as much a penetrating psychological portrait of Katya as it is a self-portrait of the artist.

Dorsa’s exhibition in Venice brings together a significant body of new work realized over the past three years.