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Russia 2: Bad News from Russia

White Box
525 West 26th Street, 212-714-2347
December 8, 2005 - January 18, 2006
Reception: Thursday, December 8, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Featuring: AES group / BLUE NOSES group (Mizin, Shaburov) / Gor CHAHAL / Dmitry GUTOV / Alexey KALLIMA / Valery KOSHLYAKOV / Alexander KOSOLAPOV / Oleg KULIK / Maxim MAMSIKOV / Gosha OSTRETSOV / Yury SHABELNIKOV / Alexey SHULGIN / Avdey TER-OGANYAN / Vasily TSAGOLOV / Alexander VINOGRADOV & Vladimir DUBOSSARSKY

Curated by Marat Guelman and Juan Puntes.

Russia 2: Bad News from Russia will highlight the most cutting edge avant-garde Russian Art, the majority of which has not yet been seen by US audiences. Russia 2 first made its debut at the Moscow Biennial in January of this year when it exposed international audiences to previously underrepresented contemporary Russian art. It features renowned contemporary artists from the region exploring the subject of the “other Russia,” which lies beyond the scope of the pro-governmental, overbearing culture. This condition has become more and more dominant in present-day Russia and tends to impose certain restrictive taboos – such as Chechnya, religion and the figure of the President. These “sacred cows” remain valid for the art sphere as well, which leads to clashes between curators/artists/writers on the one hand and the authorities on the other (and came to an apogee in the form of the recent law-suits against exhibitions of contemporary art and contemporary Russian writers).

In this situation of strengthening the pressure on art there is only one positive decision that is to create a parallel cultural system, a platform that supports a wide variety of free artistic positions. The exhibition is an attempt to build such a platform by gathering creative people in a free artistic working environment.

Russia 2 exists in the geographical borders of the Russian Federation, and is more democratic, multicultural, bent on exploring some dangerous topics rather then being part of a framework of official do’s and dont’s. While Russia 2 distances itself from Putin’s Russia, it is not part of an oppositional party or dissident activity – it is a symmetrical response to the hermetically closed culture of Russia 1 or Putin’s Russia.
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