Impressions 2.0

01.12.2015 – 15.02.2016

Main Building

The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts opens its doors to contemporary trends in art. In parallel with the “Eternal Themes of Art” exhibition, organized within the framework of the 35th “Sviatoslav Richter’s December Nights” International music festival, visitors will see a unique exhibition of works created by contemporary video artists from various countries – “Impressions 2.0”.   

One of the goals of this exhibition is to demonstrate to the viewer that video art allows a temporal expansion of the borders of visual art. It also continues artistic research into the fields of colour, form and light in space. 

The “Impressions 2.0” project is a starting point for the creation of a new platform to research new visual language developments – new classic art that is born before our very eyes. A form of time travel awaits the viewers through endless projections of classic art and the vivid echoes of the past in our contemporary reality.

Video, sound and performative practices can be clearly included into the context of a traditional museum due to the timeless qualities of the new media which make static objects “breathe” and “move”. The screen canvas extends space and time, uniting sound, colour, light, history and modernity, and the dialogue of time creates a polyphonic harmony. 

Present day artists keep experimenting with defining the borders of “the exterior and the interior”, trying to alter the ways of perception and study “the new vision”. We are used to seeing moving images around us, but we are not accustomed to ‘video paintings’ being exhibited in a museum. Video artists turn the way we see the world upside down — they take a different palette — that of video, to enter into a new dialogue  — both with history and with the masterpieces we know from our childhood. These may be still lifes, battle scenes, biblical stories, portraits and landscapes — all these genres continue their lives in other media, while the eternal themes of art remain the same.

In “89 Seconds at Alcázar” Eve Sussman refers us to Diego Velasquez’s “Las Meninas” (1656) in an attempt to make the picture come alive. The artist is interested in what might have been happening before the royal couple – Philip IV and his wife Marianne – were reflected in the mirror. 

Eugene Delacroix’s “La Liberté Guidant le People” (1830) is recognized as a symbol of the French Republic and democracy. Marianne, the protagonist of the painting, is energetic, rebellious, and triumphant. Cristina Lucas’ art film “La Libertée Raisonée” shows her as vulnerable, frightened and exhausted instead, but most importantly – undefeated.  

In their ”Pitter-Patter” video Galina Myznikova and Sergey Provorov are focused on a person as an object which requires a common empathy and contemplation (the work is based on the famous photograph by a 19th century English photographer Henry Peach Robinson). We witness the transition from death to life, but the process of living does not come to an end. It takes the shape of the water, which slowly envelopes the bed, running “pitter-patter”. 

Alex Verhaest created a series of works referring to Old Masters’ paintings whose protagonists “come alive” today. Verhaest’s portraits and still lives turn into “tableaux vivants”, a very subtle video loop capturing life and death, transformation of history into modernity and vice versa.

In the near future, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in cooperation with “MediaArtLab” center for culture and art will realise a series of projects to initiate a dialogue between contemporary art works and the masterpieces of the past. The viewers will be able to trace the development of media art from the magic lantern to cinema, from optical illusions and panoramic paintings to virtual reality, from the avant-garde utopia to the Universal Art Work.

Video installations program:

December 12, 2015 - January 31, 2016 – video installations “Idle Times / Temps Mort” (2013) by Alex Verhaest (Belgium) and „Pitter-Patter“ (2009) by "Provmyza" art group (Galina Myznikova and Sergey Provorov, Russia)
Halls 19, 20
December 12, 2015 - January 17, 2016 – video installation “La Libertée Raisonée” by Cristina Lucas (Spain)
Hall 31
January 19, 2016 - February 15, 2016 – video installation “89 Seconds at Alcázar” (2004) by Eve Sussman (USA)
Hall 31 

Olga Shishko

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