Man as bird. Images of journeys


The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts debuts at the Venice Biennale with the exhibition “Man as Bird. Images of Journeys” organized in the framework of the parallel program. The show explores the interaction of discoveries in optics and art – domains that are always connected with their ambition to cognize the world and to determine the place of man in it. At all times, the man has been trying to push the limits of the visible and find new angles of view by carrying out expeditions to distant places or improving the very means of seeing. This historical way can be compared to the inner transformation the man experiences throughout life.

The exhibition will become a space uniting the creative activities of 14 Russian and foreign artists working with different media: sound and light installations, video, photography, and art objects. Along with telling the viewers about history and offering them an unusual visual experience, it reflects the latest trends in contemporary art where advanced technologies coexist with traditional media considerably pushing the boundaries of the possibilities of artistic expression and perception. The complete and realistic feeling of traveling through time will be enhanced by the very space of the exhibition – the 15th-century palazzo Soranzo Van Axel. The old brick walls, lancet windows and visible wooden beams create a special atmosphere and cultural context for interpreting the pieces created by contemporary artists. Some of the artworks will be site-specific.

The exhibition of The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts at the Venice Biennale suggests the emergence of “The New Pushkin” trend launched by the Museum in order to create an exhibition platform for various forms of contemporary art – from painting and sculpture to experimental cinematography and virtual reality. “The New Pushkin” allows to introduce the main historical phases of today’s artistic practices and bears an educational function in the domain of the new contemporary art language.

Marina Loshak: “This trending sector of the Museum is aimed at developing new connections between the classical and new art, between the Russian and the international creative process, at encouraging the dialogue between the representational forms of contemporary art, and at making the audience meet the artists that use the language of the relevant media.”

Linking the classical tradition and the modernity, contributing, in the end, to the shift in the optics of perception by the viewers, is one of the aspirations of “The New Pushkin” project, and this aspiration was reflected in the exhibition “Man as Bird. Images of Journeys”. The international and open format of the Biennale represents a perfect space for setting such a dialogue.

Olga Shishko: “The exhibition “Man as Bird. Images of Journeys” invites the viewer to travel across multiple dimensions – space, time, and individual experience – which may alter the perception of the world and the self. The initial morphology and structure of the images transform along the journey according to different viewpoints incorporated into the project. Like Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver or Lewis Carroll’s Alice, the viewer will experience unusual proportions and perspectives: the world transforms, the point of view changes, the real and the imaginary intertwine and no longer correspond to our perception”.

Venue: Palazzo Soranzo Van Axel, Venice

Exhibition partner: group

Supported by the Peganov Family

Technical partner: Barco


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