Art Marathon «Hermitage — Venice — Hermitage»

18:30 — 00:30

The Hermitage Art Marathon that has already become a tradition is usually dedicated to the museum’s current events of international scale. This time, participation of the Hermitage in the 58th Venice Biennale as a curator was announced as the main topic.

This unconventional decision was announced in the fall of 2018 at the VII Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum, but the details became known later when Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovsky officially announced that the State Hermitage Museum would take on the role "as the curator of the Russian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale." Curators have always been persons, not institutions, a museum or any other institution had never acted in this capacity before. Creating precedents, being first ­— this is our style. The idea of the project is to show the influence of a museum as the guardian of world culture on contemporary artists. One of the most notable participants of the project in the Russian pavilion is the film director Aleksandr Sokurov. The project will also involve the artist Aleksandr Shishkin-Hokusai, and students of the Academy of Arts. Other participants will be determined later, the intrigue will remain in place until the pavilion opens." The biennale is drawing to a close. It is time to discuss and evaluate the results.


Event Program


Opening of the Marathon, 18.30

White hall, Department of Contemporary Art, 18.35–20.15

18.35–19.05 — Arkady Ippolitov (State Hermitage Museum). "Venice and the Biennale".

19.10–19.40 — Gleb Smirnov (Venice). "Artodoxy" and Its Temples. 

19.45–20.15 — Ensemble of Baroque Music "Soloists of Catherine the Great".



20.30–20.45 A special report of Saint Petersburg TV Channel (JSC GATR) on the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2019. Part of the Day of the Hermitage Project at Saint Petersburg TV Channel.



I. Museum as Curator 

Moderator: Ilya Doronchenkov (Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts)

1. The Hermitage at the Biennale: Conclusions 


  • Mikhail Piotrovsky. General Director (State Hermitage Museum);
  • Semyon Mikhailovsky. Rector (Academy of Arts, Saint Petersburg);
  • Aleksandr Sokurov. Film director (Saint Petersburg).

2. Does the Museum need the Biennale, does the Biennale need the Museum? 


  • Alexander Borovsky. (State Russian Museum);
  • Maurizio Cecconi (Hermitage-Italy Foundation, Venice);
  • Silvia Burini (Ca Foscari University, Venice);
  • Arkady Ippolitov. (State Hermitage Museum);
  • Maria Kramar; Curator (V-A-C Foundation, Moscow);
  • Olga Shishko. (Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts).

II. Curators as Artists. Artists as Curators

Viva arte Viva or May You Live in Interesting Times? 


  • Moderator: Dimitri Ozerkov (State Hermitage);
  • Marat Guelman. Curator. Gallery owner (Russia – Montenegro);
  • Elena Gubanova. Curator. Artist (Saint Petersburg);
  • Gleb Ershov. Curator (Saint Petersburg);
  • Irina Nakhova. Artist (Russia – US).
  • Olesya Turkina. (State Russian Museum);
  • Aleksandr Shishkin-Hokusai. Artist (Saint Petersburg).


Vladimir Volkov (musician, Saint Petersburg). Improvization


Creative Projects
Kabakov hall, second floor, 19.00–00.00

Dagnini (Moscow). Performance. (23.45)

Anatoly Chechik (Moscow) – Don Tenorio. Video Art. 


Culture hall 19.00–00.00

1. "New Anthropology." Curator Irina Aktuganova (Saint Petersburg)

A joint project of Techno-Art Center and Academician Pavlov Museum at the
Pavlov Institute of Physiology of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Boris Shershenkov (Saint Petersburg) — Musician's Arm. Installation

Vladlena Gromova and Artem Paramonov (Moscow) — “Analog VR”. Media objects 

"Substance Inversion" Performance object.

2. Natalya Lyakh (Russia — France) 

Video installation "Unforeseen Liability YX7913XY"


Traditional Closing of the Marathon 

Atrium 00.15–00.30

Dimitri Ozerkov reads Homer's "Iliad".