Artistic Exchange in the Program of “Fine Arts” Section

The program of the section “Fine Arts” of the VIII St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum is dedicated to international art exchange in the broadest sense: from panels on Soviet art exhibitions to discussions of the global biennale movement.

The main venues of the section “Fine Arts” in 2019 will be the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts and Manezh Central Exhibition Hall. The latter will feature a large scale exhibition entitled “Deyneka/Samokhvalov” co-organized by the Russian Museum, the Tretyakov Gallery and the Kursk Picture Gallery.

Semyon Mikhailovsky, Head of the section, Rector of the I.E. Repin St. Petersburg State Academic Institute of Art, Sculpture and Architecture: “This year, as before, we have a series of events of different scales. There are exhibitions, first and foremost “Deyneka/Samokhvalov”, a large project in Manezh, dedicated to two artists of the Soviet era. We have worked on this project with participation of more than 30 museums and private collections for many years, and hopefully it will make an impression. Moreover, we view the Forum as an opportunity to meet colleagues, discuss some important issues and exchange opinions.”

The exhibition in Manezh CEH will be accompanied by an international event: a symposium entitled “A Red Arrow. Soviet Art — A Look from the Future”. Researchers of 20th century art, curators of large exhibitions of Soviet paintings abroad, rectors of universities from Germany and China will discuss the influence of state ideology on art and reception of “totalitarian” art in democratic countries. Speakers at the event include Matthias Flügge, historian, curator of Russian and international exhibition projects, rector of the Dresden Academy of Arts, as well as Xu Jiang, artist, participant and juror of international biennale, rector of the Hangzhou Academy of Arts. Having different experience in related areas of art studies, the experts will share their assessment of the role Soviet art played in the global art context. Participants of the discussion will not leave out curator methodologies that determined a special way of exhibiting socialist realism art worldwide.

In two days already a number of experts of the symposium will take part in the ACADEMIA Cycle, which will take place in the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts. During the Russian-Chinese roundtable discussion, the main topic will focus on prospects of cooperation within the framework of academic traditions – pedagogical and exchange programs, and workshops with popular artists whose works are in demand today. According to the rector of the Academy, one third of all its students today are from abroad, and there will be more than 500 students from China alone in the academic year 2019–2020. The second roundtable discussion will bring together rectors of German Academies of Arts. They will discuss development of exhibition halls in educational establishments, a tradition that is more than a century old in Germany. Both meetings will be moderated by Semyon Mikhailovsky.

The principles behind exhibiting artwork on a scale of personal collections will be discussed at the roundtable discussion “Augmented and Virtual Reality as a Way of Representing a Private Collection”. The event will be held in the DK Gromov Art Space on November 14. Participants, including Antonio Geuza, an independent curator, art critic and expert in field of new technologies; Ivan Puzyrev, a digital strategist and expert on augmented and virtual reality technologies; Marina Alvitr, an independent curator and gallery manager, will discuss opportunities for unique private collections to be represented with the help of virtual reality tools. The discussion will be relevant in the context of the Offline/Online Exhibition (curators – Antonio Geuza, Marina Alvitr), which will be held there all through the autumn.

Another memorable event of the Public Flow to be held in Manezh CEH will be the discussion “Biennale of Contemporary Art: Significance for Cities and International Cultural Exchange”. It will bring together recently appointed and already reputable leaders of successful international and regional contemporary art shows – Commissioner of the Ural Industrial Biennale of Contemporary Art Alisa Prudnikova, Director of the Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art Fatos Ustek (UK), and Art Director of the Lyon Contemporary Art Biennale Isabelle Bertolloti (France). The Lyon Biennale has been holding experimental exhibitions since 1991, bringing more audiences to French suburbs than the local dance biennale. Finally, the Liverpool Biennial that celebrated its 20th anniversary a year ago has confirmed its status as the largest forum of visual arts in the UK. Organizers constantly experiment with formats turning the port city into a tourist attraction spot for summer and autumn. Fatos Ustek and Isabelle Bertolotti are recently appointed heads of biennale projects who will come to Russia and the Forum for the first time to talk in more details about their cultural ambitions, strategies, experience of promotion, building the balance of local and international projects within the biennale. Creating a biennale of contemporary art in Saint Petersburg and discussing its possible specificity and influence on the city will be a cross cutting theme of the discussion.

Catherine Ince (UK), curator of an extensively discussed innovative V&A East Arts Centre, a new branch of the London Victoria & Albert Museum, will present her first lecture in Russia as part of New Now in Manezh, an international educational project. The project will consist of an exhibition zone and a center of collections and research with open access to the public. Both spaces will be operational as early as in 2023. The participants of Catherine Ince's lecture will be the first to hear about the architectural idea and the exhibition program of the centre. Ms. Ince previously spent many years as a curator of contemporary art collections at V&A Museum, as well as in the London Barbican Centre; she also served as a commissioner of the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale.

The Public Flow of the Section “Fine Arts” includes five exhibitions, the largest of which, “Deyneka /Samokhvalov”, will be presented at Manezh CEH. Other projects – “Albert Edelfelt and the Romanovs. A Finnish Artist at the Russian Imperial Court”, “Double-Faced Janus (USSR/GDR)”, “Ex mea collectione... Isaac Brodsky” – will be presented in the Scientific Research Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts.

Registration for participants in the Professional Flow of the Forum will be open until October 20 on the website.

Registration to Public Flow events will open on October 1, and last until November 16. Admission to events of the Public Flow is by a free electronic ticket that can be downloaded in your Personal Account after registration on the website.