CASH: IX Shiryaevo Biennale of Contemporary Art



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Back 2007: Home Information, organizers



Марлен Перронет

Home: between Europe and Asia. This year's keyword, home, seems difficult to associate with the theme, between Europe and Asia. Of course, one can always play with words and analyse every meaning of the word “home”. For us, they are quite the same as those of our French equivalent: “maison”, a la maison. How can we consider the theme of the biennial and place our home precisely between Europe and Asia? Even as citizens of the World, our point of view will always be geographically located: “Home=between the English Channel, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean.” And that is, only mentioning seas.

As western Europeans, we can then offer an intimist interpretation of what “at home” means to us, and transfer it to Samara.

We can also study the Russian situation through the media available here in France, and focus on another concept: the dwelling. We find this proposition all the more interesting as we would be staying in dachas, and that the country house phenomenon exists in other forms in western Europe.

Finally we have thought about the “meta-artistic” perspective. To inhabit a work of art, until being haunted by it is a pathology named “syndrome of Stendhal”.

The context of exhibition encourages such an immersion into the work of art. Thus, we focused our reflection on the work of art's accommodation through the history of the “white cube”. The debate around the work of art's territory predominated during the last century. The figure of the white cube, incarnated by the museum and the gallery, was conceived to host works of art. The vocation of the white cube was to be a neutral space in which the work could be exposed without any interference. Such exhibition spaces were then discarded for political, economical as well as aesthetical reasons. There is no denying that the architecture of the main exhibition places still respects this “white cube” form.

If the ideal conditions of exhibition are those of the white cube, what can be done in Shiryaevo? From its creation, Shiryaevo biennial claims an alternative way of creation and exhibition. This residence of artists from around the world lasts one summer. Everything but a white cube. The presence of the people living in the village is as important as the proximity of other artists in an atmosphere of creation. The “nomadic show”, as a mode of exhibition, involves many constraints for showing works that have been besides created in two weeks on-site with rudimentary material.

Every artist should decide how he will inhabit Shiryaevo. There is only one requirement: whatever the form, something has to be presented at the end of this experience, and that thing should, as the biennial does every year, radically change some habits.

Catalog 2007