IX SHIRYAEVO BIENNALE OF CONTEMPORARY ART - CONCEPTION

BIENNALE SUBJECT OF 2016 — «CASH»
The subject reveals the conflict between a wish to create a relationship of trust between each other and a wish to survive under the new conditions of total market networks. Within the framework of the declared subject it is planned to define a sphere of real authentic human values appropriate for everybody — in small local places and in the global situation of today.

MAIN PROJECT — CREATIVE LABORATORY «CASH»
12.08 —
27.08.2016
(Shiryaevo village, the Samara Region)
Curator: Nelya Korzhova
Artists:
Serious Collision Investigation Unit Coalition: Felix Gmelin, Alan Armstrong, Joakim Forsgren, Mikael Goralski, Amanda Harsmar, Ronak Moshtagi and Kjersti Austdal (Norway/Sweden/UK);
Paulo Paes (Brazil);
Radesign group: Anton Rakov and Yulia Ratieva (Russia);
Darya Yemelyanova (Russia) and Dmitry Kadyntsev (Russia);
GKP group: Vitaly Cherepanov and Anna Mineeva (Russia);
Dominika Skutnik and Marek Frankowski (Poland);
Antibody Corporation: Adam Rose and April Pollard (USA);
Eryka Dellenbach (USA); Merzedes
Sturm-Lie (Sweden);
André Talborn (Sweden);
Alexey Trubetskov (Russia);
Olga Kisseleva (France);
Alisa Nikolaeva (Russia/France) and Nicolas Courgeon (France);
S’ilTePlait group: Bernard Touzet, Théophile Péju,
Pierre-Loup Pivoin and Raphaël Saillard (France);
Club Fortuna: Kurdwin Ayub (Austria), Xenia Lesniewski (Austria), Julia Rublow (Germany), Sarah Sternat (Germany) and Nana Mandl (Austria);
Maarten Heijkamp (Netherlands);
Thomas C. Chung (Australia);
U/n Multitude group: Nikita Spiridonov, Elena Zubtsova and Ilya Fomin (Russia);
YUNRUBIN group:Joanne Pang Rui Yun and Jonas Rubin (Singapore/Denmark);
Maria Kryuchkova (Russia) and Ilya Samorukov (Russia).

Strategy
The strategy of the Biennale Main Project is based on the interaction between research principles of Actual Art and natural and mental values of the place.
The Nomadic Show is a central event of the Shiryaevo Biennale. It appears as a new way of contemporary art presentation, combining individual artworks into an integral synthetic project in which the audience is actively involved into an art-process in the frame of one-day exhibition journey.
The important part of the Biennale structure is the International Creative Laboratory, held as a contemporary art experiment in the traditional Russian village. During two weeks (August 12–26) the participants are supposed to stay in the locals' houses, get acquainted with the spirit of the place and develop new ideas.
The «Nomadic Show» is a symbiosis of two concepts: the European «show» and the Asian «nomadic» — the nomadic way of life for the development of new «territories». The action takes place only one day as a unique exhibition journey and combines works of all the laboratory artists in one integral synthetic work of art.

Cоnception:
Today as never before the subject of CASH is of great interest in situations of virtual payments where we have to live on credit. This new reality is getting absolutely characteristic through the system of credits intensifying everybody’s direct dependency on continuously rising inflation and endless crises. Everybody desperately needs money savings as a guarantee of safety and freedom, but if formerly the credit was based on mutual confidence and a money lender ran the risk, now the situation is exactly opposite: a borrower is the first to run the risk. An obvious substitution of notions occurred. The word «credit» comes» from Latin «credere» meaning «to trust». In particular, «solidarity» was the initial basis for credit relationship.
The art of previous thirty years reacted on this mutation by accentuated refusal of tangible embodiment of a piece of art that is less and less expressed through a subject-matter and more and more uses communication functions. Visuality is slipping away, it tends to become a pure process, something that cannot be touched. This strategy is focused on a search of new visual codes and formats of a dialog. Rejecting approved and time-tested forms of visual appeal it is searching for possibility to show something utmost.
The conflict between economical and axiological issues has become more acute. Globalism doesn’t allow any authenticity to exist as it is; it grinds down an individual wish into a network product of collective wishes. This sensitive issue affects an author’s authenticity, artistic initiatives and institutions. Even a museum traditionally associated with an artwork autonomy has ceased to be a place of guaranteed safety. The terrorist act in Palmyra revealed a new horrible reality — the storage of art treasures was in the explosion epicenter.
At the same time one can’t fail to notice that the contemporary art system uses artistic events to achieve economical and political purposes. In this respect the stature of a «live» artist becomes that very «cash». Being an object and a subject of the research and composition of new art values, artist discloses «here and now» basic principles of the state-market-society relations.
Talking about life on credit it’s impossible to avoid the subject of the collective debt underlying in the field of collective unconscious. Artist is ready to make this subject visible through a naive and generous action of donator. Probably, «naivety» (understood as a creator’s authenticity unequal to himself/herself) is that very «cash» forming the basis of national culture. «Naivety» can be considered as a platform of openness and solidarity that helps to live and not to survive under the conditions of constant fighting. And where despair collides with the otherness artist is ready to take this responsibility. Dominika Skutnik and Marek Frankowski (Poland) in their project «Diamonds for a Mountain: Necklace» redefine the concept of a material value — they will insert diamonds into a surface of the Zhiguli Mountains around Shiryaevo village, giving a conceptual generous gift to Mother Nature. Playing with aesthetics and traditions of Land Art of the 60s, the artists examine the subject of a direct value of an art object in terms of money, a cultural value of an artwork or its Utopian and altruistic nature, thus principal impossibility of converting an artwork into a subject of CASH.
Anton Rakov and Yulia Ratieva (Samara group called «Radesign») present kinematic project «Larifuga — a project of nomadic workshop». The artists work with such essential ideas as place and time, representing them in one moving object where a spectator can act as a movement moderator.
«Jawbreaker» is a work by an Austrian-German group Club Fortuna (Kurdwin Ayub, Xenia Lesniewski, Julia Rublow, Sarah Sternat and Nana Mandl) playing with the image of teeth as a symbol of happiness, vitality and wealth as well as an «interface» between fear of loss and temporality. The idea of the project according to the authors is «to get inside the mouth cavity in order to feel the taste of Russia».
Solidarity is a basis for a creative research of a Swedish-Norwegian group Serious Collision Investigation Unit Coalition (Felix Gmelin, Alan Armstrong, Joakim Forsgren, Mikael Goralski, Amanda Hårsmar, Ronak Moshtagi and Kjersti Austdal). Serious Collision Investigation Unit is an artists' coalition working on location and producing works collectively, alone and on demand of other artists. In all these 7 artists present the works of 27 artists in order to grasp all the dimensions of the Biennale subject.
In the performance «Antiworlds», based on Andrey Voznesensky’s poem, Adam Rose and April Pollard — the artists from the USA, calling themselves Antibody Corporation — explore the concept of «physical currency» as an idea of «corporal exchange» using local landscape as a symbol of «overall body of the Earth». The artists raise a set of questions: What will be the form of this exchange? Will it be carried out in generally accepted framework of wage-work institution where potential wage-worker’s capacity is offered for sale? Or will it be in a more straightforward and rude form of slavery? Is it possible to convert a dance as money equivalent into an intermediary of «corporal exchange»?
In the project «Shiryaevo Currency» by Olga Kiselyova (France) a reality of currency unit is mixed up with its virtual value and modern strategies are mixed up with traditional technologies. What is happening with ethical values when economical values are crashing? It should be noted that in post-industrial times money as such presents a fictitious category without a material equivalent, thus being an abstract value. We can observe a period of evident money mutation. At the same time money is a unique unifying phenomenon and for this reason any society has got an opportunity to issue its own money.

Nelya Korzhova, curator of the Main Project of IX Shiryaevo Biennale

Translated by Andrey Senatorov