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Read Russia Programme, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art and Calvert 22 Foundation presents: The Critical Mass of the Critical Mess 100 issues of Moscow Art Magazine
10 April, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
The book Critical Mass: Moscow Art Magazine 1993–2017, published in 2017 by Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, began to take shape as Moscow Art Magazine started preparing its anniversary 100th issue. Deciding what should make up Critical Mass was not an easy matter. In almost a quarter of a century so many texts of vastly different formats and genres were published!
In selecting texts from this mess of critical mass, the editors were guided by the goal of introducing to an English-language readership the local Russian discourse, the experience of understanding art in Russia during the various stages of post-Soviet history. Accordingly, Critical Mass does not include articles by international authors and nor does it examine the post-Soviet reception of Western art. This is despite the fact that Moscow Art Magazine and its readers were extremely interested in connecting the Russian context to the international stage. This particular book focuses on the Russian art scene, as seen from within.
Critical Mass comprises seven sections on different themes. Their order is chronological: each theme resonates with discussions that were particularly intense at different periods of development of post-Soviet art. Although they attracted particular attention at certain points in time, the discussion was rarely exhausted. Most of these themes formed red threads weaving from issue to issue of Moscow Art Magazine throughout the post-Soviet years. This is why the different sections of the Critical Mass issue contain texts written at different times by authors of different generations.
While working on this book, Moscow Art Magazine published its anniversary issue and three others: work is now proceeding on issue 105. It seems best, then, to recall the phrase at the end of every comic by Georgy Litichevsky, one of which adorns each issue of Moscow Art Magazine: “To be continued.”
About the author
Viktor Misiano (b. 1957) is a curator, editor, and critic. He is the founder and editor-inchief of of Moscow Art Magazine. Exhibitions organized include: Ornamentalism: Latvian Contemporary Art, Collateral Event of the 56th Venice Biennale, Venice (2015); Impossible Community, State Museum of Contemporary Art of the Russian Academy of Arts, Moscow (2011); Progressive Nostalgia: Art from the Former USSR, Centro per l’arte contemporanea, Prato, the Benaki Museum, Athens, Kumu, Tallinn, and Kiasma, Helsinki (2007); and INTEЯPOL, Fargfabriken, Stockholm (1996). Books include Five Lectures on Curating (2015) and The Other and the Different (2004). In 2016, he was the recipient of the Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory.
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