Wednesday 09 September 2015 - 00:00 to Tuesday 10 November 2015 - 00:00

The 3rd Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art - one of the most outstanding international contemporary art projects in Russian regions - will be held in Ekaterinburg from September 9 to October 10 2015.

This main theme of this year’s Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art is mobilization as an ability to change and to reach a fundamentally different level. The main research issue of the Biennial is to define the scenarios of modern mobilization and the roles that culture, critical thinking and contemporary art play in them. The exhibition programme will be accompanied by the study of how avant-garde architecture could be applied today. 

This year’s Biennial includes the main project, final exhibition of art-residences, special projects, a performance platform and research projects. The main project is curated by Li Zhenhua (Beijing – Bazel) and Bilyana Chirich (Shanghai).  53 Artists and art groups from Singapore, Australia, Austria, ,Brazil, Vietnam, Germany, Indonesia, china, Malaysia, Norway, Pakistan, Serbia, Thailand, Taiwan, USA, Finland, Switzerland and Japan will participate in this project. The British programme is supported by the British Council. 

The Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art is organized and held by the Ural Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA) in Ekaterinburg and the Ural region since 2010.

UK Participants: 

Main project of the 3rd Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art.  
“Iset” Hotel, Ekaterinburg, 69/1 Lenina Str.

  • Marysia Lewandowska (London, UK)

Editing the Century, an installation by artist Marysia Lewandowska, draws upon the practice of a Viennese architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky (1897-2000) who was the only female foreign architect to have worked in the Soviet Union in the 1930s. She joined Ernst May’s practice in Frankfurt in 1926 designing what became known as The Frankfurt Kitchen, which was intended to ease women’s domestic work through a rational arrangement of components. Between 1930-1937 she was part of May’s Brigade, a group of German architects responsible for design of housing in Kuznetsk, Prokopievsk, Nizhnii Tagil, Orsk, Leninakan, Makaevka, Shcheglovsk, Chibinogorsk and Magnitogorsk, contributing to the Five Year Plan commissions.  Schütte-Lihotzky was in charge of all architectural planning concerning children — including the design of furniture as well as school buildings and kindergartens. 

In her two-part installation, Lewandowska offers a meditation on the role of early experiences of the kindergarten, as a place of our first encounter with social space, play in the process of socialisation and in creating a sense of belonging. 

By reproducing some of the furniture designs and showing a series of watercolours, she arranges the room as both tribute to the creativity of Schütte-Lihotzky, at the same time transforming the space of display into an inhabited space of reflection, dwelling upon the values attached to the communal and to the public. 

In a recently completed film entitled Triple C the artist attends to the effects of communism on her own history. Having been raised and educated in Poland, she establishes a dialogue with the ideological positions and artistic affiliations associated with the work of Schütte-Lihotzky. The film’s soundtrack by Eileen Simpson and Ben White (Open Music Archive) has been assembled from 20th century music whose copyright has expired to be shared as part of the public realm.

Symposium of the 3rd Ural Biennial of Contemporary Art.

Ural Federal University, September 8-10.

Symposium Curator Thomas Sevcik – founder and CEO of Arthesia, a strategic project developing content and strategy for major developer projects around the world and also supporting large companies, organizations and regions in creation of identity and positioning of their projects. 

  • Anthony Gardner
    September 9, 12:15-13:00

Anthony Gardner is an Associate Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory, working at the intersection of political theory and art and exhibition histories since the early 1950s. Anthony is the Director of Graduate Studies at the Ruskin and a Fellow of The Queen’s College. His main research areas are postcolonialism, postsocialism and curatorial histories.

Anthony will participate in the symposium with a report about renewal that we see in the paths of modern mobilization. Re-staging. Re-enactment. Reconstruction. Reinvention. There is little doubt that this small prefix, “re”, has become one of the hallmarks of the contemporary – a trope of nostalgia and the security of repetition, certainly, but one that also seeks to renew the “past potential futures” of the century past. Exhibitions are no exception to this activity of renewal in order to re-create our cultural reality and the history of biennials within the frame of “mobilization of reality”. In his speech he would like to re-consider the pertinence for some of the symposium’s questions of Cold War-era biennials, focused as they were on the largely socialist south. Although little remembered today, this second wave of biennials stands as a remarkable forerunner for critiquing the neoliberalization of biennials during their third wave, setting the ground for what a current, fourth wave of biennials might offer as the basis for new international cultural relations.

  • Сара Уилсон Sarah Wilson 
    September 10, 15:45 – 18:00

report The 'Resistance of Images' Narrative Figuration: fiction, politics and lessons for today'.

Sarah Wilson is an art historian and curator whose interests extend from post-war and Cold War Europe and the USSR to contemporary global art. She was educated at the University of Oxford (BA English Literature) and at the Courtauld, where she took her MA and PhD degrees. She was Head of the Modern and Contemporary Section at the Courtauld from 2005-Spring 2008 and has been Head of Diploma programmes during 2014-2015. Sarah’s  major publications include : Paris, Capital of the Arts,1900-1968 (Royal Academy, 2002), a substantial livre–catalogue and the standard publication on the subject, and The Visual World of French Theory: Figurations. A second volume: The Visual World of French Theory II: interventions (in preparation) will challenge the ‘Figurations‘ volume, with an emphasis on conceptual art, performance and film. She takes an active role in CCRAC, the Cambridge-Courtauld Russian Art Centre, with the contemporary exhibition and talks programme of Calvert 22 which reaches out to Russia and Eastern Europe, and with Pushkin House in London. In 2014 she was appointed to the curatorial team of the 1st Asian Biennale (China-Guangzhou). 

'The Resistance of Images' is the title of a contemporary show in a new space in Brussels curated by former Minister of Culture Jean-Jacques Aillagon. It looks, today, at the 1970s movement 'Narrative Figuration'. At a time of war in Vietnam, post-Solzhenitsyn Soviet implosion, post-colonial troubles in once-French Algeria, its artists combined a critical (anti-American) response to Pop art with a politicised take on the present, involving new 'theory' but also a 'bet' as regards media. While the concept of 'narration' was related to fiction and to New Wave film (in an era of the microchip and the attack on the image via conceptual art and performance) the 'Resistance of Images' demonstrates how the artists, via painting, won the 'bet with history'. 

In a globalised world, where individual Instagrams are now appropriated by Richard Prince, how can art intervene in the unending flow of images?

Can art, can fiction, still offer a form of Resistance?