The betrayal of intellectuals, a site-specific project by Diana Machulina

20161018_150827-1For Suite Russe Paris, which took place in the Ritz Hotel from Oct 18th to 20th, the Moscow-based artist Diana Machulina presented a project she wanted to realize for ten years: “The betrayal of intellectuals“.

Inspired by the eponymous book of Julien Benda, written in 1927, the installation is composed of four wall sculptures, portraits of revolutionary thinkers of the 19-20th centuries: Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin – as most known fighters with capitalism, Henri Lefebvre as the author of Critique de la vie quotidienne and Guy Debord as the author of The Society of the Spectacle) presented on wooden boards as hunting trophies, with horns.

The theme of Julien Benda’s book is the betrayal of the vocations of intellectuals. Benda criticizes their abandonning of altruistic and philosophical ideals to immerse themselves in the practical and material world of political passions.

Writing at a moment when ethnic and nationalistic hatreds were beginning to tear Europe asunder, Benda’s diagnosis was a prophecy that continues to have deep resonance today.

As in all her artistic projects, Diana Machulina depicts a serious subject with beautifully done artwork and documents our contemporary reality: the portraits of 4 intellectuals presented as hunting trophees, with their head in white color like ghosts from a brave past, illustrates with humour the theme of changing way of thinking.

This installation resonates with the Ritz Paris: the hunting trophees connect with the decor of the Hemingway bar and somehow the Ritz has appealed to many philosophers and intellectuals.

Suite Russe Paris, Oct 18 – 20

img_1526For the first time in Paris, Galerie Stanislas Bourgain has presented the third edition of its exhibition project Suite Russe. From Oct 18 to 20th, in a suite of the Ritz Hotel, the gallery has showed a selection of contemporary artwork by Russian an Ukrainian artists to collectors, curators and journalists, by appointment only.

For the occasion, the gallery unveiled a site-specific project by Diana Machulina, “The Betrayal of Intellectuals” (see following post). Other exhibited artwork included pieces by Vladimir Logutov, Sergei Kalinine, Yuri Pikul, Sasha Romashko, Alina & Jeff Bliumis, and Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich.

With Suite Russe, Galerie Stanislas Bourgain offers his guests a different and refreshing encounter with contemporary art from Russia and ex-USSR countries in a friendly and intimate environment, a peaceful rest from the urban life.

Suite Russe was launched in New York in May this year at Baccarat Hotel during Frieze New York, and then followed in Vienna at Sacher Hotel during the Wiener Festwochen.

Suite Russe checked into Vienna, May 21-22


SuiteRusse_Esavethedate_VIETo coincide with the participation of Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich in the Wiener Festwochen, Galerie Stanislas Bourgain made the second edition of Suite Russe in Vienna.

On May 21st and May 22nd, the gallery organized private showings of Russian contemporary art, including new works by Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich and Diana Machulina, in a suite of the Sacher hotel in Vienna, an hotel connected to the Ballets Russes.


Fyodor’s Performance Carousel in Wien Festwochen

csm_0018_carousel_gen_view_blurred_with_a_cyclist_GROSS_03_edf5198d80Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich ‘s performance Carousel brings together different individual artistic wills in a collective unconscious intention. It rotates with nine performance artists inside. None of the performers knows what the others will show. And since a carousel must turn, it needs – in this case – volunteers from the audience to kick-start the performance.

Carousel performance was first shown at Faena Arts Center, Buenos Aires in 2014. It will be part of the Wien Festwochen from May 14th to May 22th, 2016

More information: carousel-festwochen

Suite Russe premieres in New-York


Suite Russe is a new concept of private showings in a destination hotel suite launched by Galerie Stanislas Bourgain for a personal and exclusive connection to Russian art.
Simultaneously with Frieze art week, Suite Russe premiered at the Baccarat Hotel on May 5 & 6 in New-York. Baccarat, a French Maison, has a long history with Russia and welcomed warmly the project.
During this event, the gallery  unveiled  “Dance Macabre” the new project by the Moscow-based artist Diana Machulina: a series of etchings of dance diagrams mixing foot steps and skeleton parts.
Suite Russe also presented the “Yellow pages” cast foam  book sculptures of Alina&Jeff Bliumis , figuring Trump and Clinton which makes them topical, though a 2008 project. Strong images of the “Temporary Monuments” triptychs by the performance artist Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich received special interest.

Not “a painting in an exhibition” but an “exhibition in a painting”, Vladimir Logutov

Vladimir Logutov, aquarel on paper, 2015

Besides of being one of the best Russian artist of its generation, Vladimir Logutov is also a brilliant curator and dedicates a great part of his time to curatorial work, as testifies the group show “No Time” he curated for the Smirnov Foundation as part of the 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art in Sept 2015.

The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.”, wrote Marcel Duchamp.

Vladimir Logutov continues exploring this idea in his last series of artwork, “Meetings”, a project he started in 2007. It consists of a series of aquarels where he gives physical forms to his curatorial ideas. As Vladimir Logutov declares himself : his art is not “a painting in an exhibition” but an “exhibition in a painting.”

The exhibition “Encounters” is visible at the Regina Gallery, in Moscow, until January 25th, 2016.


Highlights from the 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art

Unexpectedly, the ten-day long events of the main project of the 6th Moscow Biennale of contemporary art, from Sept 22 to Oct 1 2015, were a great surprise. Galerie Stanislas Bourgain is happy to give you an overview of what has catched its attention.

By its format: an openspace of work in progress, public dialogue and discussions; by its location: the Pavillon N1 of the Vdnkh, the main palace of what used to be the Soviet economy achievements fair; by its theme: “How to gather ? Acting in a Center in a City in the Heart of the Island of Eurasia” raising current hot topics; and by being a gathering with uncertain outcome, the Biennale reflected perfectly the local context and complex situation of Moscow, a city at the crossword of influences, and of Russia, looking for its identity in balance between Europe and Asia.

A highlight of the main project was the performance of Taus Makhacheva, where a group of acrobats made a human pyramid as a small moutain, then carrying the masterpieces of the museum of Makhachkala, capital of her native Dagestan.  In the “Caucasus pavillion”, the Unbound group was presenting a world of different objects from the this region, showing how the culture of the post-Soviet Caucasus, through a period of transformation, assimilates any product from the West so that it loses its original format in a way to restore a national identity.


Numerous parallel events were organized all over Moscow during the Biennale.  As a selection, “No time” organized by the Smirnov and Sorokin Foundation at Winzavod and curated by Vladimir Logutov, presented a great choice of young Russian artists working with graphics and paintings. The V-A-C foundation was showing in a new location, a closed-down power station soon to become an contemporary art center, the project “Expanding space” the result of a programme to support artistic practice within the urban environment of Moscow. The Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art was showing an interesting solo exhibition of Evgueny Antufiev who is using different media to question the phenomenon of Russian culture with all its attributes from Pushkin’s fairy tale to Pavlov cake, in a attempt to combine them around a new vision.

Solyanka Gallery, the only museum in Russia dedicated to the performance art, was presented for the third time a group exhibition of Russian performance art, “The artist is hidden”, including the artist, curator and museum director Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich. Together with an exhibition of Manuel Vason’s photographs coming from its collaborating with UK and Russian performance artists.

The Moscow Biennale 2015 was also the purpose for the legendary futurist opera with costumes design by Kazimir Malevich first performed in 2013 to be reconstructed by the Stas Namin Theatre of Moscow and staged at Udarnik, Moscow.


The Armenian Jeans of Karen Barseghyan

In its aim to explore and share its experience of the contemporary artscene in Russia and ex-USSR countries, Galerie Stanislas Bourgain is pleased to present the work of  Karen Barseghyan that a recent trip in Armenia gave a chance to discover.

With a pop aesthetic and a remarkable sense of humor,  Karen Barseghyan, born in Gyumri, Armenia, in 1979, raises various social and political issues in this ex-USSR countries experiencing democracy.

His recent artwork is “Armenian Jeans”, a series of drawings printed on a denim canvas on top of which the artist had added collages or painting. The use of jeans as a material for his artwork  came from his experience during the military service and is a way for him to exorcise this period of life. The drawings represent real or imaginary scenes of the daily life in Gyumri, a city where the artist still lives and works.

Each of them has a clear message: the central square of the city covered with bicycles is first a remembrance of his recent trip to Amsterdam but also a dream that the small streets of Gyumri would allow more space to his means of transportation; this one shows  a soldier with an anxious look at the viewer, his eyes appearing just above his shield: a scene that refers to the tragic event involving the Russian army based in Gyumri which became suspicious since then; another piece represents abandonned Gyumri buildings from the tsarist era of the city, reflecting on the hood of one of the german cars that populates the city since a couple of years. Karen has added a band-aid on top. In a very good way, this work symbolizes the current state of this city, navigating between the preservation of the past and the desire for modernity, while still recovering from its trauma of the last 30 years: the 1988 earthquake, the fall of USSR and the war in Nagorno-Karabach.

Karen Barseghyan, “coffee table”, acryl on canvas, objects, 2014.

Another work is a pseudo ready-made, featuring a coffee table during a meeting with the curator of the last Gyumri  Biennale, mixing painting and real objects which are typically found on an armenian table.  A piece that was surprisingly hanged on the ceiling of an hotel room and which represents perfectly the  contemporary life of this city rich of culture and history, a city which holds an Art Biennale since 1996.

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