BAIBAKOV art projects

Baibakov Art Projects is a private, non-profit institution founded in 2008 by Maria Baibakova as a progressive platform for cultural production within Moscow and abroad. Since its inception, Baibakov Art Projects has produced exhibitions with over seventy Russian and international artists.
  • August 9, 2012 11:00 am

    The Garage announces a program of stipends for young Russian artists

    Taus Makhacheva, Maturity II, 2006

    As the Museum of Everything makes its way around Russia (by our calculations they should currently be on route to Nizhny Novgorod), Moscow’s Garage is addressing a broader problem.

    While prizes like ArtChronika’s Kandinsky Prize and the state-funded Innovation Prize are quick to recognize “Young Artists” (not flinching when these same “emerging talents” also clinch other nominations along mid-career artists), there is no support system to allow for truly emerging artists to develop.

    Over the last two decades, the Russian art world as it stands is concentrated in Moscow, with little market existing in the provinces. The market in Moscow was incredibly isolated, with a circuit of galleries selling a circuit of artists to a circuit of clients for prices those artists would not be able to fetch outside the confines of this system (which is how an artist who has represented Russia in the Venice Biennale ends up having a first solo show in the states in a tiny Lower East Side start-up.) Now that system is famously collapsing, with several of the top galleries recently folding or “restructuring” as non-profits, whose exhibitions are underwritten by vodka sponsors.

    In other words, it’s one thing to discover a new artist, quite another to support that artist’s development. A prize is one thing, but without the network of grants and commissions that feed artists in other parts of the world, enterprising young talents more often than not end up making palatable projects glorifying alcoholic beverages or luxury cars.

    This is where the Garage steps in; echoing the funding structure that helped New York to explode, the organization will be offering monthly stipends of 20,000 rubles (roughly ) to young artists, in the hopes that those funds will allow them to concentrate on their work. Russian artists, from age 18-35, are encouraged to submit applications, available here.

    Applications will be accepted through August 31, 2012.

  • August 8, 2012 10:48 am

    Pussy Riot, Madonna, High Court Hijinks and What it means to be a Hooligan

    Madonna at her August 7, 2012, concert in Moscow

    Like most of the world - judging from the number of Pussy-Riot-relard requests in our inbox - we have spent the last week watching The Trial of Pussy Riot, a tragicomedy that plays more like something from the files of OBERIU than a study in contemporary justice. As Slavoj Zizek writes in a piece for Chto Delat?, “What is a modest Pussy Riot obscene provocation in a church compared to the accusation against Pussy Riot, this gigantic obscene provocation of the state apparatus which mocks any notion of decent law and order?”

    Like most of the world, we’ve also been wondering what relevance Madonna still holds in a world where cone-bras and stage-kissing pop tarts no longer shocks culture into action.

    It turns out, when the issue is human rights in Russia, Madonna matters a lot more than any logical argument. Her statement last night in support of the three girls immediately exploded over the Internet, surpassing even the wild search queries triggered by Anthony Kiedis and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, when Kiedis donned a Pussy Riot t-shirt for his performance a few weeks back.

    Granted, Kiedis wore a shirt, while Madonna bore the name of the “band” (these people do realize PR - wow, how did it take us so long to catch on the irony of the initials?! - are not musicians, yes?) directly on her skin. She spoke out about freedom, calling Pussy Riot “courageous.” While she was clear she “means no disrespect to the church,” she also concluded, “I pray for their freedom.” Watch her full comments below:

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lXtE6DR6g4]

    Of the myriad, somewhat incredulous reports on the peculiar absurdities of the trial - the constantly aborted questions, the denial of any witnesses for the defense, the use of blue-eyed, blonde, potentially “professional” witnesses - we recommend the always insightful Julia Ioffe, who submitted a report for the New Republic.  Just an excerpt (though its enough to understand the OBERIU reference):

    Because Sokologorskaya was claiming “moral damage,” one of the defense lawyers, Nikolai Polozov, asked her if she had turned to a doctor or a psychologist to address her suffering.

    “I’m an Orthodox believer,” Sokologorskaya said. “The gracious power of the Holy Spirit is a million times stronger than any psychologist!”

    “Then why didn’t the gracious power of the Holy Spirit assuage your moral suffering?”

    “The question is struck!” snapped the judge.

    “Have you seen the video of the punk prayer?” Polozov asked.

    “Yes.”

    “If the performance caused you such moral suffering, why did you decide to poison your soul again?”

    The judge struck the question.

    As Mark Feygin, the girls’ lawyer pointed out in his closing statement (which you can listen to, in Russian, here), his clients did not commit any crime. Well, at least not the crime with which they were charged, which is hooliganstvo - ie, being a hooligan, which is defined by the law as disrupting the social order. As Feigin points out, had these girls performed on Novy Arbat Street - arguably a case study for The Social Order - nothing might have happened, other than the girls maybe collecting a hatful of loose change. What the “witnesses” brought in testified to was the personal offense of Christians, which cannot be hooliganstvo considered by the law as it stands.

    So where does that leave things? Michael Idov tries to piece together the various implications in his column for the New York Times (we love this line: “This has nothing to do with the quality of their music; judging it on artistic merit would be like chiding the Yippies because Pigasus the Immortal, the pig they ran for president in 1968, was not a viable candidate.”), but at the end of the day, it comes down to the Russian Court recognizing and upholding its own laws.

    So now it’s just a matter of waiting the 10 days for the court to hand down its sentence? We’ll keep you posted. (Though maybe, so will Madonna.)

  • August 1, 2012 8:09 am

    The Museum of Everything “discovers” Russia

    Today, one of Moscow’s foremost cultural commentators, Afisha veteran Yury Saprykin posed the very important question as to why Peter Gabriel and Sting are so quick to voice support for Pussy Riot, while Russian rock stars like Zemfira keep quiet. He proposes that the former are laboring under the misapprehension that Pussy Riot is an actual band, ala Sex Pistols, and not an artistic initiative, operating within the confines of the art world.

    As for what constitutes these confines, that’s a task that the Museum of Everything aims to explore with its fifth exhibition, which takes the shape of a tour across Russia, seeking undiscovered talents or outsider artists. This search will culminate in what the promotional video below absurdly calls “the first truly democratic exhibition of contemporary art” at the Garage’s new Gorky Park space in Moscow. For more information and the dates of the tour, check the website, or watch this video:

    [vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/45572835 w=500&h=281]

    Meanwhile, at Iris Foundation’s St Petersburg outpost, New Holland, the summer program opens an exhibition called "Lyuda EXPRESS" today, which is set to showcase the efforts of artist Peter Belyi’s experimental non-profit, Lyuda Gallery. While it may not meet the qualifications for the Museum of Everything’s “outsider” status, the St Petersburg scene has been more or less ignored for refusing to play along with the slick packaging of Moscow. This exhibition will rotate the artist on display every three days, going through a roster with such diverse talents as revered minimalist sculptor Konstantin Simun (known - though in our opinion, not enough - for his stunning Broken Ring monument to the Leningrad Blockade) to the emerging painter Vlad Kulkov. The exhibition is curated by Gleb Ershov, and will run from today until August 15. For more information, visit the website (soon to be updated in English.)

    Konstantin Simun, The Broken Ring, 1966 monument to the Leningrad Blockade

  • July 30, 2012 11:19 am

    And then there were…? Two more galleries leave Moscow’s Winzavod

    Archival images from Taus Makhacheva’s “Let Me Be Part of the Narrative,” on view at Paperworks Gallery, April 10-May 11, 2012

    This weekend, Moscow’s Winzavod Art Center - which has undergone some major changes with the arrival of new director Elena Panteleeva and the “transition” of three of its leading galleries to nonprofit spaces - just lost two more galleries.

    First, this Saturday, Irina Meglinskaya announced that her Meglinskaya Gallery - which draws from a photography-weighted roster of artists like Igor Mukhin - would be leaving. Artguide broke the news, but offered few details other than dangling promises of an exclusive interview in its next issue.

    Installation view of Valery Chtak’s “Bits of Truth,” on view at Paperworks, September 24 - November 9, 2011

    This announcement was followed shortly thereafter by a statement from Paperworks, announcing they would not renew their lease, which expires August 1, 2012.

    Baibakov Art Projects has collaborated with Paperworks in the past, co-publishing Valery Chtak’s Bits of Truth, but more than that, we have always admired their program, which encourages smart (and as of a few rounds on the award circuit, well decorated) up-and-comers like Taus Makhacheva and Polina Kanis.  Before moving to Winzavod in 2009, Paperworks got its start in 2005 at the scrappy Art Strelka space (now the site of the Strelka Institute); we have great faith that gallery owners Lena Bakanova and Evgeny Mitta will push on with their activities in a new location that reflects the edginess and dynamism of their program.

  • July 24, 2012 9:48 am

    A.i.R. Dubai announces an Open Call for 2013

    Artist-in-Residence (A.i.R.) Dubai is an annual two month program run by Art Dubai,  Delfina FoundationDubai Culture & Arts Authority, and Tashkeel  that offers artists (and one curator) the chance to spend a concentrated period in Dubai in the months leading up to Art Dubai.

    According to the call for submissions put out last week by Art Dubai, A.i.R. Dubai is seeking applicants for 6 artists in residence: 3 Emirati artists and 3 international artists.  These artists will live and work together “in historic Al Bastakiya, in the heart of Dubai’s trading district alongside the Creek,” from January 7 to March 31, to coincide with the 7th edition of Art Dubai, Design Days Dubai and the SIKKA Art Fair. During this time, the artists complete site-specific commissions as part of the fair programs.

    Faycal Baghriche, Nothing More Real, Art Dubai Projects 2012

    Additionally, the program, in collaboration with ArtAsiaPacific, invites 1 international curator interested in researching aspects of the Gulf. According to the Delfina website: “The selected curator will be an upcoming/mid-career curator from anywhere in the world, either working with an established institution (and able to take a sabbatical) or freelance. The jury will be seeking applicants who have demonstrated interest in the UAE/Gulf/Middle East with the capacity for in-depth research and writing. It is expected that the curator will use the opportunity to further develop links within and knowledge of the Gulf, with a view to working with artists based in, or ideas developed within, this region in the future.”

    Joining the jury this year is guest juror Sarah Rifky, curator of Cairo’s Townhouse Gallery and one of documenta 13’s agents.

    The deadline for applications is September 16, 2012. To apply, or for more information, check this website.

  • July 20, 2012 5:46 pm

    ANOTHER SIX MONTHS for Pussy Riot

    Members of Pussy Riot  sit behind bars before a court hearing in Moscow, July 20, 2012. Photo: REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

    Today, in advance of Pussy Riot’s staunch July 24 court date, the Russian court arbitrarily announced that the trial for JANUARY 13, 2013. That’s nearly TEN MONTHS after their arrest - without ever being formally convicted with anything!

    This in the wake of reports that the court had been troubled by some of the members’ earlier actions as part of the group Voina. In particular, Elena Misulina, a representative of the Duma Committee for Matters relating to Family, Women and Children, pointed to "indecent acts with a chicken." She is referring to the performance “How to Snatch a Chicken: A Tale of How One Cunt Fed the Whole of Group Voina.” In this performance - not for the weak stomach, as the title might insinuate - the group purportedly rebels against the capitalist system by shoplifting a turkey in the least appetizing of manners. This action was evoked in court as evidence that the February 2012 performance for which the Pussy Riot members are being prosecuted was not an isolated event in the lives of these young women.

    Speaking of things which don’t belong in one’s anatomy, the girls found another rock and roll ally in Anthony Kiedis, lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who donned a homemade Pussy Riot shirt for his performance this weekend.

    Anthony Kiedis performs in his Pussy Riot shirt. Photo Miriam Elder, via Twitter.

  • July 19, 2012 3:08 am

    The Public Art Fund brings Oscar Tuazon’s People to Brooklyn Bridge Park

    Oscar Tuazon, An Error, 2010. Installation view as part of “Perpetual Battles,” Baibakov Art Projects, Moscow.

    It’s been just two years since Oscar Tuazon installed An Error at Baibakov Art Projects, as part of the exhibition "Perpetual Battles," but in that time, the artist has had more exhibitions than some artists have in their careers (including participation in Bice Curiger’s project at the Venice Biennale as well as a major piece in the 2012 Whitney Biennial.)

    Today, New York’s Public Art Fund will reveal Tuazon’s latest, a set of three sculptures built in response to the Brooklyn Bridge. Entitled “People,” the work will remain in the park until April 26, 2013.

    Oscar Tuazon selecting trees from New York’s Hudson Valley for his project in Brooklyn. Photo @The Art Newspaper

    Tuazon spoke to The Art Newspaper about the project, which he describes as “site-responsive” instead of site-specific:

    The Art Newspaper: How different is it creating work for a park as opposed to a gallery space?

    Oscar Tuazon: Specific to this location: the skyline of Manhattan is incredible. The first thing I realised when I visited is that it’s pointless to try and do something massive because you’ll never be able to compete with the skyline. So, I decided to do something that was human in scale. And to me, trees are human scale. They’re bigger than people, but even on a monumental scale, I think a tree is still something that’s quite approachable because it has human qualities. The tree is also an interesting object in terms of its verticality. Like a totem pole, it doesn’t necessarily have to be massive to do something interesting to the space around it. Its verticality [makes it interesting]. These three pieces are trying to almost function as utilitarian objects within the park. They should be used.

    Read the rest of the interview here.

    Congratulations to Oscar and the Public Art Fund on this commission!

  • July 11, 2012 2:23 am

    Passing Time at the Lincoln Center: Christian Marclay’s The Clock returns to New York

    Photo: Still from Christian Marclay, The Clock, 2010. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York and White Cube, Mason’s Yard, London. Photo: Todd White Photography

    This week, Lincoln Center will kick off the triumphant return of Christian Marclay's much-lauded “The Clock” to New York. The 24 hour marvel uses a cleverly-edited montage of film clips to act as a real-time clock within the exhibition space. In Roberta Smith’s glowing review of the piece, she called it “the greatest movie trailer ever made,” “a 24 hour valentine to the movies” and “the ultimate work of appropriation art.”

    It is hard to say why this panoply of timepieces and plot twists is so gripping, but it is. After watching “The Clock” from around 7:30 p.m. last Friday to past midnight, I dragged myself away, despite the desire to stay and see exactly how the time would be told, how different hours would be rung in.

    From July 13- August 1, the piece will be open to the public in the David Rubenstein Atrium. Admission is free, though, if experience has taught us anything, there will certainly be a line to get in.

    For those eager to get a sneak peek (or to help support Lincoln Center, ensuring this and other such projects remain free to the public), Lincoln Center will hold a special preview on Thursday, July 12, which will be co-hosted by Baibakov Art Projects’ Maria Baibakova, along with esteemed international patrons Mohammed AfkhamiAlexandra ChemlaDana FaroukiAdam Fields and Yana Peel. Guests will enjoy drinks at the Empire Hotel rooftop, starting at 9pm. At 10pm, Marclay himself will be on hand to introduce the work. From 10:30pm-1am, guests will enjoy a private screening of what are arguably some of the film’s most exciting scenes (After all, just how many movie plots revolve around “the stroke of midnight”…?)

    For more about this special preview or to purchase tickets, check the event page on the Lincoln Center website. To find out more about the project, including opening times, check here.

    Christian Marclay. Detail of The Clock, 2012. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York and White Cube, London. Photo: Todd-White Photography.

  • July 3, 2012 4:54 am

    Slavs and Tatars, Sosnowska, Solakov: The 2nd Ural Biennale reveals its roster

    Slavs & Tatars, Régions d’être, 2012

    This morning, the site Artguide.ru broke the artist roster for the second Ural Industrial Biennale of Contemporary Art, slated to run just over a month this fall, from September 13 - October 22, 2012.

    The first Ural Biennale - curated by Katya Degot, David Riff and Cosmin Costinas - made headlines with its contentious theme: “Shockworkers of the Mobile Image.” As we mentioned earlier,  the first press release promised that the sophomore edition  - curated by Iara Boubnova - would continue to develop this theme, revolving “around the industrial and the post-industrial, the Soviet and the Post-Soviet, material and symbolic labour.” Since that time, there’s been some rephrasing (namely a critical verb switch):

    The 2nd biennial will depart from the main themes of the 1st biennial, which revolved around the industrial and the post-industrial, the material and the symbolic; it will consider the possibilities of moving beyond the traditional opposition of production and consumption in artistic, cultural and social spheres and explore the potential of (non)-exhibition spaces appropriated by contemporary art.

    In addition to Baibakov Alums Adel AbdessemedIrina Korina, and Slavs and Tatars, Artists include Kutluğ Ataman, Thomas Demand, Irwin, Emily Jacir, Boris Mikhailov, Anton Vidokle & e-Flux, Dan Perjovski, RAQS Media Collective, RECYCLE, Michael Sailstorfer, Nedko Solakov, and Monika Sosnowska.

    For now, the complete roster is only available on Artguide.

    In addition to Boubnova’s main project, there will be parallel exhibitions curated by stellar critic-curator Valentin Diaconov, the Hermitage 20/21’s Dmitry Ozerkov and  and a joint project with the Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, as well as invited presentations from the Garage, Winzavod and Christie’s. For more information, check here.

    The 2nd biennial will depart from the main themes of the 1st biennial, which revolved around the industrial and the post-industrial, the material and the symbolic; it will consider the possibilities of moving beyond the traditional opposition of production and consumption in artistic, cultural and social spheres and explore the potential of (non)-exhibition spaces appropriated by contemporary art.

    In addition to Baibakov Alums Adel AbdessemedIrina Korina, and Slavs and Tatars, Artists include Kutluğ Ataman, Thomas Demand, Irwin, Emily Jacir, Boris Mikhailov, Anton Vidokle & e-Flux, Dan Perjovski, RAQS Media Collective, RECYCLE, Michael Sailstorfer, Nedko Solakov, and Monika Sosnowska.

    For now, the complete roster is only available on Artguide.

    In addition to Boubnova’s main project, there will be parallel exhibitions curated by stellar critic-curator Valentin Diaconov, the Hermitage 20/21’s Dmitry Ozerkov and  and a joint project with the Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, as well as invited presentations from the Garage, Winzavod and Christie’s. For more information, check here.

    Leonid Tishkov, Private Moon, 2003-2011. Installed here at old Water-cooling tower in the VIZ factory as part of the First Industrial Biennale in the Urals, Ekaterinburg

  • June 26, 2012 4:09 am

    OpenSpace closes: Moscow’s cultural hub loses its domain

    The Contemporary Art page of Openspace.ru, June 26, 2012

    This week the editors of the online cultural portal OpenSpace.ru - which agglomerates information on categories like Contemporary Art, Literature, Theater and Classical Music  -  informed the public that the site would cease operation on June 30th.

    As present-chief editor Maria Stepanova details in an interview with Afisha, the decision to close was the owner’s, Vadim Belyaev, who has brought in former editor of the now defunct Vlast (“Power”), Maxim Kovalsky, to retool the site into more of a political animal.

    "I would hope that the new OpenSpace will serve as a cultural and social hub," Belyaev explains in a statement, also given to Afisha. “I just think ‘culture’ means something more than a site about art.”

    Since its founding the Contemporary Art section has been a particularly valuable resource, supplementing annotated listings of each week’s openings with columns by curator Katya Degot, as well as artists Olga Bozhko (who covered Design) and Kirill Ass (Architecture.) You can check out Degot’s latest - a three part diary of  Documenta - starting here (in Russian.)

    In February of this year, OpenSpace launched its youth-oriented spin-off, W-O-S (“Weekend Open Space”), which could be said to play T Magazine to OpenSpace’s Times. (Still, this type of site has a long way to go before it catches up to Look At Me, arguably the online center of Moscow youth culture. LAM’s “grown-up” section, The Village, was recently awarded a 2012 Gold Lion  in Cannes’ Mobile category.)

    For her part, Stepanova has vowed to register a new domain and migrate all archival content - and her entire editorial team - there. In the meantime, OpenSpace, as we know it, will be closed.