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Mathieu Merlet-Briand. Tryptich Google Red, Google Yellow, Google Blue. "Hommage à Alexandre Rodtchenko," 2015. |Courtesy of the artist
Mathieu Merlet-Briand. Tryptich Google Red, Google Yellow, Google Blue. "Hommage à Alexandre Rodtchenko," 2015. |Courtesy of the artist

The 7th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art

Picture of Dasha Fomina
Updated: 17 September 2017

The 7th Moscow International Biennale of Contemporary Art begins on September 19, 2017 with the New Tretyakov gallery as the principal venue. Curated by Yuko Hasegawa, the Main Project presents 52 artists from 25 countries, featuring works by Matthew Barney, Olafur Eliasson, and the queen of weird herself—Björk.

Focusing on transitions, expansions, and dissipations of artistic tribes, the Main Project named Clouds⇄Forests intertwines with the permanent exhibition of The State Tretyakov Gallery and, for the first time in history, of the Moscow Biennale, will last four months.

Yuken Teruya. “You – I, You – I,” 2005 |© Sebastian Groeger

This year the Moscow Biennale developed a new system for presenting Russian artists to the international curator Yuko Hasegawa, who happens to be the Artistic Director of the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art and Professor of Tokyo University of the Arts. After having received over 600 artists’ applications and more than 100 recommendations from the Expert Council, consisting of stellar museum executives, curators, and philanthropists, the curator selected Alexey Martins, Anastasia Potemkina, Valya Fetisov, Dashi Namdakov, Ilya Fedotov-Fedorov, and the creative association “Where Dogs Run” to participate in the Main Project.

Apart from original works the chosen artists will create specially for the 7th Moscow Biennale, the visitors will also see pieces by Alexander Vinogradov and Vladimir Dubodsarsky, and Alina Gutkina and Mikhail Tolmachev from Gazprombank’s collection of contemporary Russian art.

Matthew Barney. “Cosmic Hunt 1,” 2017 |Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery

The Parallel Program of the Biennale includes 69 projects and 49 institutions, selected by the Expert Council, and reaches an unprecedented scale with diverse participants such as Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA), Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow (MAMM), creative association XOLST, Darwin Museum, Gary Tatintsian Gallery, and Moscow State University Botanical Garden “Aptekarsky Ogorod,” among others.

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg. “Development of the Sixth Extinction,” 2015 |© Gert Jan van Rooij

Another first of the upcoming event is a free iOS and Android-friendly mobile app, which comes with a guide-enhanced map covering all venues and exhibitions of the Biennale and a guided tour of the Main project, featuring the exhibition plan and the artworks list. Collaboratively created by the Moscow Biennale, Yandex, and the Moscow Polytechnic Museum, the app is powered by technologies of the Bolshoy Muzey (i.e. the Big Museum) platform, designed to expand museums’ web presence.

Laure Prouvost, 2017 |Сourtesy of the artist and MMK Frankfurt

Apart from the exhibitions, the 7th Moscow Biennale features including meetings with artists, lectures, discussions, and a kid’s program.