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The Ural Industrial biennial of contemporary art is one of the biggest Russian regional projects in the field of contemporary art with international participation, organized and held by the Ural Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA) in Ekaterinburg and the Ural region since 2010.
Uniqueness of the the Ural Industrial biennial of contemporary art is defined by specifics of the region itself and its industrial heritage. The Biennial offers a new vector of the area development by utilizing contemporary art as a relevant resource. New meanings arise at the intersection of contemporary culture and local specifics, involving the region in the cultural context. The Biennial is a unique event not only in its concept and scale but also in cooperation with business community, functioning industrial enterprises, key cultural institutions and large companies of the Urals.
The key term of the 3rd Ural Industrial Biennial ismobilization as an ability to change and to rise to a fundamentally different level. The main research direction of the Biennial is to define specifics of contemporary mobilizational scenarios, possibility of reconsidering conceptual apparatus and what is the role of culture, critical thinking and contemporary art in a situation of mobility. The program isaccompanied by a research of application of experience of the avant-garde architecture in the present.
The Main project of the 3rd Ural Industrial Biennial will be presented in the space of 10-storey non functioning Iset Hotel.
Building on experience of contemporary art of the Asian region, the Biennial offers a viewer the new optics provided by internationally renown curators – Li Zhenhua (Beijing – Zurich) and Biljana Ciric (Shanghai).
Biljana Ciric’s project titled “Spaces for Maneuver—Between Abstraction and Accumulation”
“…Different aspects of mobilization will be explored through the main exhibition: from mobilization of the so-called public, and engaging them in the different processes that the exhibition encompasses – with the intent to enable the activation of individuals rather than creating a collective body of viewership – to the mobilization of exhibiting artists and other participants, who ambitiously test and shift the grounds of the discussions around creating new models of operation within the gaps and crevices of the capitalist and corporate models of production that have become the valued determinants in the global art system. The timing of this is also critical, as the old systems are decaying and new systems are yet to be conceptualized.By situating the Biennial at the geographical crossing between Europe and Asia, with its specific focus of the Asian region, in fact does not frame the third Ural Industrial Biennial as a regional exhibition, but instead attempts to provide a platform for discussions around the shared commonalities between societies in the midst of political and economical changes. In many cases this also means the introduction of market economies that then affect different aspects of people’s lives, including us as art practitioners and art production in general.The Biennial’s main exhibition will provide a context for tracking avant-garde traditions and individual artistic practices from the 1990s, when contemporary art practice underwent a transition from being more underground to “above ground,” or in some places contemporary art even became a mainstream activity. This was also a time when the internationalization of artistic practices took hold, accompanied by how artists were often presented as national representatives. Perhaps most importantly, these conditions forced many practitioners to investigate new models of operation, maintaining critical distances or utilizing strategies of active withdrawal from the growing mainstream values of contemporary art practice and the role of artists as cultural entertainers. In part, this was also geared towards organizing his or her peers, with the goal in mind to publicly communicate the values that they stand for.”
Artists of the project: Tang Da Wu (Singapore), 3-ply (Australia, Melbourne), Lee Kit (Hong Kong / Taiwan, Taipei), Wong Hoy Cheong (Malaysia, Penang), Les Gens d’Uterpan (France, Paris), Shi Yong (China, Shanghai), Sinisa Ilic (Serbia, Belgrade), Pratchaya Pinthong (Thailand, Bangkok), Jonathas de Andrade (Brazil, Recife), Ho Tzu Nyen (Singapore), Marysia Lewandowska (UK, London), Nguyen Trinh Thi (Vietnam, Hanoi), Marta Popivoda and Ana Vujanovic (Serbia, Belgrade), Jompet Kuswidananto (Indonesia, Yogyakarta), Li Liao (China, Shenzhen), Tino Sehgal (Germany, Berlin), Yoko Ono (USA, New York), Yu Youhan (China, Shanghai), Alfredo Jaar (USA, New York)
Li Zhenhua’s project titled “No Real Body”
“… From the point of view of art, “no essence” means disappearance of concrete individual works reflecting the real situation. Starting with Duchamp’s Fountain, ready-made things began to replace individual human works; it is a mockery of individual work and its value, and also of the meaning of art itself. All this poses questions which are very hard to answer: what is art? What is a work of art?
Changing relations of production change also the relationships between a worker and an artist. Artists cease to be individual creators of their works. There are experts (one or several) who create concrete works following the works of an artist. In these circumstances, an artist is also seen as a person working for profit and glory.
The concept of “no essence” also aims to discuss relationships between real things and art. Generally, art cannot be seen by a naked eye, it is intangible; however, sometimes materiality may be viewed as the highest form of art. In this connection, a lot of questions emerge: does artistic expression really exist? Is it true that artworks can be shown only if they are material? If there is no materiality, what is an artistic creation?…”
Artists of the project: Baltensperger + Siepert (Switzerland, Zurich), Marianne Muller (USA, New York), !Mediengruppe Bitnik (Switzerland , Zurich), Com & Com (Switzerland, Zurich), Yiquan Wang (China, Shanghai), Wenfeng Liao & Bignia Wehrli (Germany, Berlin), Сatherine Biocca (Germany, Berlin), Thomas Eller (Germany, Berlin), Chen Shaoxiong (China, Beijing), Xu Qu (China, Beijing), Yan Xing (China, Beijing), Zheng Yunhan (China, Beijing), Yan Lei (China, Beijing), Xu Tan (China, Guangzhou), Chen Qiulin (China, Beijing), Yuan Gong (China, Shanghai), Lu Pingyuan (China, Shanghai), Hu Fang (China, Beijing), Double Fly Art Centre (China, Hangzhou), Ju Anqi (China, Beijing), 9 mouth (China, Beijing), Ehsan Ul Haq (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Chris Paul Daniels (UK, Manchester), Kwan Sheung Chi (China, Hong Kong), Knut Asdam (Norway, Oslo), Marianne Heier (Norway, Oslo), Salla Tyyka (Finland, Helsinki), Chim↑Pom (Japan, Tokyo), Marc Lee (Switzerland, Zurich), Tang Nannan (Xiamen, China), Cao Kai (Changzhou, China).
Alisa Yoffe, Polina Kanis, Svetlana Shuvaeva, Anatoly Vyatkin & Victor Davydov, Yurko Koval, Sergey Rozhin, Sasha Saltanova, Slava PTRK are in the list of Russian artists.