Exhibition: “Oleg Vassiliev: Metro Series & Selected Works on Paper from the Kolodzei Art Foundation”
Opening reception on Monday, January 23, 2017, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
at the Harriman Institute Atrium (420 W 118th Street, 12th floor, New York)
The exhibition on view until March 10, 2017
Oleg Vassiliev was born in 1931 in Moscow; lived and worked in New York. He died in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2013. He has been the recipient of numerous artistic awards and grants, including from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (1994 and 2002). In 1999, he was the first recipient of the “Liberty Prize.” His work has been displayed in museum exhibitions across the globe. His prominent solo museum exhibitions include Oleg Vassiliev: Memory Speaks (Themes and Variations) at The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow in 2004 and The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg in 2005; The Art of Oleg Vassiliev, The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2011; Oleg Vassiliev: Space and Light at the Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick in 2014-2015.
Oleg Vassiliev is regarded as a key member of the Nonconformist Art movement; rather than confining himself to the discussion of contemporary political and societal issues, Vassiliev’s work explores concepts reaching beyond questions of social order. Among his immediate influences are the lyrical realist landscape paintings of Isaac Levitan and Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematist art. As the Russian artist Erik Bulatov puts it, Vassiliev’s painting “connects such disparate lines of development in Russian art as nineteenth-century realist painting, landscape painting in particular, and the avant-garde of the 1910s and 1920s.” Though he immigrated to the United States in 1990, Russia and Russian art continued to play an important role in Vassiliev’s work. Rather than reject past artistic experiments, Vassiliev embraced them, combining traditional artistic concepts with nonconformist ideas and influences from early 20th Century abstract art. The past and present seem to collide in his work, and this work, too, appears timeless—at once belonging to the past and the present. Linked to this idea of timelessness, is the idea of transitional space. Throughout his works, Vassiliev emphasizes the importance of memory. Individual memories, often the starting points of his work, become universal explorations of memory and the act of remembering.
This exhibit is presented by the Kolodzei Art Foundation, a public foundation (est. 1991) that organizes exhibitions and cultural exchanges in museums and cultural centers in the United States, Russia and other countries, often utilizing the considerable resources of the Kolodzei Collection of Russian and Eastern European Art, publishes books on Russian art, and provides art supplies to Russian artists. The Kolodzei Collection of Russian and Eastern European Art is one of the largest private art collections, and consists of over 7,000 works, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and videos, by more than 300 artists from Russia and the former Soviet Union. For additional information visit www.KolodzeiArt.org or email Natalia Kolodzei
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CFP: ALL THINGS LIVING AND NOT
an interdisciplinary conference on non-anthropocentric perspectives in Slavic studies
FEBRUARY 23-25, 2017
The Harriman Institute
Columbia University, New York
KEYNOTE: EWA DOMANSKA
(History & Anthropology, Adam Mickiewicz University & Stanford)
JANE COSTLOW (Environmental History, Bates College)
SERGUEI OUSHAKINE (Slavic & Anthropology, Princeton)
OXANA TIMOFEEVA (Political Science & Philosophy, European University at St. Petersburg)
To participate, please send a 300-word abstract for a 20-minute presentation by 1 November 2016 to firstname.lastname@example.org
The last two decades have witnessed a revision in the concept of alterity, decentering the human in how we reckon with the other. Animal studies, artificial intelligence, ecocriticism, etc. not only ask us to consider the possibility of non-human subjects, but also challenge our very humanness and, along with it, the very premises of the humanities and human sciences. What does a non-anthropocentric understanding of the other offer to the field of Slavic studies? And conversely, what can the cultures, histories, and belief systems of Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia reveal about practices and possibilities of radical alterity?
• In defining the post-human as a radically disembodied state, thinkers like Katherine Hayles paradoxically continue to work within a particular humanist tradition closely linked to the Enlightenment and Western Christianity that excises the body from philosophical concerns. How do features of the post-human change when set against the historical experience of Eastern Europe? How does a Marxist emphasis on materiality, for instance, or Orthodox Christian conception of entrenchment in matter affect our understanding of alterity?
• What kind of autonomy is cached in the nonhuman actors of Bruno Schulz’s ecosystem: mannequins, crustaceans, and humans whose bodies disintegrate into piles of tubing? What anxieties are expressed in Karel Čapek’s dystopic visions of intelligent newts and universal robots? Can these be seen as instances of “strategic anthropomorphism,” as conscious attempts to decenter the human?
• On July 1, 2016, 200 watermelons were hurled at the façade of the Central Community Police Station of Belgrade, Serbia. The action protested the harassment of a watermelon vendor by the police, which had led to the man’s death. In an environment lacking in functional tools for collective communication and dissent, can a smashed watermelon open a new seam in the impasse between violence and impotence? Can the material meat of culture articulate a political language more powerful than human speech?
This conference asks participants to consider the conjunction between the animal, the plant, the machine, inorganic matter, and the human as a way to destabilize the mind-body dichotomy, class, race, gender, age, etc. By bringing Slavic studies into closer contact with a set of discourses referred to as posthumanism, our conference aims to expand the theoretical apparatus of our field and to allow for new perspectives on the histories and cultures of the region.
Since the very notion of posthumanism arises from the cross-pollination of different disciplines, we invite scholars working in all fields whose subject matter relates to the Central and Eastern European and Eurasian region to submit 300-word abstracts to email@example.com by 1 November 2016. Each proposal will be matched to one of three streams led by senior scholars in the field: Jane Costlow, Serguei Oushakine, and Oxana Timofeeva. The conference is paired with the 2017 issue of Ulbandus: The East European, Slavic and Eurasian Journal of Columbia University.
The conference is organized by Irina Denischenko, Bradley Gorski, and Eliza Rose with the generous support of the Harriman Institute, Ulbandus: The Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Review of Columbia University, the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the Institute of Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University.
Friday, January 29, 2016 to Thursday, March 10, 2016 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Harriman Institute Atrium (420 West 118th Street, 12th Floor)
Pavel Romaniko was born in Pereslavl – Zalessky, near Moscow, in 1980. He received his MFA in Imaging Arts from Rochester Institute of Technology. The artist works with photographs, video and sculpture to explore gaps in the archive and the collective memory, relying on imagery and symbolism found in both the public realm and his own memory. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and collections, including Rovinj Photodays Festival in Croatia, Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago, Mimi Ferzt Gallery in New York, and the Art Center of Orange Coast College in California. Romaniko divides his time between New York City and Lowell, MA where he is a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts.
In the early part of the 20th century politicians, activists and artists in Communist Russia were involved in an act of building a Soviet myth, creating a new space-time continuum, while violently eradicating the past by erasing facts from history texts, documents, photographs, and from people’s consciousness. In the process, new histories were fabricated, thus creating a new order, new collective memory turning an entire country and its many cultures into exiles in their own land. In the years since, Vladimir Nabokov’s exploration of nostalgia and reflections on exile, and Ilya Kabakov’s reconstruction of the past, to name a few examples, are all part of a ritualistic return, an obsessive homecoming and anxious preservation of memory. Nostalgia in the work of these artists is palpable and real and has great impact on constructs of cultural memories. They do, however, remind us that the images produced and circulated within a culture need to be carefully examined. Perhaps, when remnants of history are scattered all over with no sign of provenance, they have no ability to tell a story of their own but can only remain in a form of melancholic nostalgia.
From Mimi Ferzt Gallery, New York:
The work from Romaniko’s project titled “Nostalgia” commenced in 2008. “Nostalgia” consists of photographs of miniature paper versions of Russian interiors. The artist describes this project as “a reflection on the topic of exile, home and the relationship with one’s past and belonging.” Romaniko manifests his curiosity and the desire to conserve history through the precise reconstruction of the modest yet so precious details of a Russian household or office. Devoid of human presence, Romaniko’s interiors bear an almost palpable air of uncertainty and the urge for change emblematic of Russian social and political landscape. “Kitchen” (2009, pigment print on archival paper) documents the Soviet residential experiment known as the communal apartment. The artist deliberately eschews the haphazard dynamics of communal cooking, allowing the viewer to reflect upon the peculiarities of communal living, both intimate and public. “Work Desk” (2008, pigment print on archival paper) is the artist’s tribute to Russia’s ominous past, with Joseph Stalin’s portrait hovering over a vintage piece of furniture, with paperwork scattered on the floor.
Exhibit viewing hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00am - 5:00pm, (1/29-3/10)