In the frames of the 3rd Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Arts M'ARS Centre for Contemporary Arts presents - THE INNER URALS, a project by the Yekaterinburg Branch of the NCCA
"THE INNER URALS"Curators: Alisa Prudnikova, Vladimir Seleznev, Svetlana Usoltseva
"The Inner Urals" is not a plagiarism of Pelevin, not even an homage to Boyce; rather, it is the very alchemy which emerges at the geographically enticing frontier between Europe and Asia. A deceiving metaphor for a region exceedingly rich in existential background.The Urals is either inside, or merely aside. Any attempt at metaphorical comprehension makes one cast aside all that is modern and related to frontiers and instead embrace images of inner experiences. But to what extent is that typical of the Urals? The Urals is a severely dissected space bound together by the almost souvenir stories – all those "from the Urals" and "we were born at the Urals". Those who live at the Urals not only form an eternal bond with those mountains, those forests, and those fields beneath the never-ending snow, they also carry the Great Ural Mythology gene. This mythology is like a fathomless quarry, a black hole that sucks in anyone who approaches it: the Demidovs, the Russian tycoons of yore, whose fake gold coins still excite the imagination of local treasure hunters; the numerous Ural craftsmen, from the fairytale Danila to the Cherepanovs; the Red Army divisional commander Chapaev, who had sunk into the River Ural as if into the mythical Lethe; the infernal pioneer Pavlik Morozov.And right in the middle of this pantheon is the custodian of cedar wisdom, the surrealist of mines and metallurgical plants – Bazhov, narrator of folk tales.Ekaterinburg is a very sensitive city, often overreacting, constantly amassing the functions of the center of the Urals. One has to firmly believe in one's center, which is located exactly where you live; and to do that one sometimes requires a certain initial shove or impulse. For the Ural artists, the fundamental principle has always been this: "Real art always comes from within", using the words of the artist Leonid Tishkov. Objective circumstances are not enough to explain the local cultural explosion; rather, there are some mutagenic agents at play here, creating this reality of the surreal space with an elusive identity.
Alisa Prudnikova, Vladimir Seleznev
Kuda begut sobak