18 September - 19 October 2014
Marta Alvim: The Death of an Owl, 2012
HD video, colour, sound; 9 min 45 s
Christian García Bello: Los tres estanques, 2012
HD video, black and white, sound; 8 min 25 s
Jacobo Bugarín: Carta a las generaciones futuras, 2012
HD video, black and white, sound; 10 min 46 s
Federico Vladimir Strate Pezdirc: Vladimir x3 el Grande, 2012
HD video, colour, sound; 24 min
Curated by: Alberto Cartón
There will be one daily screening starting at 12:00 p.m. (September 8th at 8 p.m.).
The notion of personal displacement to an eccentric geographical space opens up factors of a speculative nature, in which the individual is transformed into an actor-like protagonist of his own planned existence, and into the animated administrator of his acceptance in the loneliness of the unknown.
This psychological reality, which affects his very character, taking the form of situations of effective ignorance of other objectively dissimilar realities, is distinctive when acceptance of the journey responds to creative suggestions that impel the individual to accept a challenge, beyond even the very activity of momentary distancing. It is a case of confronting a situation of instability faced with doubt, faced with exigency, faced with the need to delimit the most synaptic processes of sensitivity into deadlines, even to motivate them.
The distinctiveness of Project Moscow undoubtedly lies in the collective treatment of an artistic action in a foreign city which, despite its apparent uniformity of criteria, is deeply variable, as four creators conjugate four characteristic personalities, and the results of which, investigated in the same location, open our eyes to the changeability of moods, to their influence on the subconscious, and to the transmission of intellectual requirements between sensitivity, perception, and the transformation thereof into language.
Contextualising projects from afar, and without the immediate influence of the setting, immerses the individual in an anaerobic almost daydream-like state wherein the principal tie, breath and security emanate from within oneself in order to be able to cope with external chaos, the aggression of the unfamiliar and the incisive bellicosity of distance. More precisely, in the artistic proposals of Project Moscow, we understand that introspection, endemic analysis and confrontation with investigation, resulting from acceptance of the dis-encounter from the encounter, generate therein a fecundity structured around dependence on the memory, on the immaterial, and even on justification before a society stripped of the habitual security provided by that which is everyday or immediate.
Individual history imposed over urban history
Firstly, detecting oneself; continuing getting to know oneself in a determined time, distressed in the confrontation with an unfamiliar setting; rushing inside an element with deep subjective characteristics inside which observation acquires a definitive importance. These conditioning factors, common in the expectant traveller beholding the spectacle of the city in its hostile onset, like beacons signal the language emanating from two key concepts: drifting and phycho-geography. These terms comprise the fulcrums upon which Project Moscow rests. But if it is true that abiding by them is unavoidable, this is also true of the differential fact that frames the action: the link with the reflexive seam of the individual, who is aware of the urgent purpose of his activity, and of his presentation before the segmentary collective about to witness the protagonist's conformity as a displaced foreigner, until being re-assimilated and maintaining this dysfunction between temporal and somatic reality.
Thus, in a non-conformist structure, the alienation is cancelled out and the ego is vindicated, confronting it with reflection on absence, with criticism, juxtaposing it with that which is sporadically everyday which results from the stay in another place.
Moscow's striking influence on artists is clearly apparent when the initial perplexity, the awe and the kicking in of the ‘tour effect’ are broken down to be reconverted into a state of introspection which, even when engaged with the external, is solidly involved in the search for dependence. This is precisely one of the the values of Project Moscow: ensuring that the Russian capital takes on the form of a flask in which to deposit and analyse the immediate encroachments and decant them in order to determine the level of permeability and saturation that can be endured until the form is changed.
Confronted with each artist's narration, the observer understands the degrees of initial abandonment and subsequent meditation into which they are woven. Christian García Bello perceives in spaces of tranquilly the lost history of a corner of Moscow which, in turn, serves as a refuge for distancing himself from the crowds and refocusing on the particular experience that an enforced stay has dictated. Nonetheless, this insistently sentimental chapter originates from a study made not in Russia, but in Spain: here he shows that the involution of memory forces us to cross the boundaries of disappointment to once again deceive ourselves, fluctuating, in a state of remote consciousness which leads us to return to once-loved physical locations. The value of this assertion agglutinates a moral knowledge of that which is good, owing to it being remembered pleasantly.
In the same way, Jabobo Bugarín constructs a poly-dimensional primary structure, where the personal spills into the understanding of today from yesterday. Moscow's architecture and urban planning take on a European itineracy in which thankless complexes of death, of the lifeless, of fierce vigilance, of the human being's lowest ebb run aground and delve into the subsoil. There is also a criticism of the present and a shackling of the chimera which lead once again to entrenchment in the maternal as a refuge. Thus we see that the city conceals a uterine geode towards which one heads, in order to distance and protect one's self.
The phenomenal presence in Moscow of other times and other socio-political levels is confirmed in Project Moscow, but with a non-literal assumption by each artist which reinforces one of the values of the action: smoothing out the difference and, once this has been achieved, opening up the physical medium in the emotional medium without rhetoric. Similarly (as Federico Strate propounds), the capital's grandiosity lies in the grandiosity of the author, and it truthfully impels the generous egotism that is to know and recognise one's self in order to exalt one's self. Moscow is not enough; Russia is not enough; Europe is not enough, the World is not enough: only as a cosmonaut can the universe be transcended. The sadness that can result in not respecting history, in not respecting human monuments to history, in transforming them into mere domestic trappings to be discarded after use, is translated into the joy of the escape and into the gaze towards the verticality of the focus of space. But it is also, in the end, a call for calmness, to the amniotic liquid, to containment, that which frequents the fever of megalomania and which plunges it into an exhibition of inviolably faced with stardom.
Marta Alvim occupies a stratum which is also revolves around absent presences and on the human being's routine arrogance towards his setting. To allow himself to be seduced, the sedentary man, sporadically a nomad, captures and inflicts prison on other beings, for the simple pleasure of the risk-free contemplation of an attack in a controlled cell. Nonetheless, it is the man himself who is the prisoner of his own fears, of his inability to control nature, and who is thus also incapable of controlling himself. Thus, it is socialisation and the inanimate life of the masses, which provide the benefit (once again, refuge) of protection, of safety, in short, of irrationality.
Project Moscow is the demonstration of the possibilities that enable the importance of the proposals to be evinced: combining different resources in order for them to coalesce into one: bringing together four artists in order them to modify their habitual practices for a determined period of time and accept the intermediation of the unknown and of distance provoked within themselves. Moscow appears and disappears, but it is Moscow that is the nutritional seed of the reflective processes. Thus the value of Moscow grows, the activity of the unmindful traveller wandering the streets recording and photographing the habitual symbols like an automaton is eliminated, and the activity of the artist contemplating the urban space and its inhabitants, applying metaphors and contravening the static to mobilise it into the mutable is gained.