The 4th Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art is shifting to a new level. Venues of the project are scattered all across Ekaterinburg and the Ural region, a cross-cutting theme New Literacy, conceptual uniformity of the various projects – from the main project to artist-in- residence program. We have come up with a list of top five reasons to visit the biennial in September 2017.
1. To see the works of art that will tell you about things you are interested in
The exhibition of the main project at the Ural Instrument-Making Plant at the riverfront in Ekaterinburg city center – three stories (12 000 m2 ), 70 artists, 20 countries. Video, paintings, and object installations, with the free access to touch, spin, bend or push. You will participate in actualization of every artwork. The route is also individually tailored: we will offer you several ways to navigate and plan your visit.
2. To explore non-tourist Ekaterinburg and non-dressed-up Ural
No to “white cubes”! Biennial projects take place within the landmark buildings of Soviet modernist architecture, as well as at inside operating plants and iconic cultural venues. Artist-in-Residence program invites you for a journey across regional towns and factories, which you are unlikely to have visited before. Artist-in-Residence routes span 1000 kilometers, including Chelyabinsk and Tyumen, and doubles the novelty effect: both the novelty of locations and of the surprising works of art. The project, focusing on the avant-garde of “The Big Ural”, will tell about the landmark architecture of Soviet modernism and its influence on the ordinary life of local residents. Parallel program includes new venues, among them: “Astra” Museum of Labels, Railroad Workers’ Palace of Culture, and Yeltsin Center. The biennial will present the Urals in its diversity.
3. To see the everyday life at a new angle
The fourth industrial revolution is changing our lifestyle: how we live, work, dream and play. João Ribas, curator of the main project, has invited artists who explore the new everydayness to provide their vision of the present, and asked them to answer:
What is happening with our senses and memory, when we convert anything we’ve lived through into the social network posts?
Why are we always out of time, even though we live with incredible intensity?
In which ways swipes, scrolls and taps change our gestures and our body image?
These are questions concerning each of us, proposed by the curator from Portugal, who is now Deputy Director of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto, and previously served as Curator at the List Visual Arts Center at MIT, a magnet for enthusiasts of pioneering technologies.
4. To debate with artists and philosophers who explore modernity
If you disagree with the proposed interpretations of the social change, you will have an opportunity to share your opinion. The Ural Biennial is not only a network of objects, but also a series of events. During the biennial, Ekaterinburg will become the space of intense international dialogue on changes in our everyday lives with artists, media theorists, art historians and philosophers.
5. To dismantle the meanings of the exhibited artworks
The topic of the New Literacy focuses on our present, which is increasingly captured by the new technologies, and offers the new reading of the biennial’s “industriality”. You can forget the stereotypical notion that contemporary art is always highbrow: there is no need to apply torturous analysis to the artworks presented at the main project and within the parallel program. Also, art mediators will help you to make sense of the multiple genre and technological solutions featured on the exhibition. Young specialist – art historians, art theorists, cultural studies students, sociologists and philosophers – will talk about the artworks from their own life experience; they will highlight connections between artworks and important events. Art will become closer.