2020 is an important date in the history of the Cosmoscow international fair as it celebrates its tenth anniversary. However, this year will be remembered for the unprecedented challenges for the world’s economies, businesses, social and cultural institutions. The Cultural Creative Agency closely monitors the rapidly changing landscape, reflects on the changes and addresses them in its creative activity. The purpose of our participation in Cosmoscow international fair is to call for unity and solidarity within the artistic community, vital for developing new forms of communication that can deal with the current situation.
Thus, we proposed new terms of participation that could form an alternative standard for collaboration with the Fair: An exhibition based on an open call for projects. It allows us not only to support local (Russian) artists but also to organise a pool of experts in the field of culture and art, to redefine the purpose of modern visual culture and to formulate a collective statement on the transformation of the artistic language and problematics.
The “Turbulence” Open Call was launched in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic to support the Russian community and search for new statements relevant to this situation of uncertainty. The world was in turmoil and panic, and it seemed that it would never be the same. Now we are beginning to realise that the crisis has exposed existing problems, such as inequality, disunity, isolation and intolerance among others. The pandemic exacerbated negative trends and resulted in a rise in suspicion and xenophobia. However, amidst chaos and anxiety, we saw acts of trans-national solidarity on an unprecedented scale, which opened new channels of communication and launched collective creative processes.
The title of the project refers to the phenomenon of wake turbulence, a multi-layered metaphor of our new reality. In physics, turbulence is a form of spontaneous organisation of matter, a path from chaos to order that is reminiscent of grass-roots community self-organisation. However, in times of any crisis, there is always hope for a new beginning, the creation of a better world instead of the lost one.
The open call culminated in an exhibition that presented three different projects of Russian artists Ekaterina Muromtseva, Polina Kanis and Alexey Taruts. All projects were selected by a Russian-Qatari jury from over 500 submitted applications. Mutomtseva, Kanis and Taruts elaborate on the problems of self-organisation, global solidarity, the care economy and the uniting of the community to withstand the crisis using a new artistic language and by establishing collaborations. The projects of the winners address socially important issues, the problem of turbulence and the context of historical memory. We know too little about the present moment and the pandemic crisis of 2020 is yet to be reflected on and remembered.
Curatorial Team: Anastasia Shavlokhova, Vera Trakhtenberg, Daria Yartseva, Andrey Shental
Artists: Polina Kanis, Ekaterina Muromtseva, Alexey Taruts
Open Call Jury: Fatma Al-Sahlawi, Khalifa Al-Thani, Julia Aksenova, Igor Volkov, Maria Kramar, Nikita Nechaev, Alisa Prudnikova