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House on the Embankment

Moscow, Russia

GOOD PROSPECTS. FACING KREMLIN

25   /   10   /   2011 _ 

09   /   11   /   2011

Curator: Peter Weibel, Simon Mraz

 

Artists: Alexander Povzner, Musa Khaitov, Lukas Pusch, Maria Anwander, Katrin Hornek, Alexandra Sukhareva, Andrey Kuzkin, Alfredo Barsuglia, Gabi Trinkaus, Markus Hanakam & Roswitha Schuller, Daria Irincheeva, Johanna Braun, Valentin Ruhry, Aleksey Kuripko, Bernhard Fruehwirth, Haim Sokol, Eva Chytilek, Alexander Brodsky, Olga Jitlina, Evgeny Ivanov & Anna Skladmann

The exhibition Good Prospects a special project of the IVth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, is a unique example of site specific art in a private format. Good Prospects is a real apartment exhibition organized at the home of Simon Mraz, the director of the Austrian Cultural Forum in Moscow and cultural attaché of the Embassy of Austria. He took the lead in this project and managed to engage Peter Weibel, who is also the curator of the main project of the IVth Moscow Biennale, as a co-curator of this «home-show».

 

As in any site specific project, the flat in »Facing Kremlin« is not just a place of exhibition, but a prevailing theme. All the more so, since it is one of the most myth-generating places in Moscow, the famous House on the Embankement and not simpy a private home. Built in 1927–1931 by architect Boris Iofan, this house, originally called »The Government House«, and intended for new elite, is not only one of the most expressive samples of Soviet architecture, but also a historical monument. Many of its inhabitants, former power-holders, turned into victims of this power – in the era of Stalinist terror whole families living in this house were repressed. Designed as a luxurious version of constructivist house-communes, this building now seems a real architectural anti-utopia: a machine for living turned into a machine of control. There is a widespread belief that the house is equipped with a special secret wiretrap system.

 

However both artists and curators are free to follow any possible chain of associations offered by this venue, so rich in connotations. It might be a discourse about the regime, its openness or secretiveness and non-transparency.

 

This text has been adapted from a text by Irina Kulik