Lesson of History
Palais de Tokyo, Paris
June 12 – June 27, 2010The event has been organised as a part of the "Year of Russia in France 2010" project,
sponsored by the Russian Ministry of Culture.
Under the roof of the Palais de Tokyo, one of the most advanced contemporary art institutions in France, curator Josef Backstein brought together over twenty Russian artists who belong to four different generations, and presented works by the "АЕS+F" group, Sergey Borisov, Alexander Brodsky, Nadezhda Busheneva, Sergey Volkov, Dmitry Gutov, Anton Ginzburg, Anna Zhelud', Arseny Zhilyaev, Konstantin Zvezdochetov, Yakov Kazhdan, Olga Kisseleva, Irina Korina, Mihail Kosolapov, Andrey Kuzkin, Igor Makarevich, Andrey Molodkin, Andrey Monastyrsky, Anatoly Osmolovsky, Jan Pischikov, "Blue soup" group, Haim Sokol, Anastasya Horoshilova, Olga Chernysheva, Sergey Shehovtsov and Stas Shuripa.
History on both a personal and global level, its comprehension and interpretation and, of course nostalgia, has always been present in Russian art remains so today. The project’s curator Josef Backstein says that he was "most interested in those works that portray the cultural, political and social contexts of the historical period they were created in".
The earliest of the pieces in this exhibition are from the 1980s, which was the turbulent time of Perestroika, important economical and social changes. Throughout the subsequent decade (the 1990s), Russian art was engaged in the analysis of the collapse of the Soviet myth and creating alternative theories that would bring its artistic identity closer to the world history of art. However, at the beginning of the 21st Century the reappearance of nostalgia and personal experience in the context of global History became apparent in works of different generations of Russian artists - from those who were then already referred to as living classics, to those who have just emerged in the artistic scene. History repeated itself once again, however it did not return to the beginning.
This project, sponsored by Flo Art Fund, became one of the most important events organised under the umbrella of the "Year of Russia in France" and helped the French public to discover the abundance of contemporary Russian art.