One of the over-riding features of the Moscow art world is that the outside imagination of it has been easily monopolized, simply through lack of exposure. “Russian Contemporary Art? Oh, those two policemen kissing in the New York Times…” or now, “Those guys that spraypainted a penis on the drawbridge!”
At various moments over the past two decades, the Moscow art world has been temporarily defined by various exhibitions (Russia! and its twisted sister, Russia 2), galleries (such as Marat Guelman), lingering ideologies (Boris Groys, Katya Degot, Victor Misiano and the Moscow Art Magazine crew), art-centers (Artstrelka, Winzavod and the now-soon-to-be-vacated Red October) and photogenic acts of near-vandalism (Oleg Kulik, the Blue Noses and more recently Voina.) In the most recent times, ArtChronika magazine and online cultural portal Openspace.ru have served as the main resources for updates on the rapidly changing situation. This is set to change now that critic and curator Maria Kravtsova has been named Editor-in-Chief of the Artguide website and its new section on “Process.”
Artguide launched as a small-format exhibition listings publication, distributed for free at galleries while maintaining an office at the Winzavod. Now the publication covers both Moscow and St Petersburg, and includes special editions for events like the Moscow Biennale.
Unlike Openspace.ru, Artguide is bilingual. And while the English version is still limited to event listings and venue information, you can catch all the features in Russian, starting with this column by Kravtsova, in which she highlights some of the site’s new offerings, including a blog by XL Gallery‘s Elena Selina, “gonzo” art-reportage by Kandinsky Prize winner Evgeny Antufiev, and essays by seminal critics Valentin Diaconov and Irina Kulik.
We wish the new editor all the best and are excited to watch the site develop!