In August 2012, The Museum of Everything is checking its visas, packing a strong pair of incontinence pants and heading to that distant land of hardy ladies and gents. They’re talking of course about Russia, which for those of you who don’t know, is not quite as huge as it used to be, still bloody massive and – for oligarchs travelling by horse and cart – just left of Finland.
The Museum of Everything has created The Large Red Mobile Museum of Everything, a vast megalothon on wheels which will journey across the region in a quest for contemporary, self-taught and non-traditional artists. In every city where they screech to a halt, they’ll set up shop, unfold their two-container truck and prepare to meet the artists. Anyone is welcome to apply and as ever, The Museum of Everything especially opens its hairy arms to artists whose creations lie outside the contemporary art radar.
The MOE will present local shows in four tip-top cities – Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod and St Petersburg – and any member of the public whose artwork floats their boat will be curated there and then. They kick off in Yekaterinburg on Thursday 2nd August 2012, so if you fancy an exotic jaunt, find out where to tag along. It’s a bonkers project which they hope will reveal the creative soul of a nation – and so shall invite the exceptional discoveries to exhibit in the glamorous final show … in Gorky Park, Moscow. “Gorky Park?” they hear you gasp, “that world-famous landmark of greenery and revolution, surely not you, it can’t be possible, great and magnificent The Museum of Everything?!”
Well dammit friend, yes it can. And a polished concrete floor-scraping thanks must go to the benevolent hosts and partners, Garage Center of Contemporary Culture, that global fancy-pants institution with the eyes and ears of tomorrow and a heart overflowing with peppery goodness. The venue is a bespoke pavilion by Japanese cardboard-tube construction king, Shigeru Ban. It opens early September and runs for four fabulous weeks, during which time they will continue the search for artists. There will also be an outstanding brother and sister show, celebrating historic Russian self-taught artists like man with the guns, Alexander Lobanov, and folkloric wit, Pavel Leonov.
Most important to this show are the new artists they aim to discover, be they private artists, folkloric artists, artists with learning or other disabilities, environmental artists, visionary artists or so-called outsider artists – although as they hope you know by now, The Museum of Everything doesn’t think anyone is outside, no matter who they are or where they are from. They also have a soft spot for mediums chanelling spirits from another world, genii who create secret codes, signs, languages and symbols, even inventors existing on some alternate hyperdimensional plane; and we surely love a bit of carving, weaving, signing, building, clothingand in fact any weird material meandering. To see the brilliant, if somewhat unintentionally hilariousadvertisement calling for artists, click here for English and here for Russian.
The MOE already despatched the museum gerbils to community centres, churches, hospitals and cultural hubs across the land, so if you forward this email to twenty Russian-speaking former lovers, they’ll gladly offer to buy you and them a free perogi when you turn up en route. Until then, find out more about the project here or go to www.musevery.com. And if you’re a Russian-speaker, whether for national, emotional or sexual reasons, click here or go towww.musevery.ru. As for the rest, we’ve sort of run out of steam, so in a nutshell until they hit the road … buy books and bits at The Shop of Everything and sign up to the newsletter here and wish them luck for they may never meet again.
YEKATERINBURG + KAZAN + NIZHNY NOVGOROD + ST PETERSBURG
2ND-20TH AUGUST // GORKY PARK, MOSCOW // SEPTEMBER 2012