Started in January 2007 after several years of scrupulous investigations and methodical research, History of Russian Video Art is a three-part project consisting of a series of exhibitions, lectures, screenings and publications illustrating the birth, first steps and further development of video as an artistic form in Russia.
Before the opening of the first event, the exhibition Volume 1, there was little systematic knowledge of the evolution of video art and its cultural value. Over the past years, History of Russian Video Art has filled all the gaps and managed to put video art on the map of Russian contemporary art, once and for all. Many important goals have been reached along the way:
- the project has tracked down the starting point (Andrey Monastyrsky’s Conversation with a Lamp, 1985);
- has acquainted the public with the pioneers working in semi-clandestine conditions to avoid the censoring control of the state;
- has saved a few pivotal works from irreparable damage or loss;
- has proved that video was the most powerful instrument that artists had at their disposal to speak to Russia and to the world about their identity, roles and expectations after the collapse of the Soviet Union;
- has offered a thorough outline of the directions taken and the problems embraced by video artists working in the crucial decade in between the old and new millennia.
Volume 3 continues to narrate the history of video art making in Russia, starting from where the exhibition Volume 2 (March 2009) stopped. The most relevant achievements in the field of Russian video art made in recent years (approximately the past five years) are on display in the exhibition. This is a unique opportunity to come closer to the work of those artists who have gained national and international critical and public acclaim for their videos, to experience the newest tendencies explored by the young generation and to get to know the production made in many different regions of the Russian Federation.
Volume 3 enjoys the collaboration of experts in the field of art and new technologies who have chosen some of the forty works exhibited in the premises and compiled thematic programs for the projection room located on the 4th floor. Here the public will enjoy new videos every day, which will allow to include a great number of works in the display. Particularly valuable are these contributions, because one of the main tasks of the whole project is to promote discussion, debate critical views and familiarize with unknown expressions.
At the same time, throughout the duration of the exhibition, the public has the chance to view rare video documentaries on artists and people who have played a relevant role in the development of video art, as well as take part in open discussions and attend master classes given by the artists themselves.
Volume 3 is an unprecedented attempt to offer the widest possible overview — in total, more than five hundred works are to be shown — of the way Russian artists today use video technology to express their feelings and present their views of the world we live in. This the final part of the project History of Russian Video Art and the starting point of a future approach to video art as a form with its own 25-year old history and tradition.