When museums strike back? The past and the present of the post-Soviet "revolutionary museums"

15.05.2014 - 15.05.2014

Ilya Budraitskis

Torsdag 15. mai kl. 15:00 (etter programslippet og før årsmøtet)
inviterer vi til forelesningen "When museums strike back? The past and the present of the post-Soviet "revolutionary museums" ved kunstner, teoretiker og historiker Ilya Budraitskis (Moskva).

Forelesningen vil være basert på erfaringen fra kunstprosjektet Pedagogical Poem, som fant sted i Presnya museum, Moskva i 2012. Projektet var representert i utstillingen Re-Aligned Art i Tromsø Kunstforening høsten 2013.

Forelesningen holdes på engelsk, for mer informasjon om tema, se engelsk tekst under.

Alle er velkommen.

Forelesningen er organisert som et samarbeid mellom Tromsø Kunstforening, Troms Fylkeskommune og Nordland Fylkeskommune.

Soviet museums, which gave their own extremely didactic take on the happy resolution of past social conflicts, were themselves transformed into silent showcases of the Soviet state’s unresolved contradictions. By making the Revolution the starting point of its own history and nurturing an infinite respect for it among millions of citizens, the Soviet bureaucracy sought to establish it as the monumental image of a forever vanished past. Revolutionary museums were supposed to convince their visitors that the greatness of the 1917 Revolution lay not only in its victory but also in the fact that it had forever settled the question of revolution with its victory and its greatness.

Such museums are impossible to transcode by simply changing their names or superficially modernizing their permanent exhibitions in the spirit of “historical objectivity” and “de-ideologization.” Despite the fact the classification “revolutionary history museum” was itself officially abolished long ago, the actual content of these museums has changed very little. Attempts to stage new exhibitions and update permanent displays are inevitably limited by the need to use the holdings of the museums, collected over the years by way of demonstrating the final triumph of the oppressed. The outright elimination of revolutionary museums—not individually, but as part of the cultural heritage generally—would create a dangerous precedent of a recently dormant but inconvenient history encroaching on a present day fully controlled by the new elite". Ilya Budraitskis.

Ilya Budraitskis is an artist, theorist and historian. Born in 1981 in Moscow, he was educated in the history department at the Russian Academy of Education (2005–2008), and since 2009 he has been a graduate student at the Institute of General History, Russian Academy of Sciences. Since 2010 he has been on the editorial board of Moscow Art Magazine. Since 2013 he is working in the National center of contemporary art( Moscow). He has taken part as a curator and/or artist in the following exhibitions: Petroliana, Moscow, Museum of Modern Art, Second Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, 2007; Progressive Nostalgia, Prato, Italy, 2007; Battle for the Flag, New Manezh, Moscow, 2008; European Studios, Central House of Artists, Moscow, 2009; Conquered City, Regina Gallery, Moscow, 2009; 40 Lives of One Space, Red October, Third Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, 2009; Impossible Communities, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, 2011; Main Project, Fourth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, TSUM, 2011; Pedagogical Poem, Presnya museum, Moscow, 2012; Shadow of a Doubt, Garage art center, Moscow, 2014.

Ilya Budratskis participates in an exhibition «The Structure and properties of Matter, curated by Frans Jacobi and Åse Løvgren, as part of Learning Film Group. The exhibition is the second in a series of five exhibitions curated by guest curators for Hordaland Art Centre.

Learning Film Group (Ilya Budraitskis, Nikolay Oleynikov, Yevgeny Fix and David Riff) founded 2008, is a changing constellation of artists, activists, and intellectuals based in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. It uses film much like Bertold Brecht used the “learning play,” as a platform for self-education and militant investigation. The initial group included artists Evgeny Fiks and Nikolai Oleinikov, as well as historian Ilya Budraitskis, and its first film reenacted the emergency Congress of the Czechoslovak Communist Party on the eve of 1968. In a second film The Grenelle Agreements, the group, joined this time by David Riff, went on to examine the impact of the 1968 trade union agreements in France with the workers of a Moscow nightclub. Both films have been shown at festivals and exhibition in Moscow and abroad (European Studio, Central House of Artists 2009; Ostalgia, New Museum, New York, 2011; 4th Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art, 2011).