press release

The Fifth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art will be held from 19 September – 20 October 2013 at Manege in Moscow.

The Curator is Catherine de Zegher.

The Commissioner and Artistic Director of the Biennale is Joseph Backstein.

The Fifth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and Moscow Government.

Catherine de Zegher, the Curator of the Fifth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art was the Artistic Co-Director of the 18th Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2012), Guest Curator in the Department of Drawings at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Visiting Curator at Tapies Foundation in Barcelona. In previous years, de Zegher held positions as Executive Director and Chief Curator of The Drawing Center in New York (1999-2006) and was Director of Exhibitions and Publications at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.

Commenting on her plan for the upcoming biennale, Catherine de Zegher emphasized: “Entitled ‘Bolshe Sveta / More Light’ the 5th Moscow Biennale promotes enlightened conversation and action, at the crossroads, where different concepts of space and time, and consequent structures of thought and sensibility, are elaborated. In many parts of the world, the contemporary global network society is developing a very specific space-time dimension that tends to clash with other space-time dimensions. In this interconnected world, space and time concepts no longer acknowledge our place in a present that is here and now, because in the flow of globalization, a local chronotopy in which our perception of time is connected to a geographically defined place, is supplanted by a global chronotopy. With world time increasingly ticking in a homogeneous manner to the rhythm of neo-liberal capitalism, space is obliterated by time. The artists in the 5th Moscow Biennale point out an urgent need to enact another kind of movement in the world. By entering slow time and slow attention, there is an increased receptiveness to sensation and movement—an unfolding that profoundly belongs to art and aesthetics. Together with audiences, these artists engage in the continuities between past, present, and future, through a focus on daily routines and habits, in a time that is of the present, sometimes intimate and domestic, and that is related to our environment. The most familiar meanings of place and time are here linked with great currents of space-time, of thought and art, in an attempt to shed more light on large problems and questions of our time in society.”


The catalogue of the 5th Moscow Biennale, one of the most memorable art events of the year in Moscow, will not only introduce innovative thinking and practices of a wide group of international and local artists, but will also contain a set of unique texts by leading historians and critics of contemporary art. The authors include Keti Chukhrov, Alexei Penzin, Pascal Gielen, Svetlana Boym, Gabriel Gorodetsky, Souchou Yao, and Catherine de Zegher.

Location: Manege

The main project will be shown in the central exhibition hall of Manege. Today, Manege is one of the most prestigious venues in Moscow. Its building was initially constructed in 1817 by Spanish engineer Agustín de Betancourt. The Manege is an architecturally unique building and is situated next to the Kremlin in the centre of Moscow. In 2005 the building underwent major reconstruction and is now equipped with the most modern exhibition facilities.

History of the Moscow Biennale

The First Moscow Biennale took place in January-February, 2005. It demonstrated the openness of Russia to the world’s artistic tendencies. The international curatorial team (Josepn Backstein, Daniel Birnbaum, Iara Boubnova, Nicolas Bourriaud, Rosa Martinez and Hans-Ulrich Obrist) presented the first exhibition in Russia of such an international scale and reputation worldwide. The main exhibition, Dialectics of Hope, included works of 45 artists and was demonstrated in the building of the former Museum of Lenin.

The Second Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2007) was also presented by another international group of curators (Josepn Backstein, Daniel Birnbaum, Iara Boubnova, Nicolas Bourriaud, Fulya Erdemci, Gunnar B. Kvaran, Rosa Martinez and Hans-Ulrich Obrist). The main venues were the Federation Tower (Moscow-City) and the space of TSUM Art Foundation. The Third Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2009) was curated by Jean-Hubert Martin. The main exhibition, Against Exclusion, in the Centre for Contemporary Culture Garage included 78 artists. The curator of the Fourth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art was Peter Weibel. The main project titled, Rewriting Worlds, included works of 65 artists and 16 artistic groups from 33 countries. It took place at Centre for Design ARTPLAY and at the space of TSUM Art Foundation.

The participants of the Moscow Biennale (from Colts):

The exhibition will feature projects by artists from 40 countries, most of which will be shown for the first time in Russia. members of the main project of the 5th Moscow Biennale 1. Alfredo and Isabel Akilisan (Philippines-Australia); 2. Victor Alimpiev (Russia); 3. Abilsaid Atabekov (Kazakhstan); 4. Akhmedova (Uzbekistan); 5. Eija-Liisa Ahtila (Finland); 6. Vyacheslav Ahunov (Uzbekistan); 7. Shuvinai Ashuna (Canada); 8. Richard Bell (Australia); 9. Peter White (Russia); 10. Jet Bratesku (Romania); 11. Alexander Brodsky (Russian); 12. Andrea Bianconi (Italy); 13. Sarah Vanagt (Belgium); 14. Dmitry Venkov (Russia); 15. Ria Verhagen (Belgium); 16. Adrián Villar Rojas (Argentina); 17. Gosh Vlodarchak (Poland, Australia); 18. Aslan Gaysumov (Russia); 19. Gao Rong (China); 20. Simrin Gill (Singapore-Australia); 21. Gisele Gordon (UK, Canada); 22. Micro-art group "City Ustinov" (Russia); 23. Ulrike Grossart (Germany); 24. Edith Dekindt (Belgium); 25. Dzhumaadi (Indonesia-Australia); 26. Zatulovskaya Irina (Russia); 27. Yin Xiuzhen (China); 28. Amar Kanwar (India); 29. Suchan Kinoshita (Japan-Netherlands-Belgium); 30. David Klerbut (Belgium); 31. Kovylina Elena (Russia); 32. Nicolas Kozakis and Raul Vaneyhem (Belgium); 33. "The team of authors" (Russia-Ukraine-France); 34. Lorraine Connelly-Northey (Australia); 35. Eva Kotatkova (Czech Republic); 36. Koshlyakov (Russia-France); 37. Ricardo Lansarini (Uruguay); 38. Farida Lasha (Iran); 39. Mark Licari (USA); 40. Michael Lukachevsky (Russia); 41. Alan Michelson (USA); 42. Gabriella and Silvana Mangano (Australia); 43. Collective "Masashi Mati" (Jamil Alabiad, Syria); 44. Julie Meret (Ethiopia-USA); 45. Tom Molloy (Ireland); 46. Vongechi Mutu (Kenya-USA); 47. Erin Manning (Canada); 48. Avis Newman (UK); 49. Maya Onoda (Japan); 50. Panamarenko (Belgium); 51. Alexander Paperno (Russia); 52. Sopeap Peak (Cambodia); 53. Ed Ping (Canada-Taiwan); 54. Robin Rhode (South Africa); 55. Alia Syed (UK); 56. Sigutin Alexander (Russia); 57. Song Dong (China); 58. Frances Stark (U.S.); 59. Samuil Stoyanov (Bulgaria); 60. Tavares Strachan (Bahamas-United States); 61. Tantric images (anonymous authors, India); 62. Selma and Sofiane Wyss (Tunisia-France); 63. Parastu Foruhar (Iran-Germany); 64. Yona Friedman (Hungary-France); 65. Aisha Khalid (Pakistan); 66. Bushra Khalili (Morocco-France); 67. NS Harsha (India); 68. Mona Hatoum (Lebanon, United Kingdom); 69. Adam Cvijanovic (USA); 70. Ranjani Shettar (India); 71. Rena Effendi (Azerbaijan); 72. Ian Yunlyan (China).