press release

«Wild Russian West», exclave, «abroad», Russian Koenigsberg, ? what associations does the strange territory, which was annexed to the USSR after the 2nd World War, not arouse. The Kaliningrad region is a part of Russia, though it does not have any common border with it. But it?s only the beginning of the peculiarities of geography and history that evoke a sequence of reflections: Kaliningrad - Koenigsberg, Russia - Prussia, eastern territories of Europe and the westernmost Russia?

Historically Russian Kaliningrad, the former Prussian Koenigsberg, turned out to be a specific place, a phenomenon of new postgeography, a point where imperial ambitions of the two states came into collision with each other: Prussian heritage, which was strenuously squeezed out from the Soviet city; monstrous architecture that emerged on the Prussian cube; transformation of memory of the philosopher Immanuel Kant, the Koenigsberg citizen, into a great narrative symbol of the Kaliningrad desire to merge with the European history and rejection of the charisma of the wild west of the Asiatic Russia.

During the ten-year activity of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts an artistic community was formed that positions itself as ?contemporary?, which actualizes the task of working with the local artistic context and its further transmission. The mythic instability ?east-west?, the geographical uncertainty creates a fertile field for work with the contemporary art problems, such as perception of area, memory exploration and significance of existence.

Themes and subjects of the Kaliningrad artists that were naturally picked up in the local mainstream rise to All-European category simultaneously fitting both European ? western and Russian ? eastern contexts.

The exhibition is curated by Elena Gladkova and senior curator Yevgeny Umansky, National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Kaliningrad Branch, on behalf of Kalmar Artmuseum.


Western Russia
Contemporary Art in Kaliningrad
Kuratoren: Elena Gladkova, Yevgeny Umansky, Martin Schibli

mit Dmitry Bulatov, Common Wince (Julia Abramova & Aleksander Lyubin),
Aleksey Chebykin, Elena Gladkova, Yekaterina and Anastasia Karpenko,
Oleg Lystsov, Yevgeny Palamarchuk, Aleksander Podoprigorov, Yevgeny
Umansky, Elena Tsvetaeva & Yury Vasiliev