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VI Moscow Biennale, Held with the Support of Rietumu Bank, with Big Success

30-Oct-2015 / Charity & Sponsorship The VI Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, where Rietumu Bank was the general partner, has been completed. Following completion of the main project of the Biennale, an exhibition-documentation was operating for a whole month, where works created during the Biennale were presented.

The main project, which was held for ten days under the heading “How shall we live together?” gathered about a hundred artists and participants from different parts of the world. Latvian artist Ieva Epnere, whose participation was also supported by Rietumu Bank, presented her project as well. The official finish of the main project was completed on a high note – with a speech from the former Minister of Finance of Greece Yanis Varoufakis.

The VI Moscow Biennale was held on 70 platforms, where 105 special and parallel projects were open: artists from different regions and countries not only shared their personal stories and experiences with spectators, but also discussed a wide range of international and local problems.

Trustees of the Biennale – Bart De Baere, Defne Ayas and Nicolaus Schafhausen were speaking about the ‘revolutionary’ format of the event from the very start. They tried to look at the art space as a predominantly public space, a place for an open dialogue. Such a radical form of the Biennale allowed one to watch the process of creating art and see all the stages in the creation of an artistic product. Lectures, master classes with the world leaders in sociology and economics, as well as performances, which took place every day, were aimed at trying to understand contemporary art and find a reply to its main question.

At the final stage of the Biennale, on 21 October, a round table with artists, art critics and sociologists was arranged. The goal was to make some conclusions and understand the final reply to the key question “How shall we live together?”

Member of the Council of Rietumu Bank Alexander Gafin thinks that the motto of the Biennale fully complies with new challenges in the political and economic life of Europe. “Regrettably, a time of confrontation, sanctions and opposition has come to the continent; economic ties, which turned out to be very fragile, started to disintegrate. Rietumu Bank is clearly aware of new realities and the resulting problems. Managers of the bank understand that it is art, which has no obstacles or restrictions, that is capable of attracting the attention of the widest audience to the problems of communication between countries and people.”

The participating artists talked about their projects and provided comments on how they solved the task of cultural exchange and searched for a reply to the key question of the Biennale.

“One of the tasks of an artist is to fix his time and, on the other hand, not to react to it in any way. Every artist determines the position for himself: whether to react or not to react to events. At the same time, an artist must be sensitive to events. As for “How shall we live together?” – I think, there should be formats, which are organised as a parallel process of artistic initiatives,” commented Vladimir Potapov, artist and participant of the “Panopticon” and “Space Extension” projects.

Anton Nikolayev, artist, one of the curators of the “Horizontal” project, noted, “A desire occurs to turn everything upside down. As the very fact of the question arising is a ‘litmus’ and means the availability of real communication and interest to art. All of these unite people and make a dialogue, presented by different possible positions – in a ‘wild’ society it can hardly be possible.”

The Moscow Biennale became one of the few internationally acknowledged cultural symbols of the complicated modern situation. It became an even bigger event than it used to be before – an efficient platform for the direct exchange of opinions in Eurasia in the context of global development.

Eleonora Gailisha
Mass Media and Public Relations
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