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Tired People: A New Exhibition at HSE ART GALLERY

Tired People: A New Exhibition at HSE ART GALLERY

© Mikhail Dmitriev/ HSE University

From October 8 to November 14, 2021, the HSE ART GALLERY is hosting an annual exhibition of works by students and teachers at the HSE Art and Design School. Curated by Alexandra Kuznetsova, Yulia Yusma, and Diana Machulina, the exhibition’s theme is fatigue, which has become a way of life for people.  The artists offer viewers a multidisciplinary study of the current state of humanity and society. The HSE News Service visited the exhibition to learn more about the artists.  

A tired person, a modern person… In their works, the exposition participants are trying to figure out how people’s condition resonates with reality, why we tire and what we get tired of. More than 140 students and teachers from the HSE Art and Design School present clothing for work and leisure from fashion, performances and video art, installations and photography, posters and paintings created in 2020.

A group of students from HSE University in St. Petersburg presented the installation ‘Grandad Vasily’, which is dedicated to the older generation. ‘We were thinking about old age, about the lifeline and the collective image of a person, thinking about what surrounds him in general and what remains with him,’ says Mirra Orshanskaya, a second-year student in the Communication Design programme. ‘We recreated the fate of a person who has preserved some things over a long life, which are already creating him.’

Mirra says that when the art object was exhibited at HSE University in St. Petersburg, it also had a soundtrack: recorded (sometimes secretly) stories of relatives. However, in the HSE ART GALLERY, the installation is exhibited without sound and in a different composition: ‘During the dismantling “Grandad Vasily” fell, and it seemed metaphorical, as he was reborn in some way. He’s been partially re-created: he is a tired man who put himself together.’

Varya Kabanova, one of the ‘Grandad’ creators, acknowledges that they spent several weeks looking for objects for the installation: the girls collected boxes in Pyaterochka and Diksy stores, asked for things from relatives and their teacher, and found items in landfills, garbage cans, and flea markets. ‘We carefully selected what could suit the installation. It is important that it gathers into a whole picture and really conveys how a person lives,’ says Varya, drawing attention to the fact that the project enables us to think once again of how we value our loved ones.

We would like to highlight once again how important it is to be attentive to the elderly, to preserve our memory of them, to take care of their belongings

The installation ‘Bury me in mushroom spores’, created using a technique involving high-quality printing on non-woven materials, is the thesis project of Evgenia Erofeeva, a graduate of the master's programme in Illustration and Printed Graphics. The author admits that she has been visually fascinated with mushrooms since childhood. Over time, the topic of spores interested her from an ecological perspective.

Evgenia Erofeeva
© Mikhail Dmitriev/ HSE University

‘I am a big fan of spores, and in particular the idea of an eco-friendly burial without using non-degradable materials,’ says Evgenia. ‘I was inspired by several research projects related to helping a deceased person decompose in the ground with the help of fungal spores without harming the environment. There is a sense of decadence in this transformation from a person into spores.’ She adds that the feeling of fatigue, lack of support and feeling oneself in abstraction is like a mushroom spore that has no centre.

Elizaveta Shar
© Mikhail Dmitriev/ HSE University

In addition to unusual installations, guests also watched several performances. One of them, resembling a walk with an egg on a spoon, was created by Elizaveta Shar, a second-year students in the Design and Contemporary Art programme.

‘My performance is called "The Way of Life", an allusion to a competition in which children carry some round objects, including eggs, on spoons: they run around completely focused on them,’ explains the artist.

I projected this children's competition on our daily life, in which we sometimes focus so much on our disturbing thoughts and obsessive unwanted ideas that we don't notice anything around us

Four other students in the Art and Design School participated in the performance. The author of ‘The Way of Life’ warned them that they can finish the performance only by dropping the egg; otherwise, the performance must continue until the end of the event.

You can visit the annual exhibition of works by students and teachers of HSE Art and Design School from October 8 to November 14, 2021, at the HSE ART GALLERY. In addition, the exposition features an educational component called ‘Congress of the Tired People’.

‘Any serious exhibition coincides with an educational programme by necessity, so that the audience not only see works of art, but also becomes deeply immersed in the context that inspired the creators of these works,’ says Alexandra Staruseva-Persheeva, curator of the congress and Associate Professor in the Art and Design School. ‘We also do it, because it’s a large-scale serious exhibition, kind of a milestone for both students and teachers of the Art and Design School.’

The congress opened on October 3 and will run until November 1. A series of events are being held as part of the congress, including lectures for researchers and educational events for students. There are also creative events, such as art text readings, performances, meditative practices, meetings with artists, art historians and curators engaged in interpreting the problems of people living in modern society.

See also:

‘Defining Yourself: Subject / Process / Identity’: New Exhibition Opens at HSE ART GALLERY

From November 9 to December 4, the HSE ART GALLERY is hosting an exhibition of works by students and lecturers of the HSE Art and Design School. The ‘Defining Yourself: Subject / Process / Identity’ exhibition lays the foundation of a multidisciplinary project about building connections between folk crafts, artistic practices, and modern research. The exhibition also has a parallel programme in the form of a curatorial excursion, an open talk, and an evening of performances.

HSE ART GALLERY Presents Retrospective of Screen Art in Russia

On September 21, the HSE ART GALLERY of the HSE Art and Design School opened the exhibition ‘Screen Arts. Roll call’. Pierre-Christian Brochet, curator of the programme in Contemporary Art and the HSE Art Unit, delivered a welcoming speech. Students, famous contemporary artists and pioneers of Russian video art took part in the event.

‘Let's See the Career Start of Those Who Will Become Stars of the Russian Art World’

On September 9th, the Zaryadye Park Media Center and Underground Museum opened an exhibition of graduates from Moscow art universities ‘GRADUATION'22’. Graduates of HSE Art and Design School are taking part in the event. The grand opening of the exhibition was timed to coincide with the park’s first anniversary.

‘Humans Are No Longer at the Top of the Hierarchy’

In June, the HSE ART GALLERY opened the final exhibition under the general curatorial theme ‘In a Land Faraway’. The exhibition displays the best works by students, graduates, and lecturers of the HSE Art and Design School created over the past year. Thousands of artists applied to participate in the exhibition.

Sensors, Switches, Hooks: Why Permanent Exhibition Needs Fidget Toys

Alexei Ryumin, curator of the HSE Art and Design School's track in Animation and illustration has launched The Permanent Exhibition at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition is being held as part of MMOMA's Young Art Support Programme can be seen until May 15.

‘A Delicate Fractal’: What Our Present Looks Like in the Future

In December, ‘A Delicate Fractal’ exhibition by Protey Temen, co-founder of the HSE Art and Design School opened in HSE ART GALLERY. The objects, graphics, video and multimedia installation presented here are part of a larger project ‘The Inner School of Open Studies’, in which the artist studies the subtle connections and intersections between science, random moments and the poetry of everyday life. The exhibition is open until February 6th, 2022.

Still-Life Puzzles and Scenes from the Family Archive: HSE Art and Design School Takes Part in Cosmoscow

The Cosmoscow International Contemporary Art Fair was held in September in the Central Manege. Six graduates and a student of the HSE Art and Design School presented their works at the event. Yulia Yusma, Director of HSE ART GALLERY supervised the projects.

HSE Art and Design School Hosts Stand at Young Contemporary Art Fair

Visitors to the blazar art fair—the first major art event of autumn 2021—had the chance to visit the HSE Art and Design School stand to see works by Aleksandra Walz, Katerina Egorova, Polina Shilkinite, and Andrey Valmus. Another six HSE students and graduates took part as independent artists in the fair, which ran from September 8–12.

Russian Museum of Ethnography to Hold Exhibition of Student Works

The Russian Museum of Ethnography and the HSE Art and Design School St. Petersburg will present an exhibition of works by the school’s students. The HSE OPEN DAYS: Poster, Sign, Book exhibition will run at the museum from September 15–26.

‘There Is No Need to Fear the Atom; It Only Works for the Good of Mankind’

On April 26, on the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, an interactive exhibition was held in the atrium of the Pokrovka complex. Students learned about the history of nuclear power in Russia and how nuclear power works today. In addition, visitors were able to measure the radiation level of their smartphones (spoiler alert: non-life-threatening) and even try their hand at building a nuclear power plant.