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Regular version of the site

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

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

© Mikhail Dmitriev/ HSE University

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.

Alina Zolotykh, Ekaterina Aksenova, Elena Vlasova, Elena Charobai, Yasha Maksimenko, Daria Abdullina and Anastasia Kolesnichenko presented their projects at the prestigious international contemporary art fair. Guests enjoyed the creative diversity of the works presented at the exhibition: embroidery based on shots from the family video archive, photographs, still lifes, comic-book style painting, VKontakte graffiti, fabric installation and sculpture. The works were exhibited on September 18–20 in the Central Manege, and were also available to purchase via the TEO online platform until September 26.

This year marked the ninth annual Cosmoscow International Contemporary Art Fair. More than 300 contemporary artists took part in the event. HSE students and graduates presented their works at the stand of ‘Otkrytie Private Banking’ and the Visa international payment system. The central theme of the stand was discovering new names in the world of contemporary art.

Artist Elena Vlasova, graduate of the programme in Design and Contemporary Art, presented a graphic work titled ‘Grid/15’ from her series ‘Grids: A Game with Gaps’ at Cosmoscow. The series uses the motif of city fences. ‘To me, grids are a "common place" in the urban environment. Watching them, I strive to create a dual shimmering image that walks the line between a real recognizable object and an abstract, schematic one,’ says Elena. In her work, the artist explores how specific spaces function: the city, the internet, nature, the entities inhabiting them, and the formation of the psycho-emotional climate of the place. ‘The uneven city space and its everyday life are the most interesting thing to me. I look at the marginal, irrational part of it, the part untouched by the official authorities and living by itself like a ghost, the part that generates alternative images that I bring out of the shadows,’ she explained.

Anastasia Kolesnichenko, graduate of the programme in Communication Design, is the creator of composite still lifes presented at the stand. ‘My still lifes can be viewed as a puzzle, where the whole story is assembled from pieces,’ the artist says. ‘Different objects are combined, and we get a complete message. Words and feelings that can be translated into objects help me to create still lifes.’ Anastasia finds participation in Cosmoscow an interesting experience: ‘I think it's a step forward, and I'm glad about it.’

Yulia Yusma, Project Curator, Director of HSE ART GALLERY

At the HSE Art and Design School, we create a system that gives students not only a theoretical basis and practical experience in organizing and participating in exhibitions (in our gallery or at other venues), but also the opportunity to gradually integrate into the market. Support from our partners allowed us to create the perfect conditions for artists: participation with a full-fledged stand in the largest Russian contemporary art fair, representation on the TEO online platform, financial support for production and design and, significantly, no sales commissions. This is also an important step for the School as a whole: we took part in Cosmoscow for the first time and learnt that works by young artists are of interest to collectors at the fair, which mainly showcases established creators with serious careers. We sold eight works—2/3 of the stand—and our artists received more than 450,000 roubles in total. It’s an important experience for all participants and one which, I hope, will become a regular occurrence.

See also:

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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.

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On March 16, the HSE Madelstam Centre together with Vladimir Dal State Literature Museum opened a museum dedicated to poet Osip Mandelstam and his wife Nadezhda. Below, HSE News Service talks about the exposition ‘Mandelstam Street: Osip and Nadezhda’.

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