It’s OK to change your mind! 21 Russian artists in Italy

The exhibition “It’s OK to change your mind!” on show at the MAMbo museum in Bologna offers a fascinating insight on Russian contemporary art.

Alina Gutkina, I am, 2010

How can one combine the need to preserve their own cultural identity, history, and memory with the wish to experiment and open up to international audiences? The exhibition “It’s OK to change your mind!” currently on view at MAMbo–Villa delle Rose in Bologna, Italy showcases works by twenty-one artists and collectives from the Gazprombank collection and offers a fascinating insight on Russian contemporary art.

Curated by Lorenzo Balbi (Art Director of the MAMbo, the museum of modern and experimental art in Bologna) and Suad Garayeva-Maleki (Chief Curator and Collection Director of YARAT Contemporary Art Space in Baku, Azerbaijan), the exhibition explores the legacy of the early 20th century avant-garde and tries to counteract the lack of awareness at international level of the extraordinary liveliness of Russia’s contemporary production.

Elena Kovylina, Boxing, 2009. Video documentation of the performance, Gazprombank Collection
Elena Kovylina, Boxing, 2009. Video documentation of the performance, Gazprombank Collection

In a time of political and social turmoil on a global scale, when a new Russian identity is being negotiated through juxtaposition of old traditions with modern global culture, the twenty-one artists of “It’s OK to change your mind!” break away from the ordinary and take up different artistic positions, “from those commenting on individual struggles and local vernacular to those exploring the dystopian dreams of building alternative realities.”

Alexander Gronsky, South Tushino, from the series Border, 2009. Gazprombank Collection
Alexander Gronsky, South Tushino, from the series Border, 2009. Gazprombank Collection

They all deal with the confusion and uncertainty typical of their generation, dismantling the architectural forms of the avant-garde to re-use them as building blocks of a new world order. As a result, many of the works on view at Villa delle Rose have a nostalgic taste and seem to be suspended in time and space, in a state of perpetual expectation of a better future, while at the same time they herald a paradigm shift – change is happening and it’s going to be OK.

Title:
It’s OK to change your mind!
Curator:
Lorenzo Balbi
Opening dates:
20 January – 18 March 2018
Museum:
MAMbo – Villa delle Rose
Address 1:
via Saragozza 228/230, Bologna

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