I am who I am. Young Generation of Russian Artists and Leaders of Russian Contemporary Art

Viele Personen schauen euphorisch nach oben und klatschen.

An exhibition from Moscow in KIT – Kunst im Tunnel

Olga Sviblova, the director of the Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow (MAMM), is an internationally prize-winning curator. She was responsible for the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2007 and 2009, exhibited Andreas Gursky in Moscow in 2008 and knows Düsseldorf well since curating the 2003 exhibition “New Beginning, Contemporary Art from Moscow” at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf. “I am who I am” was conceived by Olga Sviblova in 2011 for the MAMM – already with a view to KIT – Kunst im Tunnel, where the exhibition will now be shown for the first time outside of Moscow.

The exhibition project “I am who I am” is to be understood as a survey of artistic production by young Russian artists (the youngest participant is 17 years old). The show reflects the new generation’s search for its own social, economic, political or cultural identity and depicts the influence that the ongoing artistic self-determination has had on Generation “Next” since the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The exhibition simultaneously shows works by renowned contemporaries, including Alexander Brodsky, the Electroboutique group and Igor Moukhin.
These artists appeared in local and international artistic contexts against the backdrop of the historical upheavals in Russia, the end of Gorbachev’s Perestroika and the new beginning of Russian history in the late 1980s to the early 1990s. Their works influenced the development of the awareness of the present generation of young artists and anticipated the questions they are now posing.

It should not be forgotten that only twenty years have passed since Russia underwent the complex and painful process of its economic and social structures. Even today, various economic forms and mentalities exist in the country and it seems as different groups of peoples were living in diverse historical epochs, regardless of what the valid astronomical calendar say.

“I am who I am” reflects this conflicting nature, this trench between the past and the utopia with which the older as well as younger generation of artists deal with both emotionally and intellectually.

(Olga Sviblova)

The exhibition takes place in conjunction with the cultural exchange between Moscow and Düsseldorf.

Curator: Olga Sviblova
Curatorial assistant: Ekaterina Inozemtseva

Taus Makhacheva, Untitled 2. Dagestan, 2011, From the series ‘The Fast and The Furious’, Digital print, Courtesy of the Artist, Paperworks Gallery, Moscow and Laura Bulian Gallery, Milan
Igor Moukhin, Moscow (Graduates), 1999, Digital print, Collection of Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow
Anna Skladmann, Sofia Sitting on a Flower Bed, Moscow, 2010, From the ‘Little Adults’ series, Digital print, Collection of Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow