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Artists from Ukraine will take part in the parallel show of the “Manifesta-10”


Tomorrow, the most anticipated event of the year among fans of contemporary art kicks off in the city – European biennale of the “Manifest-10”/ The main venue – the Hermitage – aside, there will be another 20 spaces. One of them is in an actual factory. Back in 2012, a museum project was launched here, now a parallel show of the Manifest will be held here. Alexandra Lee went to find a difference between art-objects and production.


This is not a street-art style installation of a lift-truck’s work. It is a genuine off-loading process on the territory of an actual factory. There are, however, metaphorical objects here, examples of neorealism – a chimney pipe, built in 1992, in the years when the plastics factory was in shambles. Production steam never made it way out of it

Alexandra Lee, reporter: “The factory was restored, although not entirely. Such art object serves to silently remind of the connection between generations. And it seems its time to gather rocks”

These have appeared recently. The idea corresponds with the exhibition’s theme – events in Ukraine. Here are rising lines of slain innocents, here is a pregnant woman with a Molotov cocktail, carrying a future soldier who is most likely doomed to die. The present times will spawn such generations in the future, say artists, if nothing is changed now. This is the main idea of the exhibition. Casus Pacis – reason for peace – to counter the common Casus Belli – reason for war. Which, as we known, is always to be found. And is being found more often recently.

Artists from Ukraine eventually came to this venue – parallel to the official on at the Hermitage.

Sergey Radkevich, artist from Lvov: “I had doubts – I woud not have taken part in an exhibition in any other place, like Moscow. But I really liked the name – “Reason for Peace”. This is an acute subject for me in Ukraine. I am worried, because death is inconceivable to me”

Not all were willing to talk to journalists at first. But here Poles, Ukrainians and Russians again came to a conclusion – the alienation is caused by the information war. And now street artists take real brushes instead of typical spray cans and let their feelings out on brick walls.

And this is not a construction site of the factory. This is an installation. It seems its about diplomatic negotiations which lead to nothing. And there are many such examples in real life. Modern art cannot be apolitical by definition.

Mikhail Astakhov, co-curator of the exhibition, founder of the museum: “Artists and creators – they are the people above politicians. They must be the ones to tell the society where to move, not blindly obeying the will of those at power”

That’s why, maybe, spirit is being distilled in an improvised laboratory – against the will of those at power. AS a source material – blood, voluntarily donated by Tajiks, Russians – all international participants of the exhibition. Mixed surrogate eventually turned out clear. This is a simple idea which artists carried through the “Manifest-10”: human life is priceless and should act as the most convincing Casus Pacis