Following the first survey exhibition in 2015, Liberating Knowledge: Progress Report II showcases the activities of the last two years through films, audio and video installations, documents, archival materials, paintings, and photographs. Bringing together seven new projects by artists and curators working around the world, including Afghanistan, Armenia, Congo, France, Lebanon, Russia and the United States of America, the exhibition takes the production and liberation of knowledge as its broader theme, while focusing on the activities of Garage Field Research Program.
The presentations put forward radical theories at the intersection of a variety of fields such as art, cinema, architecture, philosophy, history, and social and political science. By championing strategies of resistance and bringing to light the places, events, and people often neglected by or recouped from dominant histories, each research project challenges the leading positions of dominant agents of knowledge liberating knowledge from belonging to one discipline, one culture or one narrative, and breaks free from the prevailing impermeability of academic and archival institutions in the country.
The subjects chosen by the participants belong to different chapters of Russian history, from the early twentieth century to the current post-post-Soviet condition. Their research interests range from investigations into alternative modes of knowledge and information dissemination during the traumatic period of the Siege of Leningrad (1941–1944), as in Alexandra Sukhareva’s research Comb in the Grass (Small Descriptive Models That Have Turned into Action); through exploring how cultural and engineering paradigms negotiate each other as well as their relations to authority after major revolutions in history, as in curator Susanna Gyulamiryan’s project Dialogues with Power: The Case of Vladimir Shukhov; to investigating the key factors that have informed the understanding of deafness in Russia as in the project by Council (Grégory Castéra and Sandra Terdjman), Tarek Atoui, and Alison O’Daniel, Russian Deaf Culture: From Boarding School to Museum. What unites these disparate research projects is the particular attention that the artists and curators involved have given to opening up the process of knowledge creation and dissemination. Their working methods are focused on direct engagement and personal histories.
A public program entitled Field Research: Weekend Faculty explores the specificities of artistic research. A series of public lectures followed by a weekend of “crit sessions” will be organized for those who wish to deepen their knowledge of research-oriented practices. Led by some of the most thought-provoking international artists in the field the lectures will be open to the public and will give a broad overview of the artists’ practice. The crit sessions will be for a selected audience (through an open call) and will offer the opportunity for a more engaged dialogue and critical discussion between aspiring artists, curators, art critics, and researchers residing in Russia or in any of the countries from the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Initiated in 2013, the aim of the Program is to give new perspectives on overlooked or little-known events, philosophies, places, or people relating to Russian culture. The topics are driven by the interests of the invited participants, and include elements of academic fellowship while prioritizing fieldwork and idiosyncratic artistic research as the primary methods for the production of new interpretations. Supported by its own department within the Museum, Field Research provides access to local experts, archives, and institutions, as well as making the process and results regularly accessible to the public. Past participants include: Anton Vidokle, Taryn Simon, Museum of American Art in Berlin (MoAA), Koyo Kouoh and Rasha Salti. More information can be found here.
Participants: Tarek Atoui & Council (Sandra Terdjman and Grégory Castéra) with Alison O’Daniel, Sammy Baloji, Chto Delat, Mariam Ghani, Dmitry Gutov and David Riff, Susanna Gyulamiryan, Alexandra Sukhareva
Organized by Snejana Krasteva, Garage Curator, and Olga Shirokostup, Garage Field Research coordinator.