It is the result of an extensive five-year project by Independent Curators International (ICI), which exclusively culminates at Garage. Project 35: The Last Act presents 70 video works from artists living and working all over the world—from Zimbabwe and Guatemala to Japan, from the USA and New Zealand to Kyrgyzstan, that have been selected by 70 leading curators who are part of ICI’s extensive network, including, Chus Martinez, Viktor Misiano, Hou Hanru, and Hans Ulrich Obrist. Since 2010, different versions of the exhibition have been presented in over 50 institutions around the world. As the finale, this is the first time they will be screened together, providing a unique, global overview of video art now.
Showcasing many leading artists in Russia for the first time, the exhibition is also unusual for its “cinema” style presentation in Garage’s new auditorium. Each week there is a new, daily program of video works, which are each especially selected for audiences by eleven key creative people in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, such as Olga Chernishova (artist), Anton Belov (Garage Director), and Elena Yushina (independent curator), based on their personal interests and tastes. Visitors can watch for half an hour, an hour, or four hours—to see the “top picks” that each selector has made and why they liked them—and can keep coming back to see more works from more selectors over the winter months, all through January 2016. In this way the exhibition offers a flexible viewing opportunity for visitors to enjoy on their own time.
Project 35 began as the first international survey of what curators thought was the most interesting video art happening around the world since the new millennium, further revealing the ways in which artists are wanting to communicate today. To begin, 35 international curators selected 35 video works that ranged from reinterpretations of traditional philosophical propositions, to uprisings and protests in South Africa and emerging youth culture in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, to environmental exploitation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Then, in 2012, 35 new curators selected 35 new videos works, expanding the reach of the project to reflect the continued rise of video art as an important medium for artists. Together, the works reveal the diversity of approaches practitioners are taking to the medium, using various animation techniques, as well as borrowing from the language of cinema, performance, and even YouTube, to produce work that weaves between documentary and fiction formats.
The weekly screening program that takes place in the Garage Auditorium has been prepared in collaboration with Russian artists (Olga Chernyshova, Evgeny Granilshikov), film critics (Alexey Artamonov, Boris Nelepo), journalists (Maria Kravtsova), art critics (Alexander Evangeli), curators (Elena Yushina, Aperto gallery; Andrey Misiano, Garage) directors (Anton Belov, Garage) and theatre director who will choose their personal favourites from the wide range of works.