Everyday, millions of people have out-of-body experiences, enabled by avatars on social media, or in multiplayer game worlds. Meanwhile, Google Earth and air travel make us accustomed to the god’s eye perspective of satellites, in orbit, beyond gravity. Set against the challenge of dealing with environmental change, the vagaries of a global economy, social instability, and the moral fallout from the information revolution, the poetry of escape grows ever more seductive. Lust for an absolute outside powers fantasies of emigration to unspoiled beaches, and exotic schemes to colonize Mars.
But what if such visions are traps and not escape? What if the ticket price is too high? With every blastoff, some earth is scorched. The tabula rasa is a modernist conceit. Its shimmering surface has, for too long, obscured the depth of fractals and the fact that, beyond a canvas or spreadsheet, there is no square one. Can’t we imagine a radical inside? For every evacuation plan we need a thousand reconceptions of home: not conservation but renovation of the spaces we inhabit—conceptual and material hacks. The weight of opposing forces, in static or attack, demands that we develop new forms of judo.
We are living through an acceleration that is profoundly altering society, ecology, and the parameters of identification. Networks establish a continuum between the wildest shores of sentient life and the facts of matter. A new generation of artists is exploring the multifaceted structure of this landscape. They are recording and remodeling the here and now from deep inside. Their tools are short circuits, cryptology, mutation, acts of hybridization and infection. They are subterranean builders, pirates, linguists and remixers. And we are already home.
Nadim Samman read Philosophy at University College London before completing a doctorate in art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art. In 2012 he curated the 4th Marrakech Biennale with Carson Chan. Projects in 2014 include Antarctopia: The Antarctic Pavilion, 14th Venice Biennale of Architecture, and Treasure of Lima: A Buried Exhibition, a unique site-specific exhibition on the remote Pacific island of Isla del Coco. Nadim is co-director of Import Projects, editor of Near East Magazine and previously curator at Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21).
Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Moscow City Department of Culture, National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA), Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA)
Venue of the main Biennale project — Trekhgornaya Manufactory
Moscow International Biennale for Young Art ranks among the largest and most ambitious projects in the field of contemporary art; in summer 2016, it will take place for the fifth time. The mission of the Biennale, founded by NCCA and MMOMA, is to discover new names of emerging artists, create opportunities for their public demonstration, and promote contemporary art in the urban context. The main Biennale project will be hosted by Trekhgornaya Factory.
From this year on, the format and conditions of the Biennale undergo substantial changes. In previous years, the Biennale was curated by established international experts selected by the founders of the project (Daria Pyrkina, Daria Kamyshnikova, Kathrin Becker, David Elliott); from now on, the curator of the Biennale, just like its participants, belongs to the young generation under 35. Another novelty of the fifth Biennale is the abolition of the position of Executive Director, substituted by the post of Commissioner. The Commissioner of the Biennale is Ekaterina Kibovskaya, independent curator and producer.