See underground art underground
If you haven’t been to the Zaryadye Park Museum, the current show would be a great introduction. Called “360 Degrees, or the Faceted Vision of the Dragon Fly,” it is dedicated to the art historian and curator Vitaly Patsyukov, who passed away at the age of 83 last October. The show highlights works by some of the artists Patsyukov knew and worked with during his 40-year career, including such giants of Soviet and Russian art as Ilya Kabakov, Erik Bulatov, and Dmitry Prigov. It is divided into three sections — “Dialog with Greats”; “In Search of Lost Time,” and “Artists of the Sixties” — with a special section called “Coordinates of Sound: What We Hear, What Watches Us.” It’s all very eclectic, bright, and intriguing, from visually beautiful digital information stands to art of all sizes and genres. For more information and tickets, see the site here.
Revel in a Bruno Ganz film festival
If you are a fan of the late Swiss actor Bruno Ganz — and anyone who saw him as the angel Damiel in Wim Wenders's "Wings of Desire” immediately became a fan — you’ll be happy to know that the State Tretyakov Gallery is collaborating with the Swiss Embassy in Moscow, the Goethe Institute and Swiss Films to hold a marvelous festival of films starring or featuring Ganz. On Friday evening (Feb. 4) you can see him in the very dark comedy “The Party,” directed by Sally Potter and released in 2017. It begins at 7 p.m. in the very comfortable theater in the Engineering Building. The film, like all the films in the festival, is shown in the original language — here English — with Russian subtitles. For tickets and more information about the festival, see the site here.
Save the date and buy your ticket now
On Jan. 19, smack in between Valentine’s Day and Defender of the Homeland Day — aka Men’s Day —the Midas English-language theater in Moscow is putting on two performances of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.” You can go to the 2 p.m. matinee or the 7 p.m. evening performance. Either way there is plenty of time for dinner and drinks before or after. The play, which the theater bills as “humor, melodrama, roses, bow ties, neckties, sweet sighs, gentlemen, ladies, saints, sinners, cucumber sandwiches and good ol’ England,” is very popular and usually sold out. So ,if you fancy some going on the Wilde side, get your tickets here now.
Find out why everything you think about art history is wrong
This is the last weekend of the “Odd Convergences” exhibition at the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. Curated by French art historian Jean-Hubert Martin and Alexandra Danilova, head of the Gallery of 19th and 20th Century European and American Art, the show presents more than 400 works of art and artifacts from natural history collections in unusual and unexpected pairings or groupings. The works of art are not annotated at all, which is at first disconcerting and somewhat annoying. But then you begin to look at the works themselves more carefully, finding similarities between, say, Russian icons and French Cubist paintings. Thirteen themes of “convergence” fill seven large halls of the museum, offering viewers a chance to consider images of love in paintings of lovers and witches, or to see how an apple in Eve’s hand appears to morph into a globe over the centuries. The curators say that these similarities, differences, and transformations do nothing less than upend and “debunk the prevalent myth in the history of art.” For more information and tickets, see the site here.
Decide if we need literature anymore
Ad Marginem press, GES-2 House of Culture, and the UK-Russia Creative Bridge program are launching a very new kind of literary festival this Friday. Called “Outline,” the three-day festival will take place live at GES-2, online, and in a newspaper. The main topics that will be considered by the Russian and foreign participants, all of whom have a professional interest in literature, is nothing less than the search for new literature, an analysis of how the “old” literature is changing, and in the end, a discussion on whether we need literature anymore at all. Look at the schedule here and tune in free of charge to hear what people are saying. Among the illustrious and fascinating guests are author Rachel Cusk (“Coventry,” “Outline” trilogy); poet Oksana Vasyakina (“Wind of Fury”); art and culture critic Lera Kononchuk; author Olivia Laing (“The Lonely City”); Litt Woon Long (“The Way Through the Woods. On Mushrooms and Mourning”); author Lev Danilkin (“Lenin: The Pantocrator of Sun Dust”) — and another half-dozen more fascinating speakers. It would appear that the main language of the festival is Russian, but there will undoubtedly be interpretation. Click on “program” for the schedule of speakers.