TransCultural Express: American and Russian Arts Today, a collaborative artistic venture between BAM and the Mikhail Prokhorov Fund, continues its programming this fall with art, film, and literary events. TransCultural Express will connect Brooklyn and Siberia with a specially commissioned sculptural sound art by Brooklyn-based artist Rachel Owens, exhibited simultaneously in Brooklyn and in Siberia this fall.
A film retrospective of the renowned Russian director Aleksei Balabanov will screen at BAMcinématek in December, and acclaimed New York writer Ian Frazier will participate in the Krasnoyarsk Book Culture Fair.
TransCultural Express commissioned Rachel Owens to create an art work that will render the idea of cultural exchange tangible. Almost Antipodeans are twin works of sculpture with sound components that have been simultaneously installed at the Mira Square of the Krasnoyarsk Museum Center in Siberia as part of its Biennale and the Peter Jay Sharp Lower Lobby of BAM Fisher as part of the BAMart program.
Brooklyn-based visual artist Rachel Owens participates in
the 10th Krasnoyarsk Museum Biennial, in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. Source: Press Photo
Each of the two works that make up Almost Antipodeans is a “throne” composed of a section of aluminum stadium bleachers crowned by multiple stereo speakers of various sizes which become a visual seatback. The pieces are covered in their entirety in gold leaf. The multi-channel speakers emit recordings of human voices and ambient sounds. Owens produced these soundtracks by asking Brooklynites and Krasnoyarskians to answer the open ended question “What do you see?” The New Yorkers’ answers were translated into Russian and broadcast in the Krasnoyarsk version, while the smaller twin piece installation at BAM Fisher broadcasts answers by Krasnoyarskians translated into English. As part of the Transcultural experience, Owens also held a workshop with local artists in Krasnoyarsk in September. The art work will be continuously exhibited at BAM Fisher until the end of the 2013 BAM Next Wave Festival.
Irina Prokhorova, Founder of the Mikhail Prokhorov Fund, reiterated that “the joint TransCultural Express project by the Mikhail Prokhorov Fund and BAM are brought about by our keen interest in promoting the exchange of ideas and cultural achievements between Russia and the USA. The installation by Rachel Owens makes an effective contribution to this exchange of opinions and crosscultural cooperation by helping the residents of Krasnoyarsk and Brooklyn tune up to the same wavelength.”
From December 3 to 10, BAMcinématek presents a complete retrospective of Aleksei Balabanov—the first of its kind in the US—at BAM Rose Cinemas.
The self-proclaimed “anti-establishment rock'n'roller of Russian film” became known for his unflinching perspective of corruption in his post-Soviet homeland before his untimely death this past May. This eight-day series showcases all 13 of Balabanov’s feature films (as well as several shorts), ranging from dark comedies to grisly crime dramas, and features a brand new 35mm print of The Castle (1994), his adaptation of Kafka’s unfinished novel.
In addition, author Ian Frazier will attend the Krasnoyarsk Book Culture Fair, held from Oct 31 to Nov 4. He will talk about his book Travels in Siberia, conduct a workshop for Siberian journalists, and participate in panel discussions. A staff writer for The New Yorker, Frazier is the author of numerous celebrated books, including Great Plains, On the Rez, Family, and most recently, Travels in Siberia, a vivid nonfiction account of Russia’s vast northeastern territory.
BAM and the contemporary visual arts have a long-standing connection. From its inception in 1983, the Next Wave Festival has commissioned work by renowned visual artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Susan Rothenberg, and Willem de Kooning. Currently BAM invites one or two artists per season to provide cover art for the BAMbill, the house program distributed to each audience member. These works are also displayed in the lobbies of the Peter Jay Sharp Building and/or the BAM Harvey Theater, and are often sold to a BAM patron at the end of a season with proceeds benefiting BAM.
About TransCultural Express
A collaborative artistic venture between BAM and the Mikhail Prokhorov Fund, TransCultural Express focuses on cultural exchange between the US and Russia and marks the Prokhorov Fund’s inaugural artistic alliance with a US cultural institution. Since its inception, TransCultural Express has rolled out a rich assortment of literary, film, and performing arts, including Russian artist Irina Korina’s first US installation, the screening Andrei Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia to celebrate its 30th anniversary, a contemporary Russian film series Russian Cinema Now, an Eat, Drink & Be Literary event with Masha Gessen and Keith Gessen, and performances by Philadelphia-based hip-hop dance company Illstyle and Peace Productions in two Siberian cities.
About the Mikhail Prokhorov Fund
The Mikhail Prokhorov Fund is a private charity launched in 2004 by the businessman Mikhail Prokhorov and his sister, Irina Prokhorova. The Foundation’s priority is the support and development of new cultural institutions and initiatives in Russia, with a focus on regional projects as well as the promotion of Russian culture in the global intellectual community. The Foundation’s activity takes many forms. It is a creative laboratory developing new cultural initiatives, a school nurturing Russia’s next generation of artists and entrepreneurs, and a playground for socio-economic development, all the while combining in its work a few defining characteristics: enlightenment, education, and charity. Visit www.prokhorovfund.com for more information.
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