ART-FACTORY 2009 International Festival of contemporary art


27.08 - 30.08.2009

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Program: [Ural factories – Industries of meaning]

Place: Sverdlovsk Worsted Factory

Curators: [Ksenia Fedorova], [Svetlana Usoltseva]

Coordinators: [Natalia Andronova], [Irina Kudryavtseva], [Anna Pyankova]

Partners: Business Portal N-2, The Ford Foundation , Department of Culture, Municipality , The Royal Netherlands Embassy in Moscow, The Goethe-Institut in Moscow, Instytut Adama Mickiewicza, Ural Federal University

“Material Resistance: Elements and Effects”

During 4 days more than 50 artists from Russia, Holland, Germany, the United States, Great Britain, Poland and other countries exhibited works of art to the accompaniment of the sound of looms and lathes.

The festival became an unprecedented experience of interaction between contemporary art and industry in the Ural region. An large-scale exhibition with a total area of more than 1000 square meters occupied 5 workshop pavilions of the factory.

The program has included exhibition, audio-visual, theatre and dance performances, film&video screenings, workshops and lectures by invited artists and curators, as well as a round table «Art and Industrial: resources transformation».

More than 3 000 citizens of Ekaterinburg and other Russian regions have visited the festival.


The art exposition was situated in three shops of the factory and was open to the public throughout the festival from noon till 23pm presenting sound, interactive and kinetic installations, documentation of performances, art objects and photography.

The visitors were welcome to observe a regular conveyor belt – production of the «dubloids» (a project of Moscow artist Leonid Tishkov). According to the author, dubloids are «phantoms of the human mind», the whole luggage of mental, social and living clichés, production of which is a path to purification and inner liberation. Employees of the Worsted Factory made blanks on patterns, sew and showed the finished product to festival guests.

The theme of “material resistance” was treated by some artists as a basis to reflect upon abstract relations between the parts within one whole, between time and space (audio-visual installation of Kilian Kretschmer «& 4 &», «Energy Exchange» by Dan Marino, «Anarchy as Control» by Sergey Kasich). For others, the specifics of the plant became the “material” – its history and myths were considered by «San Donato» group, Ilya Shipilovskich, Slava Soldatov. A huge black «lump», produced by Ilya Trushevsky has rolled across the vast territory of the plant, picking upon itself the «items of the space» (pieces of wool, etc.).

In the former fulling workshops in parallel to the exposition («green plant» with the wisdom of the Ural story-teller Bazhov, by Evgeny Emansky) an improvised cinema was set to present films by famous Soviet-Russian avant-guard director Vladimir Kobrin.

According to an on-line voting that was held during the festival days, the main hits of the exhibition became an installation-performance by Kilian Kretschmer «& 4 &», performance «The Rusty River» by «Velosiped» group, exposition «Weightlessness» by the NewArtGroup, interactive installation by Dmitry Morozov «Syntophones», «Thirst» by Anatoly Vyatkin, as well as a sound installation by Danil Akimov «Heartful», placed in an abandoned water tower.

(The results of the poll can be found at

Participants: Alexander Belov Alexander Solnetchny (Perm), Anna Titova (Moscow), Anatoly Vyatkin (Ekaterinburg), Arseny Zhilyaev (Moscow, Gothenburg), Victor Oborotystov (Ekaterinburg), Vladimir Tarasov (Lithuania), Danil Akimov (Kaliningrad), Dan Marino (Ekaterinburg), Yevgeny Umansky (Kaliningrad), Zlata Ponirovskaya (Moscow), Ivan Sergeyev (Ekaterinburg), Ilya Trushevsky (St. Petersburg, Moscow), Ilya Gaponov & Kirill Koteshov (St. Petersburg), Ilya Shipilovsky (Perm) , Kilian Kretschmer, Thorsten Schwanninger (Germany), Leonid Tishkov (Moscow), Michael Kontopoulos (USA), Olga Mosina (Nizhny Tagil), Oleg Elagin (Samara), Paul Pazukhin (Ufa), Peter Weibel (Germany), Sergey Laushkin (Ekaterinburg), «San Donato» (Oleg Blyablyas, Yevgeny Umansky, Alex Chebykin, Irina Chesnokova, Kaliningrad), Tatiana Yatsuta (Kemerovo), Slaventy (Nev'jansk), William Cobbing (Great Britain), Fedor Telkov (Ekaterinburg), Felix Thorn (Great Britain), Center «Prometheus» (Kazan), Love Live Electronic (Oleg Makarov, Viktor Chernenko, Dmitry Morozov, Sergei Kasic, Moscow), «New Art» (Ekaterinburg).


Every day a successive program of performances took place on the territory of a worsted warehouse. More than 16 groups and individual artists have presented their works in the genres of electroacoustic music, theatre, dance, and intermedia performance.

The highlight of the opening day became «Light & Sound Performance» by Edwin van der Heide (the Netherlands) - a total sensory immersion into «pure» sound and light. Performances by Danil Akimov (Kaliningrad), LoveLiveElectronic (Theremin Center for experimental and electroacoustic music, Moscow), «4 positions of Bruno» (Ekaterinburg), Vladimir Lilo («CYLAND» Medialab, NCCA, St. Petersburg) and others revealed the energy of overcoming the borders - borders of perception, material forms, and the self. A keen and acute provocation during the “musical” part of the program was «The End of the Composers’ Time» in the interpretation of Leo Gutovsky (Chelyabinsk), that expressed the agony of the alive under the indifferent gaze nonliving.

Ekaterinburg and Chelyabinsk theatre and dance groups «NLO12» «Okoem», «ID» and others have explored the territory of feelings using their own means. Love and resentment, sadness and indifference, quarrel and reconciliation between the people – choreography expresses the complexity of human relationships in all its blunt honesty, returning everyone to the intimate union of body and soul. In the performance of Helen Demi («The Others’ Dreams» performance company, Moscow), plastic theater was combined with the techniques of body art that resulted in an unexpected imagery of human brain, revealing its capacity for regeneration.


A series of lectures and workshops was developed to emphasize the interdisciplinary character of the festival.

Curator and researcher Kuba Szreder (Poland) has presented a public art and research project «Industrial Town Futurism» (2005-2007) that was devoted to the changes that occurred in the central and peripheral societies in relation to the fading of the industrial era.

Edwin van der Heide (The Netherlands) has shared his experience of working on the edge between music, sound and media art using the examples of three of his works such as “The Speed of Sound”, “Radioscape”, “Wavescape”.

Kilian Kretschmer and Torsten Schwanninger (Germany) have represented the program of media arts studies at the University of Arts and Design in Karlsruhe as well as shown examples of their work with the concept of synchronicity.

Anastasia Maksimova and Georgy Avdoshin have talked about the history of synesthesia studies in the legendary center of experimental aesthetics «Prometheus» (Kazan).

Elena Demi and photographer Max Kalmykov (Moscow) have demonstrated the secrets various body art technic and how it may be used in performance. During the workshop, the audience could actively participate in creation of a new work.

In their presentation, Den Marino (Ekaterinburg) and Alan Gignoux (UK, USA) have commented on a photography project about the past and present of industry in the Ural region. Factories and enterprises of Nizhny Tagil, Magnitogorsk, Kirovgrad, Karabash, Asbest, and of other cities – large and small, still working and abandoned ones became a center of their critical overview. «Russia has a unique situation with plants. After all, the whole city depends on them, culture and life of a city has a closely attached to a plant, it becomes a part of society. The industrial space shouldn’t be abdicated, we just have to look at it in a different way, rethink it» (Den Marino).

At the round table “ART AND INDUSTRIALITY: RESOURCES OF TRANSFORMATION”, moderated by Alisa Prudnikova (NCCA, Ekaterinburg) social and cultural entrepreneurs, artists, critics and curators, politicians and businessmen have discussed Russian and International experience of integrating contemporary art and culture into industrial spaces. Among the participants of the debate were Kuba Szreder (curator, Poland), Catherine Melin (artist, France), Michail Mindlin (director of the NCCA, Moscow), Asya Philippova (director of the “PROJECT_FABRIKA”, Moscow), David Riff (art critic,, Moscow), and others.

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