On June 12th, the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art—formerly and more ambiguously known as Garage Center for Contemporary Culture—will open the doors of its first permanent home. The institution has moved between several less central, less permanent locations (such as a former bus depot) since its 2008 inception by Dasha Zhukova. But Garage has now tightened its name, centralized its location, and solidified its position as the go-to destination for international contemporary art in Moscow.
A Soviet-era structure elegantly revamped by Rem Koolhaas serves as a nod to Russia’s charged political history and lasting art-historical legacy. Inside, the museum will introduce its expanded program with exhibitions by Russian and international artists: Erik Bulatov, Katharina Grosse, Július Koller, Yayoi Kusama, and Rirkrit Tiravanija, among others. Tucked into Gorky Park, a storied public space that recently underwent a $2 billion renovation after a long period of post-Soviet deterioration and misuse (during which, at one point, the city even charged an entry fee into the park), the relocation and growth of Garage marks an upsurge in the Russian population’s attention to—and interest in the expansion of—their country’s cultural engagement.
In the video above, Zhukova, director Anton Belov, chief curator Kate Fowle, artist Marina Abramović, and other key players at Garage talk us through the museum’s ambitious plans to be “the first philanthropic institution in Russia to create a comprehensive public mandate for contemporary art and culture.”