Moscow – As part of the partnership between Cosmoscow and the State Tretyakov Gallery named Cosmoscow’s Museum Partner for 2017, a special acquisition of works by Russian artist Andrey Kuzkin to the museum’s permanent collection was announced at the fair’s anniversary 5th edition opening press conference on September 7, 2017. The donation supported by Foundation for Contemporary Art is aimed at contributing to the development of contemporary art in Russia and expansion of the Tretyakov Gallery’s collection. Launched in 2017, the Foundation is an institution combining fair’s non-commercial initiatives, undertaken in recent years. The list of donated works include: All Ahead of You installation together with corresponding video documentation (2011); Around the Circle performance video documentation (2008), the Right to Life documentation of 2006-2015 actions, performances and projects. The donation and opening of the exhibition of all works will take place in the Halls n.21-22 of the New Tretyakov Gallery on September 21 at 7pm. The exhibition will last till September 28, 2017 in parallel with Moscow International Biennale of Contemporary Art.
“I am very glad that the work of the Foundation starts with such an epoch-making event as the replenishment of the Tretyakov Gallery's collection with the works of contemporary artist. We can say that this is a new page in the history of the institutionalization of Russian contemporary art. This process will largely shape the idea of the history of art in the minds of future generations,” says Margarita Pushkina, Founding Director of Cosmoscow International Contemporary Art Fair and Founder of Cosmoscow Foundation for Contemporary Art.
“The Right to Life project explores the possibility of preserving memory and handing it over to future generations. This function is also performed by museums. I am grateful to the Cosmoscow fair and personally to Margarita Pushkina and Zelfira Tregulova for making it possible for my works to be included in the collection of the Tretyakov Gallery. It is very important to me,” says Andrey Kuzkin.
The first project of Andrey Kuzkin that won attention of the art scene and expert community was the Around the Circle performance (2008) that was presented as a part of the First Moscow International Biennale for Young Art. For more than four hours the artist who was bound with a rope to the center of a swimming pool full with grout cement wandered around the circle. According to Kuzkin, a helpless fight with stiffening cement serves as a trope for the “current life model of a man”. A film, based on the performance’s video documentation, was cut and shown many times at different exhibition projects in Russia and abroad.
In 2011 Andrey Kuzkin created a project which not only became one of the most radical expressions in contemporary art but also demonstrated a principled position of the author, whose works, one and all, raise questions of blurring boundaries between life and arts. The All Ahead of You project was conceived and performed as a symbolic suicide of a young artist who has buried all his earlier works as well as his own property in 58 metal boxes. Due to the conditions of the project, all the content of the boxes can be disclosed 29 years after.
In 2015 Andrey Kuzkin created the Right to Life project – 70 tablets with abstracts of text and photos that represent autobiography of the artist, expressed in the form of a poor narration. Every piece of text starts with the words: “One man…”. The collection of tablets forms a block of crucial events in the artistic biography of Kuzkin. 10 tablets from this series joined the collection of Centre Pompidou.