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Review: Russian 'Triennale' striking in its diversity

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/11/2017 By KATE DE PURY and EKATERINA CHERNYAEVA, Associated Press
Aalexandra Paperno speaks to the Associated Press at her work "Suspense" displayed at the contemporary art museum Garage "Triennale" in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, March 11, 2017. The exhibit by nearly 70 artists encompasses painting, sculpture, video, installation and conceptual works, mostly after 2012, and is a dizzying montage of the different cultures from within Russia's borders. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) © The Associated Press Aalexandra Paperno speaks to the Associated Press at her work "Suspense" displayed at the contemporary art museum Garage "Triennale" in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, March 11, 2017. The exhibit by nearly 70 artists encompasses painting, sculpture, video, installation and conceptual works, mostly after 2012, and is a dizzying montage of the different cultures from within Russia's borders. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

MOSCOW (AP) — The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity — perhaps surprisingly in today's political context.

Aalexandra Paperno speaks to the Associated Press at her work "Suspense" displayed at the contemporary art museum Garage "Triennale" in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, March 11, 2017. The exhibit by nearly 70 artists encompasses painting, sculpture, video, installation and conceptual works, mostly after 2012, and is a dizzying montage of the different cultures from within Russia's borders. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) © The Associated Press Aalexandra Paperno speaks to the Associated Press at her work "Suspense" displayed at the contemporary art museum Garage "Triennale" in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, March 11, 2017. The exhibit by nearly 70 artists encompasses painting, sculpture, video, installation and conceptual works, mostly after 2012, and is a dizzying montage of the different cultures from within Russia's borders. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Garage sent curators to gather works for the ambitious show aimed both at energizing the art scene at home and establishing Russia abroad.

In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, Ugo Rondione's piece Our Magic Hour is displayed in front of the Garage museum of Contemporary Art at the Triennale in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) © The Associated Press In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, Ugo Rondione's piece Our Magic Hour is displayed in front of the Garage museum of Contemporary Art at the Triennale in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

The exhibit by nearly 70 artists encompasses painting, sculpture, video, installation and conceptual works, mostly after 2012, and is a dizzying montage of the different cultures from within Russia's borders.

In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, Vladimir Archipov's installation "Gennady's bath-bed" is on display at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) © The Associated Press In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, Vladimir Archipov's installation "Gennady's bath-bed" is on display at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Works by artists from Siberia, the Far East and Chechnya sit beside those from Moscow, with obvious differences.

In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, visitors walk past installations at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) © The Associated Press In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, visitors walk past installations at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

And that's exactly the point, said Dasha Zhukova, who along with her husband, tycoon Roman Abramovich, founded the Garage in 2008. The pair mingled with artists and Russia's cultural elite in the sleek, modern gallery in Gorky Park.

In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, artist Dmitry Bulatov, left, speaks at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) © The Associated Press In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, artist Dmitry Bulatov, left, speaks at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Abramovich might still be close to the Kremlin, which keeps careful control of Russian culture, but Zhukova rejects a "singular vision," saying she wants the Triennale to offer a platform for different voices "to agree and disagree."

In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, artist Irina Korina poses near her installation "The Tail Wags the Comet" at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) Irina Korina © The Associated Press In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, artist Irina Korina poses near her installation "The Tail Wags the Comet" at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) Irina Korina

Among the 68 artists with work on display through May 14 were some first-time exhibitors in Moscow; others are rising stars on a global scale.

In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, Chechen artist Aslan Gaisumov stand in front of his installation Numbers at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) © The Associated Press In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, Chechen artist Aslan Gaisumov stand in front of his installation Numbers at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Irina Korina's massive installation, "The Tail Wags the Comet," dominated the atrium. A labyrinth of stairs and walkways, dotted with tiny "shrines," leads to a space hung with boiler suits, or a lighted chamber where people's shadows inhabit a rocket-shaped window, seen from outside.

In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, Sveta Shuvayeva stands in front of her work "It's OK to Change Your Mind," at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) © The Associated Press In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, Sveta Shuvayeva stands in front of her work "It's OK to Change Your Mind," at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Trained as a theater designer, the 40-year-old Korina has exhibited in New York, London and Europe. She said her work is strongly linked to Russia.

In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, Sveta Shuvayeva's work "It's OK to Change Your Mind," is displayed at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) © The Associated Press In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, Sveta Shuvayeva's work "It's OK to Change Your Mind," is displayed at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

"It is the reality around me, and this reality is my raw material," she said.

In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, Taus Makhacheva's work The Way of an Object is on display at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) © The Associated Press In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, Taus Makhacheva's work The Way of an Object is on display at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

For Taus Makhacheva, her native Dagestan exerts a strong pull and her work, "The Way of an Object" (2013), references its history with reimagined museum objects.

In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, Vladimir Seleznyov's Metropolis is on display at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) © The Associated Press In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, Vladimir Seleznyov's Metropolis is on display at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Makhacheva, 34, trained in London and exhibits in Europe but said she always ends up going back to Dagestan's thriving arts scene, despite violence from an Islamic insurgency in the region.

In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, Vladimir Seleznyov's Metropolis is on display at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) © The Associated Press In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, Vladimir Seleznyov's Metropolis is on display at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Aslan Gaimov said coming from Chechnya does not define him as an artist. His work, "Numbers," arrayed house numbers from prewar Grozny across a wall.

In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, critic Arie Amaya-Akkermans visits the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) © The Associated Press In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, critic Arie Amaya-Akkermans visits the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

He uses the history of Chechnya in his work, but told The Associated Press: "It's about broader themes of what is history, memory, war."

In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, visitors sit in a cafe at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) © The Associated Press In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, visitors sit in a cafe at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Svetlana Shuvaeva said she thinks of herself as an artist first and foremost — "a Russian, if you must, but also international."

In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, people look at the installation of the Art group 33+1 with a sign reading Russian Arts Union at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) © The Associated Press In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, people look at the installation of the Art group 33+1 with a sign reading Russian Arts Union at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

"It doesn't make any difference, just as the age of an artist doesn't make any difference — an artist is an artist," she said.

In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, Dasha Zhukova, founder of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, speaks to the Associated Press at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) © The Associated Press In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, Dasha Zhukova, founder of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, speaks to the Associated Press at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

The Moscow-based Shuvaeva's installation, "It's OK to Change Your Mind" (2016-17), uses 150 painted canvases of images found in daily life to suggest an ornamental reality that conceals nothing underneath.

In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, Taus Makhacheva, an artist from Dagestan, speaks at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) © The Associated Press In this photo taken on Thursday, March 9, 2017, Taus Makhacheva, an artist from Dagestan, speaks at the Triennale in the Garage museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first "Triennale" on Friday with works from across Russia's 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity _ perhaps surprisingly in today's political context. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Roxana Marcoci, senior curator from New York's Museum of Modern Art, said it's a show full of energy and new discoveries.

The exhibit "maps Russia today as a place grounded in multiple cultures," Marcoci said. It may be disjointed, uneven and possibly chaotic, she added, but art should be disruptive.

Is it disruptive enough to carve out its own place on the international art stage?

"Russia is a very young place. It's undiscovered territory," said critic Arie Amaya-Akkermans, who points to the isolation of Soviet era art.

"There was a disconnect for a very long time, and only now it's slowly catching up," he said.

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