Garage Museum of Contemporary Art launches its spring program on March 17, 2016. Exhibitions by Köken Ergun, Taryn Simon, and Viktor Pivovarov take over the galleries, as Rashid Johnson presents his largest work ever in the atrium of the Rem Koolhaas/OMA-designed museum, located in Moscow’s Gorky Park.
Together, the four very different solo projects remind us how facts can often appear stranger than fiction. Köken Ergun’s Young Turks (January 30–March 26) traces the impact of Turkish international schools in more than 100 countries around the world. Using an intimate documentary style, Ergun shot footage during his research in Turkey, Kenya, and Indonesia, focusing on the Turkish Olympics, an idiosyncratic event organized annually by the network of schools.
Action Research / The Stagecraft of Power (through May 22) features two new series by Taryn Simon and continues a three-year-long collaboration between the artist and the Museum. Paperwork, and the Will of Capital resurrects diplomatic agreements through representations of the floral arrangements that flank the signatories. Complementing this body of work, “Black Square” is an ongoing series Simon began in 2006 that was never before exhibited in its entirety. Like the renowned artwork of Kazimir Malevich, Simon’s photographs are loaded with tension and ambiguity.
The most recent iteration of the series is Black Square XVII, which Simon produced as part of the Garage Field Research program in 2015. For her most ambitious research initiative to date, the artist embarked on a collaboration with Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) to prepare a work of art made from nuclear material. The process of realizing this project gave rise to a film, which was partly shot on location at the ROSATOM plant and will continue to develop as part of the exhibition in a customized film studio, where experts from different fields will speak about the atomic era.
A key member of the Moscow Conceptualist movement, Viktor Pivovarov helped shape the Russian underground art scene from the 1960s. For The Snail’s Trail, he has collaborated with an architect to create an immersive environment, taking audiences on a journey through his highly personalized graphic style. The exhibition includes works from the mid-1970s through to recent paintings, revealing the mesmerizing interior worlds he creates in his work as a painter, book designer, illustrator, theoretician, creator of conceptual albums, memoirist, and writer.
For the third commission in Garage Atrium, Rashid Johnson has produced Within Our Gates, an installation using a towering grid structure to house a unique, living ecosystem in the Museum that visitors can enter and explore. Constructed as a maze-like environment for all the senses,Within Our Gates integrates tropical plants with sculptural elements, moving image, sound, and everyday objects to immerse the viewer in the artist’s poetic manifestation of a world where fictions and facts, histories and speculations converge.
- Rashid Johnson, Within Our Gates (in progress), Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, 2016. Photo: Egor Slizyak. © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.