At his Cemetery Story, released in ACT this spring, Neil Gaiman, a former comic book author, painted a tombstone with the name of his fan. The Bram Stoker Prize Laureate talks about fears – in books and life.

“Fantasy is worse than fairy tales. In fairy tales, everything is sketchy. We don’t know what kind of person Cinderella was, we only know that she was hardworking, therefore, if you happen to her, we won’t be very sorry for her. In fantasy, there is a documentary element. In the novel Never, I, as a former journalist, described London in great detail, and made the characters look like neighbors. Due to such believable “wallpapers”, an implausible story becomes scary. I had two occasions in my life when I myself was very scared. When I was little, my parents and I rode a boat.

On one of the islands, mom and dad started a quarrel. I remember this abandoned island, an empty beach, my parents are arguing, and I am completely defenseless, because they are my only hope for salvation. The second time it was the other way around. One day, Mike’s son got under a car, he was taken to the hospital. He was not afraid, but I was terrified. One part of my mind was beating hysterical, the other was trying to make some kind of decision, but there was also a third that said: “Remember this and include it in the next book.” So the fear in my books is often based on my own feelings. Now I’m afraid of Moscow: I’m just from the subway, and it seems to me that a huge Bear lives near Moscow, like the Boar near London and the Tiger near Bombay. ”


The theme of the festival of landscape objects “ArchStoyanie” was the forest liturgy “Nine Muses of the Labyrinth”. Festival curator Oleg Kulik explained why we need an internal landscape.

“Land art”, unfortunately, is not translated into Russian. This is not earthy art, this art is far from the center of civilization. In Russia, there was no land art, in general, but I’m sure that for our compatriots this kind of activity is natural, since we live in a country with the most land in the world. We have learned to make art in the closed spaces of exhibition halls. Now you need to go to the limitless expanses of our homeland. And we offer the largest work of Russian art on an area of ​​450 hectares. This is not a festival of chic works. All ArchStoyanie objects are made from natural materials, usually local. And they remain there forever, gradually turning into ruins: having left the earth, they return to it.

The trenches of the times of World War II Osmolovsky, the suspended gangs of Gutov or the ziggurat Orlov – these are things that the viewer will not immediately see. You suddenly come across some kind of story that needs to be understood and appreciated. Further, behind the trees, a new state will open … Those 10 thousand people who come to us, not just relax in nature, walk along the grooves, trenches, suspended bridges, but also plunge into the artists’ ideas about the world. And then, far from the cities, a mosaic of their own worldview will be formed from pieces of these perceptions. Maybe, after returning in two days, these people will pour completely different emotions and energies into their cities that will transform RUSSIA. ”


The artists of this region mainly ask local expats: more than half of the buyers of the current fair are Europeans and Americans. But sheikhs are also buying. Still would! The patron of Art Dubai is the most important sheikh – the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum. When he walks around the stands with his retinue, gallery owners turn into salt pillars from excitement, and the audience is asked to leave the fair for this time. But otherwise everything is as everywhere – and even something better. The weather in Dubai in mid-March is like in Sardinia in the summer: it is very warm, but not exhaustingly hot. The path to art lies through jewelry – also a tribute to the East. The fair’s partner is Van Cleef & Arpels Jewelry House, which won the Art Patron Award following Art Dubai.

The “Poetry of Time” exposition is dedicated to the centenary history of the creation of clockworks. Generously studded with diamonds, this watch gives the impression of exquisite jewelry. I want to peer and try on – you can do both. Enamel artist Dominic Baron in front of the public paints the dial of the watch. Part of the exposition is devoted to watches decorated with enamel – handwork is especially appreciated in the East: “At least 40-50 hours of painstaking manual labor are spent on each dial.” In addition to the watches, there were mindealers at the exhibition, small precious “caskets” for publication with compartments for powder, lipstick, handkerchief, tablets and other small items, as well as a secret box with watches.

No fair has such an extensive non-profit program as Ait Dubai. Here are the most heated discussions at the Global Art Forum. Among the speakers are the concert de la creme art community: the director of the London Serpentine Gallery, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Miami collectors Don and Mera Rubell, Tate Modern curator Jessica Morgan and others who regularly gathered a full audience tent on the beach. A full house was also at a speech by Maria Baibakova, who called for more attention to local artists. The demand for Russian art, alas, was not so hot this year.

Aidan Gallery sold two large photographs of Tatyana Panova and Leonid Tishkov. In Western galleries, the canvas of Eric Bulatov and the object with Democracy oil by Andrey Molodkin were not in demand. Aidan says it’s hard to guess what will happen in a given year: a year ago, her gallery sold out almost all of her work. Among the favorites of this year’s market are photographs of Iranian Shirin Neshat, objects of Palestinian Mona Khatum, embroideries of Egyptian Gada Amer and, of course, the work of the winners of the most valuable (literally) art award in the world Abraaj Capital Art Prize: three artists share one million dollars from the Middle East region and three curators of their projects.


“When a person comes to one work, he looks in a completely different way. The process of penetration begins, which does not always happen in a regular exhibition, when the viewer just glances at the exhibits. Here we make him think. This is a test of their capabilities – emotional, aesthetic. We must learn to open layers, which are many in any significant work. And it depends on the personal experience of the viewer, on what he saw before. A similar format of the exhibition is practiced in the world, but not as systematically as in our museum. We led through our halls a number of first-class works, starting with Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”, Michelangelo’s sculpture “Brutus”, there were Titian’s Man with Blue Eyes, Parmigianino’s Antey, and Raphael’s The Lady Under the Veil.

By the way, in 1974 we showed the Gioconda thanks to the Minister of Culture Ekaterina Furtseva. I asked her without much hope if she could help show Mona Lisa. “Certainly can. The French ambassador is in love with me. ” Within the framework of the Cherry Forest festival, we will show a sculptural composition of bronze “Night Watch 3D” by Alexander Taratynov and Mikhail Dronov based on the famous canvas by Rembrandt. When I saw her in the photo, I realized that it was very interesting. The original Rembrandt is a very informative work. Almost all the characters are known there. And also this is a little game – the translation of painting into sculpture. Interesting”.


“Any city, from the point of view of the artist, is itself an art object. The most interesting and exciting in this sense is the center of New York. It looks like the interior of a giant kunstkamera or a cluttered warehouse of furniture, where various objects are crowded, from pseudo-antique statues to futuristic structures (this is well shown in Jarmusch’s film “Ghost Dog”), and we feel very comfortable there – like in a giant cluttered apartment . Rome is interesting – this is the “cabinet of rarities” in its purest form! However, the smaller and more modest the city, the clearer its structure, which is always based on the same basic elements, be it Norwegian Kirkenes or Russian Gorokhovets.

In the project “City N” we showed a “gentleman’s set” of almost any city in old Europe: 17 objects depict well-known public buildings – the town hall, train station, church, bell tower, fountain, palace, post office, TV tower, lighthouse or prison. These intricate collages are assembled from real objects. And frank rubbish, like an old galvanized bucket or washstand, is here on an equal footing with “noble” brass and silver antique details. Their essence is already unimportant, and the true purpose of this or that subject is already unclear at times. But, joined together, they form a “portrait” of the city, albeit non-existent. “


Once upon a time, a couple of days were enough to inspect the Venice Biennale. Now for immersion in the art world you need to have a map and a week of free time.

On the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, where the Giardini Gardens are located, there is very little space and a lot of people who want to take part in the most prestigious event of modern art. In the two years that have passed since the last biennale, there have been more national pavilions (even Scotland now has a pavilion!), Art sites have disappeared among the streets and canals – in the palazzo, hotels, churches and even gates. This year, Arsenale Novissimo, a fabulous bay with brick hangars and a real submarine lost among bushes and trees, became part of the biennale. Arsenale Novissimo could only be reached by sea taxi or scheduled boats from Arsenale Nuovo. Visiting the exhibitions was a non-stop adventure, and daily mini-floods added some romance: girls defile knee-deep in water and Christian Louboutin sandals in their hands,

The morning at Giardini began with a jog: even slightly sleepy art lovers and professionals, regardless of ranks and regalia, raced to the British pavilion to get (“one on hand!”) Their free ticket to a screening session of Steve McQueen, telling about life “Giardini” in the winter. The line, as an element of the exposition, flaunted at the pavilions of the USA and France. A stream of people moved from the people to the pavilions of Denmark and the Netherlands, which the design duo Elmgirn and Dragset turned into houses whose owners died. The Russian pavilion turned out to be the most ambiguous: instead of a mono-exhibition, we presented 7 various works-attractions. While the curator of the pavilion Olga Sviblova conducted excursions (to Abramovich-Zhukova, Doronin-Cambell), everyone was discussing the blood-oil “Nika” by Andrei Molodkin: the artist added an inscription that the oil supposedly Chechen, and blood – Chechen soldiers. The curators did not like populism, and the inscriptions were removed, but this work was most often mentioned in foreign reviews.

The Gongi Ostretsov attraction – either a communal apartment, or a horror cave, or an artist’s workshop – attracted guests more than once. The sketches of the utopian cities of Pavel Papperstein looked good under rap, the author-artist of which was the artist himself. Russian speech sounded rhythmically and loudly in another part of the gardens, where in the picturesque ruins of the Stella Art Foundation held poetry contests: young Russian poets read poetry exaltedly, and artists (for example, Anya Zholud) painted.


There is a flirtatious theory that men more often see black and white dreams, while women, being by nature more emotional, are colored.

Soon we will see the exhibition of the guru of black-and-white photography by Peter Liidberg and the exposition of another classic monochrom – Henri Cartier-Bresson, who believed that, “unlike black-and-white photography, which gives a large number of options, color photography offers few of them.” The Cartier-Bresson exhibition meets the first theme of the photo biennale – “Long live France!” And the exhibition of mysterious for us young French photographers from the Chateau D’O, who is admired by the most photographic social network of the Internet Flickr, will combine this theme of the Biennale with another – “Perspectives and Retrospectives”. One of the important retrospectives is the exhibition of Andrei Bezukladnikov in the Central Exhibition Hall “Manege”. “He shot everything! () years, in the mid-1980-1990s.

But he so gracefully grasped the time, captured the most important characters – poets, artists and musicians, showing on film a new type of perception of life, ”says Olga Sviblova, director of the Moscow House of Photography. Unlike Bezukladnikov, Alexander Borodulid does not part with the camera now. He is a world-famous photo star who shoots for leading fashion magazines. “When Sasha began to show his archive, which no one had ever seen completely, my surprise and admiration soared in a spiral.” And in March, following Sviblova, we will make a spiral path.


One of the most scandalous events of the 51st Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art in 2005 was the screening of the trailer for the remake of the film Caligula Tinto Brass, which was shot by Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli. Art critics were shocked not by sadomasochistic and pornographic scenes (they had never seen such a thing in their lifetime), but by the quality with which this costumed short film was shot, and also by the fact that the stars of commercial cinema were involved in it – Helen Miren, Milla Jovovich , Courtney Love, Benicio del Toro and others. However, such a negative reaction is more than surprising. For two decades, video artists have been attracting professional, and sometimes star actors, for their filming.

For example, the American artist Matthew Barney in the Cremaster series, which was originally intended to be shown in movie theaters, not only spent millions of dollars on sets, enchanting costumes, professional assistants and cameramen (a budget of $ 5 million is nothing for Hollywood, but an unthinkable scale for video art), but also involved in the filming of celebrities like the “first girl” James Bond actress Ursula Andrei.

In the late 90s, British artist Sam Taylor-Wood began filming her most probably famous series of video portraits, “Crying Men,” in which she portrayed famous actors Tim Roth, Lawrence Fishburne, Ben Stiller and others during moments of intimate experiences. Takeshi Murakami seduced Kirsten Dunst in the manga video clip, Charlotte Gainsbourg starred in the video of the young Chinese artist Yi Zhou with the poetic title “My heart lay naked”, and Björk embellished the presence of the last masterpiece of her ex-husband Matthew Barney Drawing Restraint 9. But the most Tilda Swinton, an actress with an infernal appearance, who has appeared in a whole galaxy of famous video projects, made a great contribution to the development of the modern “videographer”.

It was she who became the muse of fashion designer Hussein Chalayan for his video installation “Absence of presence” and the protagonist of a grandiose project by the American artist Doug Aitken Sleepwalker, which was projected onto the facade of the New York MoMA Museum. However, Tilda Swinton not only acts as a model and muse, but also in collaboration with the artist Cornelia Parker conducts actions and performances. Why did video artists who initially contrasted themselves with the commercial consumer goods of dream factories need famous people?


At the first festival of young art “Stop! Who goes?” in 2002, young artists had to look. According to one of the festival’s curators, Daria Pyrkina, then it was believed that the new art generation had not yet grown. At the first youth biennale “Stop! Who is going? ”, Which the festival turned into in 2008, the participants were already selected. It was, as the organizers put it, “reconnaissance in battle.” This year, three times more applications from young (up to 35 years old) artists were received: out of 2,540 applicants, 600 remained. “Last time we pulled all this organizational opportunity on our own,” admits Daria Pyrkina. – Since this year, the position of Executive Director has appeared, in which Olga Lopukhova previously worked with us. Olga is no longer with us, but it is her merit that the Biennale has an international scale. ”

Now the Biennale has new borders (there are 53 participating countries in the program, from Mexico to Japan), and the first prize named after Olga Lopukhova will be awarded as part of the art forum by the Victoria – The Art of Being Modern Foundation. “Borders” became the first single theme in the history of the Biennale. In addition to the obvious bonuses for artists, according to the second curator of the biennale, Daria Kamyshnikova, participation in “Stop! Who goes!” will help artists to receive grants in the future. In addition, the MTS company, which has actively undertaken to support contemporary art, plans to present its prize – a trip to the Manifests 8 art biennale. What to choose from 60 planned exhibitions?

Curators advise starting with large and “populated” ones. For example, the project of 70 artists Globe (E) Scape in the new Artplay space, near the Winery, where large-scale installations will be presented. Or another exhibition in which Daria Pyrkina takes part as a co-curator – “Vis-a-vi” (NCCA). Artists from France and Russia, known only by correspondence, discussed and selected each other’s works for this project. The MMSI in Yermolaevsky will create a whole “island of freedom” – two curatorial exhibitions


The prestigious fair of contemporary art is 40 years old. The anniversary was marked modestly. After the triumphant secular Venice, Swiss Basel was a quiet home holiday. For their own.

Only the most persistent art lovers flew from Venice to Basel. Therefore, the anniversary Art Basel was less stellar than usual, although it could not have done without celebrities: but Naomi Campbell and Vladislav Doronin walked at the fair, Karl Lagerfeld was attracted by stands with large photo works, American billionaire and philanthropist Eli Broad with his wife helped to decide on the purchase of Brad Piht. which, in the end, for a million dollars acquired a large bright canvas by Neo Rauch on the theme of “Formula 1”. At the accompanying Art Basel Design Miami / Basel Fair, the actor was already shopping on his own. He liked the blood-fur lounger at the Atelier van Lieshout booth. “He said that for his home in Santa Barbara,” the gallery staff commented with a smile.

Daria Zhukova and Roman Abramovich also did not ignore designer furniture: they bought leather chairs in the style of the 50th Danish designer Paul Kierholm and appreciated the irony of the Auduence installation – an imitation of a podium with a dozen mini-mirrors that turned in the direction of the passing one, and then began to spin, as if discussing the visitor. Design Miami / Basel seems to have sold almost everything to sit on or lie on. And at quite reasonable prices – designer lamps were sold for 5-6 thousand euros. Whereas on the main site the red circles, meaning “the picture is sold,” had to be searched. “People no longer buy art to make money on it. They want to live with him ”- the most popular conclusion gallery owners. We bought a little

Art Basel looked like a logical continuation of the art forum in Venice, which became an additional advertisement for work: they looked there, bought it. So, designers Michael Elmgreen and Jnger Dragset, curators of the current Venetian pavilions of Denmark and the Netherlands, presented in Basel a conceptual project – personalized confessional, hinting that gallery owners and artists have something to repent of. The work of Pavel Pepperstein from the Venetian series “Victory over the Future” was in demand. XL Gallery exhibited the “fresh” foam work of Sergei Shekhovtsov (in Venice his motorcyclist, the premiere of the 2008 fair, adorns the Russian pavilion).