Urbonas at Moscow Biennale

Urbonas Studio’s Split nik at Moscow Biennale

ACT Associate Professor Gediminas Urbonas, who has a collaborative practice with fellow-artist Nomeda Urbonas,  has a work at this year’s Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art.

The Urbonas Studio’s exhibition Split nik unfolds as re-reading a book “Beyond Welfare” (“The Passing Age” in English) published by Russian author Alexander Kukarkin during the Cold War period, discussing Soviet and Western ideologies in relation to consumerism, design and art. The installation is a device to look backwards at the history of the Cold War in culture, and also to look forward. The work consist of  several parts, including a presentation of Kukarkin’s book in Russian, Lithuanian and English; extracts from a 1970s Lithuanian film Things and People that humorously examines our psychological and ideological relationships with objects; and a wooden structure resembling convoluted raked seating designed for viewing, dialogue and debate. Urbonas also ran a week-long workshop which develops a fourth element of the work and a starting point for the Kukarkin Future Studies research center.


The biennale, called “Rewriting Worlds,’’ featured 65 artists and 16 groups of artists from 33 countries, opened September 22, 2011, and runs until October 30. It is curated by Peter Weibel, director of the Center for Art and Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany.