Two artists, two dimensions – Russia and Europe – and two views on the content of a color.
Yury Vassiliev presents the historic «Russianness» of the color red, its totalitarian content and its connection to repression, the construction sites of socialism, bloody wars, communal life, economic collapse, social inequality, and indifference. In the «Russian red» the artist sees the wreckage of authoritarian utopias, the loss of values and the difficulty of attaining a new identity.
For Carl Michael von Hausswolff the color red has nothing to do with «red communism.» The color attracts him emotionally, because it «resonates» at very low frequencies: basses in the range of 35-80Hz. At this frequency – the lower limit of audibility – sound becomes physically palpable, and for Hausswolff these bass vibrations correspond to a very deep shade of red. In his installations, Hausswolff works with red as a magnifying glass that illuminates a specific architectural space, objects, and their details like powerful, 20,000 Watt lightbulbs.
The two «reds» – Vassiliev and Hausswolff – represent a free form, incomplete sequence of motifs and independent visual statements under a common motto, theme, or technique. Almost simultaneously, at the turn of the twenty first century, the artists independently began their artistic studies of the color red, and now the time has come to present both of their visions of a color’s dramaturgy in one space.
Kaliningrad,which until 1946 bore the name Koenigsberg, is today the only Russian exclave, both a hostage and mediator between Russia and Europe. With its history of geopolitical collisions, the city is the best possible fit for the Moscow Biennale’s theme, «Against Exclusion.» «Red – Red,» which will take place in Kaliningrad and be simultaneously presented at the «Red October» plant in Moscow, will also present the position of curators against dividing art into centre and periphery, «us» and «the other».
The project is realized with support from the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Moscow office of the Ford Foundation, IASPIS, Kaliningrad Regional Art Gallery
3 Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art