Ural industrial Biennale: what is the new literacy

© RIA Novosti / Konstantin to Collabourate in fotobounce to Yekaterinburg. Archival photoUral industrial Biennale: what is the new literacy© RIA Novosti / Konstantin to Collabourate the image Bank

The fourth Ural industrial Biennale, turning in the old building of the former secret Instrument-making plant in the heart of Yekaterinburg, investigates the «new literacy» and the mixing of the industrial revolution. Visitors will get to know whether it is possible to heat a greenhouse using bitcoin, to talk about Stalin’s five year plan by means of signs, and how to create a sound map of the Urals.

The Ural industrial biennial is one of the largest regional and international art projects in Russia. Every two years it takes place in a large navastone spaces of Ekaterinburg and Sverdlovsk region. Thus, the first and the second Biennale took place on the territory of the printing house «Ural worker» and the third first told about hotel «Iset» is a unique monument of constructivism. The Biennale explores the industrial history of the region, not only as heritage, but as an actual practice of the Ural, integrating it with contemporary art in the global art context.

The exposition of the main project of the fourth biennial presented on the area of 6.5 thousand square meters in the former building of Ural instrument engineering plant in the heart of Ekaterinburg. The geography of large-scale project includes 27 cities, attracting over 70 artists from 23 countries, employ 20 sites across the Urals in a parallel program. The length of the routes program of the art residences is 19 thousand kilometers.

Secret factory

As told the curator of the Anna of Lithuania, the building Instrument plant, which is the main project of the Biennale, despite the fact that is located in the heart of the city never attracted the locals. Originally an old factory building built as a library, but in the early 1940s moved here instrument-making plant, and by the early 60s factory built another building, where is located the exhibition.

«There was a secret production, and none of the workers did not fully know what is happening here. For example, turners, cut out one detail, and did not understand a part of what a great machine it is. It produces military equipment, parts for missiles and all instruments for Soviet and Russian aircraft», — she specified.

According to the curator, later in the 90 years the plant began to produce devices for artificial ventilation of lungs, but in the two thousandth all production was transferred to another city.

Four of the revolution

Biennale curator Joao Ribas noted that in the space Instrument-making plant, which was built during the second industrial revolution, there are people who have experienced the third revolution and moving into fourth. «That’s why the exhibition begins with the Lumiere Brothers film is the first film, moving the beginning of the movie, depicting the plant, from which come the women. The idea that we go to this factory doing something else, shows that ways of working have changed,» he explained.

The theme of the Biennale this year was the «New literacy.» It is revealed in three key metaphors that supported artists in the creation of the exhibition: «the Image as witness/Capitalist choreography/Resisting the word.»

So, following the metaphor of «Capitalist choreography», the main project mixes these revolutions, showing different types of physical and intellectual labour through the work of artists. For example, movies about the Ural workers or miners gold mine on the highest point in Peru coexist with installation artist Pilvi takal, which is one month worked in a large consulting firm, doing nothing, without a computer, phone and pens, and filmed it on video.

Also in the building of the factory built a greenhouse in which the plants grow, but the heat it produced by transactions on bitcoin. «That is, this virtual process is made visible, you can feel it, it helps nature to grow. This is very important because information is important to our lives, but you can’t smell it, touch it, only to approach. For example, we call it cloud,» said Ribas.

Figure vs reality

The material and virtual are constantly in conflict with each other, which is reflected in the metaphor of «the Image as witness.» In the space of the factory broadcast the video with the dance of hands and people that reproduce the movements of the inhabitants of the new digital age — a knock fingers on the keyboard, their movements on the touchscreen. But at the same time the Fedora installation Telkova reproduces well the familiar classroom with desks on which the pupils firmly carved obscene words, pictures, and unflattering comments towards the teacher.

As explained Ribas, this project reflects the idea that, despite the digital revolution, the word and the picture still exist around us and to erase them is not as easy as a picture with your phone. Also, several projects of the Biennale focuses on how image can become witnesses of an event and become legal proof of a particular fact.

At the same time, revealing the metaphor of «Resisting the word» Biennale demonstrates how our language is gradually adapted to the new demands of the time. And it began long before the digital revolution. This clearly demonstrates the project of Otto Neurath, who in the first half of the 20th century puzzled by the problem of how to convey some important information for those who do not know how to read the signs. His work can be called the forerunner of the Emoji. «It is very interesting that he was invited to come to the Soviet Union in 30-e years to explain the five-year period of the picture for the illiterate people. That is what we here demonstrate,» said the curator.

Salt, graphite and coal

Simultaneously, the project «Art-residence», which gives artists and visitors the doors to closed production plants in the region, you can fully feel the essence of the Urals. So, in one of the rooms, you can build your sonic landscape of the region, including those or other sounds — from the chirping of birds to work the factory machines on a special device. Another room like the sandbox strewn with rose salt.

«Since salt began the Urals, and it is our origins. This potassium salt now goes from the mine, which was formerly the Permian sea, so there is still possible to see fossils and shells. I saw it with my own eyes», — said the curator Evgeniya Chaika.

Another source of inspiration for artists became copper and the details are similar to waves produced on one of the Ural factories. As told by the Creator of the installation «About the heaviest wave» Rudy DECELER when he saw these items, he came up with the idea to hang them on a long copper wire, which would resonate and would create an unusual melody.

Another legacy of the Urals charcoal, which stoked the factories and on the production of which took the Ural forests. It created graffiti in one of the rooms, and the artist Tatiana Akhmetgalieva for his drawings used a different important regional material — graphite.

«In the Urals is Russia’s largest graphite Deposit. In this installation, the subjects taken from visit artist reprocessing of graphite, and drawings made with a pencil, made of the Ural graphite,» explained the curator.