Ginzburg Yan

Born in 1988 in Moscow. Studied at the British Higher School of Art and Design; graduated from the Moscow Institute of Contemporary Art. Winner of the Moscow Art Prize (2020). Lives and works in Moscow.

Closed Fish Exhibition. A Reconstruction

Ian Ginsburg’s artistic practice is a non-canonical example of memory work in Russian contemporary art. As such it belongs to the archival discourse, which has been gaining momentum in the interna- tional aesthetic context of recent years. Building up a dialogue with this or that artist or analysing this or that artistic phenomenon, he marks out the preconditions for and traces of artistic processes, usu- ally focussing on the history of art or aesthetic theories.

The installation “Closed Fish Exhibition. A Reconstruction” is the artist’s manifesto, a continuation of post-conceptual series of works, such as The Mechanical Beetle and Total Exposition, dedicated to Ilya Kabakov and Andrei Monastyrski. The project explores and interprets the famous 1990 “Closed Fish Exhibition” by Igor Makarevich and Elena Elagina. Ian Ginsburg’s installation is his own version of the 1935 exhibition, whose catalogue had also been the basis of the Makarevich-Elagi- na project. Ginsburg wanted to find materials about the “industrial” exhibition of Vkhutemas gradu- ates busy learning the language of Social Realism. He managed to unearth an etching by one of the participants, Zoya Kulikova, and photographs of the exhibition; he also went to the fish factory in the Astrakhan region, where artists had been employed by the Soviet fish department Glavryba. By com- bining these two periods, Ginsburg created an installation to complement the story of Makarevich and Elagina, recreating works that were not included in the 1990 project as objects and developing a new plastic exhibition language.



Installation was created in 2020 for the exhibition “Closed Fish Exhibition. A Reconstruction” (Voznesensky Center, Moscow)

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