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The Russian Museum of Ethnography. 26.11.2021 - 17.01.2022.

Avangard LLC, 2021
With the support of the Presidential Foundation for Cultural Initiatives.

Artist Ulyana Podkorytova became a participant of the exhibition "Le cru et le cuit" ("Raw and cooked"), which presents the works of artists created for the First Komi Biennale in the Russian Ethnographic Museum.

Background of the project

The first Komi Biennale "New Discovery of the North" was held at the National Gallery of the Komi Republic in Syktyvkar from September 3 to October 10, 2021. The works presented at the exhibition were the result of the artists' immersion in an unfamiliar environment located on the northern European side of the Ural Mountains on the border with Asia.

23 invited artists went on creative expeditions in the summer and autumn of 2021 to different districts and settlements of the Komi Republic to explore the region and get acquainted with representatives of indigenous peoples: "Komi-Zyryan" and "Izhma-Komi", as well as the Nenets in the far north. The largest migration of Russians to the territory of indigenous peoples occurred in the XVIII century, after the church schism, when the Old Believers began to leave Novgorod en masse to the northwest of Komi, along the Pechora River. Their descendants still live in the Ust-Tsilma area. During the Soviet period, the "new settlers" arrived for the most part forcibly, this process in the 1930s began to inevitably change the demographic situation. A network of gulags and labor camps was created in the Komi Republic, which, through the efforts of thousands of political prisoners, launched the development and extraction of coal in Vorkuta and Inta, as well as oil in Ukhta.

Going to places such as Syktyvkar, Yb, Ust-Kulom, Ust-Tsilma, Izhma, Ukhta, Inta, Vorkuta, Yugyd Va National Park, the artists saw the modern image of the Komi Republic, the territory in relation to the population of which the definition of "Northerners" began to be applied.

By transferring the objects created for the Komi Biennale to the halls of the Russian Ethnographic Museum, the curators choose the scenography of a full-fledged comprehensive intervention in the halls with a permanent exhibition. Thus, the exhibition project transfers the results of artistic research of one particular region (Komi) to other cultures and raises questions about the typicality of socio-cultural problems characteristic of different regions of the country, about the diversity of cultural landscapes and ethnic identity, and about the comparison of these categories with the territorial specifics of both the Russian North and the whole of Russia.

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