5 Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art

The Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art is one of the most significant cultural events in Russia.

The main platform of the fifth biennale occupied an area of about ten thousand square meters in the exhibition center Manege, a heritage building in the heart of Moscow, formerly a royal horse-riding arena.

The curator Catherine de Zegher defined the theme of the biennale as ‘More Light’, promoting «enlightened conversation and action, at the crossroads, where different concepts of space and time, and consequent structures of thought and sensibility, are elaborated.»

This theme was reflected in the architecture of the exhibition. The exhibition was divided into two distinct spaces. The lower floor, which housed video and performance art, was defined by a grid of columns and walls, which gradually transformed from dark to light throughout the space.

Ascending to the upper floor, the visitor was bathed in light and surrounded with large-scale installations. The plan of the upper hall recalled the suprematist works of Malevich. The architecture itself was irrational and non linear, allowing the visitor to undertake an individual journey. Viewed from above it formed a composition in close dialogue with the artworks.

Architecture: Olga Treivas, Vera Odyn, Polina Dudkina, Lyubov Viller
Client: Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art
Curator: Catherine de Zegher
Status: Completed
Location: CEH Manezh
Area: 16000 m2
Year: 2013
Photography: Asya Baranova, Natasha Polskaya

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  • The main project of the Fifth Moscow Biennale occupied an area of ​​about ten thousand square meters in the Central Exhibition Hall Manezh

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  • The plan of the upper hall recalls the suprematist works of Malevich

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  • 72 works of artists were chosen to be on display during the exhibition

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  • In designing the Biennale tasks had to be solved within the limitations of a heritage building. The walls of the Manege could not be touched

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  • The lower floor is darker and more complex; it is filled with media projectors, and the objects are placed in a strict order

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