How culture changes the urban landscape

english (translated to russian)

Can art alter the face of a city? Where have public spaces been successful revamped, and how do such interventions work? What are the prerequisites for creating a new cultural landscape?

The Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, which takes place in Yekaterinburg and the Sverdlovsk region, encourages visitors to re-imagine industrial spaces — inalienable elements of the urban landscape.

This year’s biennial focused even more closely on the city and its inhabitants than 2010′s biennial. Artists-in-residence developed projects that not only change the face of the city, but also facilitate communication and cooperation with residents and factory workers.

Alisa Prudnikova, director of the Ural Industrial Biennial, will present several projects from the 1st and 2nd biennials that are at various stages of realization in Yekaterinburg and the Sverdlovsk region. She will also discuss how such projects change residents’ perception of the urban environment.

Nicholas Fraser, a U.S.-born artist-in-residence at the 2nd biennial, is known for bringing social, cultural, economic and urban considerations into his work. As part of his project in Nizhny Tagil, Fraser will write the basic rules of baseball on the sidewalk in chalk and teach factory workers to play “America’s pastime.” How can such projects influence the cultural landscape? Are they capable of changing it?

Examples of urban intervention and artistic projects have been realized in Moscow with the help of the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture. This summer, Garage organized several open-air events, including “Bodies in Urban Spaces” and “Music Beyond the Walls,” a series of musical performances. Such projects facilitate communication and invite participants to take a fresh look at familiar, everyday urban landscapes.Garage curator Yulia Aksenova will discuss her experience working on urban art.

Artist, curator and Strelka graduate Anton Kalgaev will discuss the relationship between art and the urban environment and ways of synergizing the two.

Willi Dorner. Bodies in Urban Spaces