Geometry Of Now will launch on Monday 20 February with a series of newly commissioned installations focusing on a phenomenological exploration of the space and its acoustic possibilities. From midweek, a talks and workshops programme developed around topics in sound art studies, and performances that reconfigure the architectural space will take place throughout the building. The project comes at a pivotal moment in the history of the Ges-2 power station which is soon to be transformed into an exciting cultural destination. It will become the first major venue in the city of Moscow for V-A-C, due to officially open in 2019.
The performance programme begins on Wednesday 22 February when American composer/guitarist Stephen O’Malley (of Sunn O) collaborates with Moscow-based musician Alexey Tegin, known for his interpretation of ritual music of the Bon tradition from Tibet. They will perform from the basement level, originally the power station’s boiler room, set below the vast interior of Ges-2. Other collaborations include a new work by Japanese composer Ryoko Akama and young Russian artist and engineer Boris Shershenkov, whose shared language of producing will culminate in a live performance and screening.
From Chicago to Saint Petersburg, pioneers of sound from across the world will perform from early evening throughout the night, on 23, 24 and 25 February. Highlights include a special performance by dub icon Lee Scratch Perry and sets by Detroit techno legend Anthony Shakir, British producer Adrian Sherwood and Finnish musician Ripatti. Charles Curtis, Carol Robinson and Bruno Martinez will present a rare performance of Naldjorlak by one of the most influential composers of the 20th century, Eliane Radigue.
Club musics such as house and techno, as well as experimental sound art have developed in response to vacant industrial spaces. Geometry Of Now builds on this history with a platform for artists and musicians to work on a new scale, reclaiming the raw structures within Ges-2 and re-discovering its industrial past.
With a dedicated talks and workshops programme running during the day, the three main evenings of performance will be organised in two parts: a seated concert programme in the early evening and a late night series of live performance and DJ sets. Artists presenting site-specific works throughout the building during the entire week, include Richard Sides, Crys Cole and Hannah Sawtell amongst others.
On the upper level, British artist James Richards—who has been selected to represent Wales at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017—will present a new percussive multichannel audio installation alongside a series of static projection works. Richards is working with a percussionist and singer from his homeland to generate material for the piece. A translated version of Florian Hecker’s performance FAVN will unfold in the theatrical setting of one of the original engine rooms. Including synthetic sound structures and a written libretto by Robin Mackay, the work will transform the space into a fictional opera hall.
An audio environment by Russian artist and musician Gleb Glonti will occupy the basement level of Ges-2. Interested in aspects of social engagement and human co-existence, the work will capture the ‘ghosts’ of the space using sound and performance, responding to the audience’s behaviour and noise levels.
The daytime programme will feature conversations with leading artists and theorists on the subject of sound, including a talk by Russian composer Edward Artemiev, renowned for his scores to Tarkovsky’s lms Solaris, Stalker and Zerkalo. His repeated haunting melodies were produced on the Ans synthesizer and this instrument will be the subject of a newly commissioned lm and sound work by Luke Fowler and Richard McMaster. Shown in the early evening on the 23rd of February, and included in the discussion series, the work explores the significance of the ANS, featuring footage of the only surviving model in the Glinka Museum, Moscow.
The project is curated by Mark Fell, a multi-disciplinary artist based in Shef eld, UK. He has been producing music and sound art since the 1990s and is widely known for exploring the relationships between popular music styles, such as electronica and club music, and approaches to computer-based composition with a particular emphasis on algorithmic and mathematical systems.
Fell said: “For me the most interesting aspect of the space, an imposingly beautiful pre-Soviet power station, is its temporal physiognomy: a site of discontinuity between deconstruction and reconstruction. It is a place where possible histories and possible futures interrogate one another in a play of reciprocal disturbance.”
Geometry Of Now includes: Ryoko Akama, Danil Akimov, Oren Ambarchi, Edward Artemiev, RP Boo, Alexey Borisov, Georgina Born, Thomas Brinkmann, Dmitry Bulatov, Theo Burt, Ivan Bushuev, Christophe Charles, CoH, Crys Cole, Inga Copeland, Charles Curtis, Equiknoxx, Errorsmith, Luke Fowler, Gleb Glonti, Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon, Will Guthrie, Russell Haswell, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Florian Hecker, Fielding Hope, Kozo Inada, Philipp Ilinskiy, Jlin, Vasily Kandinsky, Sergey Kasich, Karina Kazaryan, Alexander Kislov, KTL, Kurvenschreiber, Okkyung Lee, Andrey Logutov, Bruno Martinez, Dmitry Mazurov, Richard McMaster, Paul Modler, Mumdance, Markus Noisternig, Stephen O’Malley, Lee Scratch Perry & Dubblestandart, Pita, Eliane Radigue, Katya Reshetnikova, James Richards, Ripatti, Carol Robinson, Sergey Sapozhnikov, Hannah Sawtell, Alexander Selivanov, Anthony Shakir, Boris Shershenkov, Adrian Sherwood, Olga Shishko, Richard Sides, Laurie Spiegel, DJ Sprinkles, Vasily Stepanov, Alexey Tegin, Maria Teryaeva, Terre Thaemlitz, Rian Treanor, Salome Voegelin, Keith Fullerton Whitman and Jana Winderen.
Mark Fell is a multidisciplinary artist based in Shef eld (UK). After studying experimental lm and video art at Shef eld City Polytechnic he reverted to earlier interests in computational technology, music and synthetic sound. In 1998 he began a series of critically acclaimed record releases on labels including Mille Plateaux, Line, Editions Mego and Raster Noton. Since his early electronic music pieces Fell’s practice has expanded to include moving image works, sound and light installation, choreography, critical texts, curatorial projects and educational activities. He has worked with a number of artists including Oren Ambarchi, John Chowning, Ernest Edmonds, Luke Fowler, Peter Gidal, Carl Michael Von Hausswolff, Okkyung Lee, Peter Rehberg, Yasunao Tone and Keith Fullerton Whitman. International institutions that have presented his work include - Australian Centre For The Moving Image (Melbourne), Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art (Gateshead), La Casa Encendida (Madrid), HangarBicocca (Milan), Hong Kong National Film archive, Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Royal Festival Hall (London), Serpentine Galleries (London), Artists Space (NYC), Whitechapel Gallery (London), Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (Karlsruhe) and others. Fell’s work is in the collection of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (Vienna) and he has been recognised by ARS Electronica (Linz).
V-A-C Foundation is dedicated to the international presentation, production and development of Russian contemporary Art — across a multitude of forms and within the framework of an invigorated and informed exhibition, education and publishing programme. Particularly important to the new generation of artists in Russia, V-A-C’s focus is on practically supporting and expanding the platform for home-grown talent, giving artists the opportunity to experience, engage with and interrogate international cultural practices whilst developing an authentic and autonomous artistic language. It is deservedly considered as one of the key proponents in opening out contemporary Russian culture to the wider world, and practically supporting and developing emergent artists through finding new international platforms for exhibition and opportunities for commissions as well as ways of encouraging cross-cultural exchange — especially important in the current climate.
V-A-C Foundation is currently restoring a historic palazzo in Venice, which will become a permanent exhibition and education space for the foundation from Spring 2017 and work is underway in Moscow to build V-A-C’s new headquarters, Ges-2. A major new site for contemporary art and culture in the city, Renzo Piano Building Workshop have been commissioned to revive and redesign the main building — the Ges-2 power station built in 1907 — and the surrounding area on the banks of the Moskva River.
V-A-C Live is a new performance led strand of the V-A-C Foundation, first launched with Cabaret Kultura, three evenings of experimental performance at the Whitechapel Gallery in London in September 2016.