Sculpture Goes Across the Wire
October 2, the virtual sculpture gallery ART-Prostranstvo and a sculpture exhibition, from classics to pop-art, have been opened at Solyanka street.

The event was attended by the leading media representatives specializing in culture, interior, architecture and design.

To get to the exhibition, one has to go down to catacombs, 5 meters belowground. The new-format hall opened at Solyanka street one year ago, conceptually and physically met the idea to combine virtuality with reality, which was offered and carried out in the exhibition halls by the ART-Prostranstvo gallery. Till October12 the sculptures will be living in two dimensions, on the ART-Prostranstvo website and at the exhibition in the catacombs.

ART-Prostranstvo offered a new approach to organization of art galleries in Russia using multimedia and Internet technologies. The gallery collected works by modern sculptors in Moscow.  And this is only the beginning. «When this project was at the stage of planning, I though it would engage artists who use various techniques and styles», says the leader of ART-Prostranstvo Yekaterina Yakovleva. «I thought such an approach would be more interesting than just a «solo» exhibition. And so the idea of a virtual gallery emerged. We simply used what the time has offered to us, the Internet and multimedia opportunities. This perfectly fit into our concept and solved the problem of space and time. We wanted more freedom and we got it».

The project involves critics, art experts and collectors, who publish their evaluations on the website and help understand the art aspects of the sculptures. This is a powerful feature that distinguishes ART-Prostranstvo from other similar virtual galleries often dedicated to a single artist or explicitly reminding a simple on-line shop selling art pieces.

ART-Prostranstvo can be called Russia’s first virtual gallery of sculpture. Today, many museums across the world, including those in Russia, have on-line expositions, as they try not to forget about the developing opportunities of the Internet. Even the Lenin Mausoleum has its own 3-D world, which offers a virtual tour without leaving home. Although, most of traditional museums are still quite cautious about multimedia and Internet.    

«For them, seeing art means queuing up for a ticket, rather than connecting via the Internet, Yekaterina mulls. “It is hard to imagine that Hermitage or the Tretyakov Gallery publishing their media documents about their activities or actively using the web would make people stop attending museums. But I believe that those who had never have interest in the art will never contribute to museum statistics in the future”. 

As far as statistics is concerned, in the past 15 years the amount of museums in Russia has grown almost 1.5 times, while the number of visits to museums fell twice. Various reasons made us stop attending galleries and exhibitions. ART-Prostranstvo sculptors are convinced that developing web-based galleries and on-line expositions would raise people’s interest to the art. Exhibitions that are non-available in the reality will be available in the web.

Up to October 12, you will be able to compare ART-Prostranstvo expositions in the web with those presented in the real exhibition halls. Note that a copy of «the virtuality» was made solely for the work called «The Beefeater» by Yekaterina Yakovleva. Just as in the on-line exposition, in the catacombs you can enjoy the sculpture in its “personal” hall.

As for the rest of works, the catacombs space was distributed otherwise. The authors of ART-Prostranstvo.Materialization” made an experiment as they joined in one hall different-style sculptures. Black-and-white chamotte sculpture neighbors to the smooth bronze. A classic sculpture «The Lion» by Margarita Kamardina is placed next to a symbolic work called «A Time to Gather Stones» by Olga Karelitz. «The Guard» from the bestiary of Yekaterina Yakovleva was presented beside the avant-garde transforming sculptures made by Olga Khan.

«Today, everything is up side-down here: we materialized our web-based world», Margarita  Kamardina, the ART-Prostranstvo sculptor says. «We are showing the works exhibited in our on-line halls at The key idea of the exposition is to show the lack of style- and plastic indifference in our sculptures. For this exhibition, we selected works that demonstrate the plastic movement – bronze, ceramics and chamotte. Stone and bronze are showing elegant images and volumes, while ceramics make sound!»

The two worlds of sculpture – the real and the virtual – have come together in the catacombs of the Solyanka street. The exhibition will be open till October 12.      
Olga Uvarova