We must cultivate our garden
Anna Nova Art Gallery, one of the leading Russian contemporary art galleries, located in the cultural capital of the country – Saint-Petersburg, celebrated its 10th anniversary in October of 2015. For contemporary art in Russia it is a long time. Over the years, the gallery has developed a circle of artists who advanced a lot, not without the help of the work done by the gallery.
"The title phrase is the last in the essay, something of a programme or conclusion, reached by the characters of ‘Candide: or, Optimism’ through much suffering. In the end of the novella Voltaire gathered miserable and quarrelsome characters on a little farm, where they reconcile their contradictory views teaming up in agrarian work. The agenda has given this book a new life. The conditions which inspired the author – natural disasters, wars, religious conflicts, failure of utopian enlightenment projects – today stir up great sympathy.
However, ‘cultivation’ is not at all an advocacy of escapism. It is a call to get to work, to follow the chosen path, notwithstanding the bustling world around; to work hard and improve yourself through labour, however stormy the clouds on the horizon are.
Summarizing the first ten years of work, Anna Nova Gallery presents an exhibition – ‘We must cultivate our garden’. Planning the exposition, we initially turned down the idea of doing a theme project, giving our artists the possibility to choose their own range of subjects. Each participant has their part of the gallery space and freedom to use it as they wish.
We hope that the fruits of our gardening will become new role models, behavioral types, methods and languages that will be able to describe the changing world. We want to believe that the recommendation from “Candide” and the personality of its author will inspire to search for new forms of art in a modern world. We have a lot of work ahead, which, according to Voltaire, ‘saves us from three great evils – boredom, sin and poverty’."
The exhibition opening will take place on November 27th, at 7 p.m.
Artists: Alexander Dashevskiy, Jury Alexandrov, Denis Patrakeev, Ivan Plusch, Irina Drozd, Petr Shvetsov, Rostan Tavasiev, Stas Bags, Sergey Shekhovtsov, Igor Shuklin, Uldus Bakhtiozina, Haim Sokol, Ilya Grishaev, Vlad Kulkov, Marya Dmitrieva, Anatoly Belkin, Gluklya, art group "SOAP".
The project was realised with the support of:
• Mikhail Bazhenov, businessman and patron of art, Vice-president of the holding company "Adamant", co-owner of several companies, including the brand 'International Fashion Week AURORA FASHION WEEK Russia’;
• Audi Centre Vyborgsky, the largest Audi dealership in Saint-Petersburg;
• The Fund for the Support of Culture, Art and Education 'ALEXANDER';
• Neymaxx Multimedia.