We are pleased to welcome a group of international guest artists and curators at CEC ArtsLink in St. Petersburg, Russia. They have an opportunity to conduct research, create new work, collaborate with the local arts community, and undertake special projects in St. Petersburg. During their residencies, artists and curators participate in at least one public program.
Anna Baumgart (Warsaw, Poland)
Special Invited Polish Artist
Born in Wrocław, Poland in 1966, Baumgart is post-conceptual artist, director and stage designer. She is a multimedia artist who represents a feminist perspective focused on personal, often hidden, problems and obsessions, also delving into the subject of “Other” in culture. Baumgart works in video, installation, performance, sculpture, and artistic tattoo. Her works are in prestigious collections including Hauser & Wirth, FRAC Poitou-Charentes, the Zachęta National Gallery, Collection of European Parliament and Silesian Art Museum, and the National Museum in Warsaw. Her many films have been screened throughout the world and Fresh Cherries was awarded the audience award for the best video of the Loop Festival in Barcelona.
During her residency in St. Petersburg, Baumgart will reconstruct the work of the Moscow-based conceptual artist group Collective Actions. The project involves 15-20 people — philosophers, sociologists, artists — responding to a phone invitation to take a trip outside the city and later discussing the experiences. This investigation into human agency, paranoia and surveillance will be filmed by Anna and her partner Grzegorz Pacek. During her stay Anna will also screen her film Conquerors of the Sun at the New Stage of the Alexandrinsky Theater. Her residency is organized in collaboration with the Polish Institute in St. Petersburg.
Henna Paunu (Espoo, Finland)
Henna Paunu is a chief curator of the Espoo Museum of Modern Art (EMMA), Finland. Apart from her work at the museum, Paunu curates public art, works as a critic, writer and part-time teacher of art history at the Aalto University in Helsinki. She is also a board member at Frame Contemporary Art Finland. In her curatorial work, Paunu explores the relation of contemporary art to environmental and social phenomena.
While in St. Petersburg, Paunu plans to build new relationships with the local art community that can potentially result in future collaborations with art professionals. During her stay, Paunu will give a talk about public art projects and commission works in Espoo, Finland.
Nelson Ramirez de Arellano Conde (Havana, Cuba)
Special Invited Artist
Nelson Ramirez de Arellano Conde was born in Berlin, Germany in 1969 and currently lives and works in Havana, Cuba. He is an artist, curator and Director of the Fototeca de Cuba (National Museum and Gallery of Photography). Ramirez de Arellana was also chief curator of Fototeca de Cuba from 2001 to 2010 and as curator won the National Curatorial Award in 2006 for the exhibition The City and Photography: Havana 1900-2005 organized for the IX Havana Biennial. He is the founder and organizer of the Havana Month of Photography Noviembre Fotográfico and an internationally recognized contemporary artist, who as member of the team “Liudmila & Nelson,” represented Cuba at the 53rd Venice Biennial.
Nelson Ramirez de Arellano Conde is traveling to St. Petersburg in April 2017 to take part in the exhibition Shifting Metaphores: Cuba in Changing Times, Cuban Contemporary Photography and Video Art at the State Museum and Exhibition Centre ROSPHOTO. The exhibition is curated by Ramirez de Arellano Conde, together with St. Petersburg curator Yana Mikhalina. The exhibition provides a rare glimpse of contemporary Cuba through photographs by 18 Cuban photographers. The exhibition opens on April 20 and runs through June 25.
Enrique Rottenberg (Havana, Cuba)
Special Invited Artist
Born in Argentina in 1948, to Jewish parents of Polish descent, Enrique Rottenberg emigrated alone to Israel at the age of 13. After serving in the Israeli army, he developed a successful real estate business, while at the same time, beginning in 1980, he started producing films and studies at the Camera Obscura School of Tel Aviv. He was the director and screenwriter of the film Revenge of Itzik Finkelstein, which won 7 awards from the Israeli Film Academy (including Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay) and represented Israel in 1994 for the Oscar Awards. In 1993, he moved to Cuba where he currently lives. In Cuba he began his photographic work and installations. He collaborates with the new cultural project “Cuban Art Factory” (Fábrica de Arte Cubano), promoting the development of contemporary photography and visual arts in Cuba.
Enrique Rottenberg is traveling to St. Petersburg in April 2017 to take part in the exhibition Shifting Metaphores: Cuba in Changing Times, Cuban Contemporary Photography and Video Art at the State Museum and Exhibition Centre ROSPHOTO. The exhibition is curated by Ramirez de Arellano Conde, together with St. Petersburg curator Yana Mikhalina. The exhibition provides a rare glimpse of contemporary Cuba through photographs by 18 Cuban photographers. The exhibition opens on April 20 and runs through June 25.
David J. Diamond (New York, NY)
Diamond is an author, community activist, and facilitator of Forum Theatre. He is also the curator of the Umbria International Symposia at La MaMa, founder of the 30-year old Barrow Group Theatre Company (NYC) and President of Career Coaching for Artists which presents workshops for professionals and students, including Directing Your Theatre Career annually at Columbia University and Yale School of Drama. As a Fulbright Specialist in Theatre, he recently completed a residency with Dah Theatre in Belgrade, Serbia.
Diamond is specifically interested in meeting with artists and art organizations that are involved in socially-engaged art creation. During his residency Diamond will develop collaborative opportunities between La MaMa and local theatre artists. He will also conduct a workshop for curatorial students at Smolny College.
Diana Shpungin (Brooklyn, NY)
Shpungin intends to study collective memory and its functions through existing and destroyed architecture in St. Petersburg. She hopes to use this research to create a public art project with community involvement for the 2018 Art Prospect Festival. This new public project would build on a recent large scale project Drawing Of A House (Triptych), which was a monumental, participatory work for SiTE:LAB in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and the City of Grand Rapids in the US.
Blane De St. Croix (Brooklyn, NY)
De St. Croix intends to continue his research and develop a series of sculptures for an upcoming solo exhibition at Mass MoCA in 2019 based on intensive interdisciplinary field research and community outreach that examines geopolitical issues in the world. In St. Petersburg, he will investigate St. Petersburg’s relationship to the sea; the city has been affected by rising water levels in recent decades. De St. Croix plans to conduct preliminary studies for future landscape artworks reflective of St. Petersburg complex dilemma with nature and climate based on interviews with scientists, engineers and caretakers of the city’s major heritage sites along with extensive documentation.
Pim Zwier (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Pim Zwier is an independent filmmaker and media artist focusing on documentaries, short films and media installations. His recent work investigates the link between past and present by examining and utilizing archival materials.
He will use this opportunity to work on a series of multigenerational video-portraits of local men and women. Inspired by the early work of the Russian photographer Prokudin-Gorskii, Zwier will employ a vintage photographic process of color separation to create these video-portraits.
Cynthia Madansky (Brooklyn, NY)
Madansky plans to work on preproduction for ESFIR a 16mm film of Women, a script by Esfir Shub. Shot in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Siberia, ESFIR examines the current status of women in Russia, the influence of poetry on Shub’s editing practice and the phenomenon of women film editors in the Film Factory in Russia. During the one month residency, she will also scout locations in St. Petersburg for the film and conduct interviews with local feminists about the status of women in Russia. Madansky also plans to teach a master class and screen a selection of her films at the Saint Petersburg State University and the St. Petersburg Documentary Film Studio.
Lynn Cazabon (Baltimore, MD)
In St. Petersburg, she will explore and document wild/unintentional plants surviving in the corners and crevices of urban St. Petersburg and create and stage a collaborative community event centered on these plants. Cazabon plans to realize a local version of Uncultivated, an ongoing project that has already taken place in eight U.S. cities and in Wroclaw, Poland. Uncultivated is a multi-faceted, modular project focused on wild plants in urban landscapes.
Michael Bramwell (Cary, NC)
During his time in St. Petersburg Bramwell will work on Cultural Maintenance-Russia, an international, practice-based project that investigates the anonymous, invisible labor of maintenance workers who work within cultural sites worldwide. The St. Petersburg segment will identify janitors at the Hermitage Museum, Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art and Palace Square, collaborating with them in the performance of their duties. Bramwell will also deliver a lecture entitled I Like Kabakov and Kabakov Likes Me: From Kommunalkas to the Projects and conduct a professional development workshop for emerging and mid-career artists.
Les Joynes (New York, NY)
During the residency, he will create cabinets of curiosity using found objects and audio captures from St. Petersburg: collected, borrowed from museums and private collections and purchased, from the period from 1977to 2017. This project will reflect the artist’s and the city’s collective audio and visual memories. In addition to creating FormLAB-St.Petersburg as a website, Les will hold a public lecture on FormLAB and the experience of creating a collection for this project.
Kimberly Schoen (Los Angeles, CA)
Kim Schoen experiments with photography, video installation, and text, taking existing representations as her starting point. Her interest in photography and repetition led her to curate international symposia such as Remembering Forward at LAXART in Los Angeles, and Returning to Berlin at Motto Books in Berlin. She is also the co-founder, publisher and editor of MATERIAL, a journal of writing by artists.
Taking mutual incomprehension as her starting point, Schoen will attempt translations between Russian and English. In a country where she has a family history but no linguistic knowledge Schoen sees language as a blank page on which to draw out the inherent instabilities and comic possibilities of the process.
Damien Zhang (Paris, France)
Damien Zhang is Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at Musée Zadkine in Paris. He also works independently, organizing exhibitions with Galerie Nathalie Obadia and Galerie Untilthen in Paris as well as with Red Gate Residency in Beijing. In 2015, he was the Artistic Director of the 6th edition of Sciences Po Prize of Contemporary Art. Damien’s writing is found in Le Quotidien de l’Art, Prussian Blue and Art Trade Journal.
Zhang’s residency in St. Petersburg will be largely dedicated to studio visits as well as meeting with curators and museum professionals to establish partnerships. In addition, he will continue his ongoing research into Russian born artist Ossip Zadkine.