June 17 at the Stedelijk: THIS IS COSMOS ~ A teleconference with Anton Vidokle and Arseny Zhilyaev.
The event is an epilogue to the Public Program accompanying the exhibition Rien ne va plus? Faites vos jeux! (April 22 – June 12 2016, de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam), which is a part of Untitled (Two Takes on Crisis), the final project of the Curatorial Programme 2015/2016. Protagonists Anton Vidokle and Arseny Zhilyaev will attempt to bridge the distance between the museum and a space station by means of a teleconference.
The departure point of this performative conversation is Anton Vidokle’s film This Is Cosmos (2014), which draws on the thinking of the early 20th-century Russian philosophical movement known as ‘cosmism’. The ‘Cosmo-Immortalists’ combined elements of theology and ethics, linking the Western Enlightenment with Russian Orthodoxy and Eastern philosophical traditions, as well as with Marxism, to create an idiosyncratically concrete metaphysics. Filmed in Siberia, Crimea, and Kazakhstan, This Is Cosmos draws on diverse materials including poems, philosophical texts, scientific writings, academic papers, and historical studies. It centers on the writings of philosopher Nikolai Fedorov, who believed death to be a mistake. Fedorov advocated the development of scientific methods for the radical extension of life, as well as the resurrection of the dead. To the Russian cosmists, cosmos did not mean outer space: rather, they wanted to create ‘cosmos’ on earth ‘to construct a new reality, free of hunger, disease, violence, death, need, inequality – like communism.’ Vidokle’s film engages with this utopian project, seeking out traces of such philosophy after the end of the Soviet Union and in the present day.
The project is a trilogy: the first film (This is Cosmos) refers to NASA’s red light therapy, the second (The Communist Revolution Was Caused By The Sun) deals with hypnosis, and the forthcoming third film will employ sounds used in medicine to influence memory.
MORE ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Anton Vidokle (b. Moscow) is an artist and filmmaker based in New York and Berlin. As a founder of the e-flux platform he has produced projects such as DO iT, Utopia Station Poster Project, Pawnshop, An Image Bank for Everyday Revolutionary Life, the Martha Rosler Library, Time/Bank, e-flux video rental and unitednationsplaza. Vidokle is co-editor of e-flux journal, along with Julieta Aranda and Brian Kuan Wood. His work has been exhibited internationally in venues such as the 56th Venice Biennale (2015) and Documenta 13 (2012). He has directed several films, including 2084: A science fiction show (2012-2014) with Pelin Tan, which has been exhibited at the Bergen Assembly (2013), La Biennale de Montréal (2014), the Istanbul Biennial (2015), Home Works 7, Beirut (2015) and the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2016). Vidokle’s film series on the Russian Cosmists, This Is Cosmos (2014) and The Communist Revolution Was Caused By The Sun (2015), have been screened at the Shanghai Biennale (2014), Witte de With, Rotterdam (2015), the 65th and 66th Berlinale International Film Festival, Forum Expanded (2015, 2016) and the Moscow Biennale (2015), amongst many others.
Arseny Zhilyaev (b. Voronezh, Russia) is an artist who lives in Moscow and Voronezh. Recent exhibitions include Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016), de Appel, Amsterdam (2016), and the 13th edition of the Biennale de Lyon (2015). Zhilyaev is editor of Avant-Garde Museology (V-A-C Press with e-flux and University of Minnesota Press, 2015). He has been on the editorial board of Moscow Art Magazine since 2011, and is a contributor to e-flux and other journals. Recent accolades include Russian awards in the sphere of contemporary art and a nomination for the Visible Award in 2013.
This event is programmed by Kateryna Filyuk and Alessandra Troncone.
The Curatorial Programme is a 10-month training programme for young, international curators, which has been organized by de Appel arts centre since 1994. This year, the final project of the programme, Untitled (Two Takes on Crisis) consists of two exhibitions: Rien ne va plus? Faites vos jeux!, curated by Laura Amann, Kateryna Filyuk and Alessandra Troncone, and You Must Make Your Death Public, curated by Jussi Koitela, Renée Mboya and Asep Topan, on view at de Appel arts centre from April 22 to June 12, 2016.
The event is organized in collaboration with the Museum of Cosmonautics and Rocket Technology in Saint Petersburg.
The curators wish to extend a special thank you to the artists, Britte Sloothaak, Henri Sandront and the interns of the Stedelijk Museum.