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Speaking about this year’s biennale, how do you understand its concept—“Rewriting Worlds”?

There doesn’t exist one dominating depiction of the world, one understanding of the world. It is no longer the case that a Western viewpoint or an Anglo-American viewpoint dominates. The scene is more global, more equal. Chinese artists think about Americans, Americans think about Russians.

And is this good?

That’s simply how it is now.

This era can be characterized by the names of renowned curators, strong personalities. Is there a threat that a curator could overshadow the artist, using him as a mouthpiece for his ideas? 

It’s not that bad. The relationship between a curator and an artist is always a very individual matter that depends on the personalities of both people. That’s why there are many possible versions for their relationship. But to my mind, I don’t think you see just one distinct tendency in this matter.

The number of art fairs and biennales is growing very sharply. The curator Peter Weibel mentioned at the biennale’s press conference that twenty years ago you could count them on the fingers of one hand. What do you think this testifies to?

The situation has consequences for globalization and for the fact that everyone wants to intensify the local art scene. Everyone wants to be in the center, to be seen, to be recognizable. Moscow’s contemporary art center Garage, the Moscow Biennale, and other similar initiatives are efforts to prove that we, too, are a part of contemporary art processes.

But doesn’t such an explicit strengthening of power in the art market destroy the essence of art? I doubt the main function of a work of art is to be a product.

Yes, well, that’s how our “wild capitalism” is. The art market, particularly auction houses, are becoming incredibly influential. Even museums no longer have any say about what is what in art. Now the point of reference is determined by art fairs and auction houses.

And how does this impact art?

Poorly. Art is becoming a part of the anonymous machinery of the cultural industry, which is very dangerous.

In order to dispel the depressing tone: What is the most impressive experience you’ve had recently in art? Where and when did you experience it?

I can’t assess this biennale, because it is my project, so I’m not about to compare. Yet one of my most impressive recently experience in art was at the previous Moscow Biennale, in 2009. That left a very lasting impression on me. The curator, Jean-Hubert Martin of France, did a remarkable job. 

4th.moscowbiennale.ru