Curator of the 4th Moscow Contemporary Art Biennial, Peter Weibel. Press photo.

Did you see the trend of “rewriting the world” in the works exhibited at this year's Venice Biennial? And how do you rate the Venice Biennial overall?

I haven't gone to the Venice Biennial for a long time now because I believe that it has become too attached to the art market – I won't find anything new and interesting to me there. Also, when looking at art museums, I'd also have to say that a large part of them have become slaves to the art market. They no longer have expert status, but rather rely on the selections of the art market; due to the lack of state support, the situation is exacerbated by financial aid coming from private collectors. In theory, the function of a biennial is to be the opposite of the art market: it's supposed to be a place where powerful contemporary art, which has been created independently of the whims and wants of the market, can be shown with regularity. But the Venice Biennial is an exception to this because it has become a part of the art market.

How do you rate the contemporary art market in Moscow, or Russia, as a whole?

The same thing is going on here that happened in, say, New York. When artists, searching for cheap work space, moved into abandoned buildings in warehouse districts to set up their studios. But, as the artist commune developed, these neighborhoods became chic – stylish cafes opened up, even restaurants, boutiques, and exclusive art galleries emerged. As a result, property values climbed and it wasn't a cheap place in which to live in anymore. So, the artists once again had to head to new, undiscovered territories. Accordingly, underground art became a source of earning for landlords. To make any wreck of a building profitable, it was enough to call over some artists and create studios for them. This is going on now in Russia, but you really can't blame them.

Another characteristic is the development of the wealthy private sector, which then decides to invest in art. This includes Russian oligarchs and society types. The biggest problem facing the Russian art market is that the current situation isn't sustainable. Unlike Germany, for instance, Berlin – there, a support system for artists has been established at the state level, with a built-in stability that continues several years into the future. That's why many artists head to residences in Berlin, where they can receive the necessary support. Whereas in Moscow, there is no system; there's just the current situation, without any guarantees that it will continue into the future. That's because the nouveau riche, the private collectors, have received their huge incomes quite suddenly – no one will ever find out exactly how – but just as suddenly, their money could disappear; and the oligarchs may head to exile in London or to jail. And what's going to happen to their art collections? Unfortunately, I don't see any sign of the Russian state having an interest in creating the infrastructure which would make this “boom” into something sustainable.

 4th.moscowbiennale.ru