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The State Tretyakov Gallery
2-7 December 2002

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The Role of Information Technologies in Realisation of the Internation Social-Cultural Initiatives: The State Russian Museum in «Emplacements» Project

Kononikhina Olga
Researcher of the Centre of Museum Pedagogy
State Russian Museum
Adress: 4, Injenernaya str., 191011 Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Fax: (812)313-41-07
E-mail: oko_18@hotmail.com

Andrey Liublinsky

Content :

The State Russian museum is popularizing its influence everywhere. Publicity company of museum captures the viewers to the quickly changed number of exhibitions, presentations and educational projects. Museum''s web-site (http://www.rusmuseum.ru) gathers many users, who want to appear on virtual exhibitions in a moment and to see the digital pictures of museum masterpieces. The museum uses huge opportunities of modern means, making the Internet-books (http://center.rusmuseum.ru/InetBookNew/index.htm) and creating the Forums for young people meetings, virtual conferences for children and teachers, guest-books (http://www.guestbook.ru) for users. Very often a viewer percepts the museum''s collection through the labels, banner and presentations, and this process is connected with using the Internet and multimedia. Being a part of all informational activity of the museum of art, they caused the visual dependence of public on getting prepared material, which is easy for understanding and transforming into another informational codes and messages. Museum''s pedagogic understand these changes and transformations of traditional idea about modern art process. It tries to initiate the dialogue with a viewer by the language of active forms of informational communication in many directions of education, propaganda work and social projects.
It''s known, that the first men, who made an attempt to analyze the phenomenon of informational society were contemporary artists. Researches of this problem were in 1960-s in the first experiments of pioneers of video-art Bill Viola and Nam Jun Pick, who created a big wall of pulse screens. Then new means of communication changed the first video-installation, which led to the birth of the media-art and communicaton-art. In this sphere actual artists chose the role of medium, initiating the creation of communicative many cultural spaces. Today the museum applied to strategies of communication with public for realization as propaganda, as social-adaptation functions, practically tested by contemporary artists.
Participation of the problem children with Russian museum''s teachers in the global international project "Emplacements" shows the new experience in a social-cultural sphere of a modern museum and has an idea to research of the phenomenon of joint children and actual artists art. It unites non-traditional forms of comprehension by children and great opportunities without any borders for their own creative practice.
The artists from different European countries and Russia, who took part in "Emplacements" project, paid their attention to the object of architectural legacy of the city ("Red Flag" factory in Saint-Petersburg), which simultaneously has a status of the industrial center of the city on the Neva River. This space was chosen for art action on purpose. For a long time in Europe contemporary artists have had practice of realization many kinds of social initiatives not only in art museums and galleries, but even on the area of industrial complexes, deserted factories and mills, which are be coming big studios, exhibition space for presentations of environmental design, experiments of modern dance, installations, happenings and digital arts. For example, in Helsinki (Finland) there is the Cable factory complex ("Kaapeli"), which was built between 1939 and 1944 (architect – Waino G.Palmquist) and now it contains many workshops, which gather those, who prefer free arts.
"Red Flag" factory in Saint-Petersburg became very attractive for artists because of its legendary history and modern life. There are still working German machines and people, who were formed by Soviet ideology and who can''t identify themselves another way. There also medals and diplomas of Soviet competitions and authentic items of Soviet women underwear, which were taken last year by Moscow curators for the popular exhibition "Memory of Body". This factory was the best place of international actions, presentation and workshops, which might gather the children of factory''s workers, not having special art education and knowledge about art language, but being participants of "inner world" of the factory.
Romantic atmosphere became beneficial for art and social reflections. With the help of teachers from the Russian museum the children of workers could get knowledge about history of the industrial building, find out the architectural features of the factory and felt the visual image of constructivism. Without any problems this experience allowed them to find the oldest memorial places of past time on the territory of the factory, learn textile design before the Revolution, the Soviet and modern periods thanks to unique patterns, keeping at the factory.
The phenomenon of children''s art with Russian and British "adult''s" artists at the territory of the factory presupposed special forms of adaptation. Russian and foreign authors transformed into archaeologists, escalating in stratums of factory''s ground different symbols - evidence of time of industrialization, 5 years competitions, growing socialism and meetings, like ideological flag and stars, wear and mythological editions for art lessons in factory''s kindergarten and elements of equipment. Any detail became a part of a changed by multimedia, video and audio space of a former shop and provoked the reaction of children, who were not ready to observe this kind of activity. With the help of magnetic force of digital technique the strategy of capturing the children''s audience to improvisation movie began to work.
Near the entrance to the transformed by the artists territory instead bread viewers could find the traditional English cake, which might be tasted by everyone. Coming inside the pulsing and magic dynamic space, they began to hear very familiar noise in audio installation by Bardosinetikcube, find out their own photo-portraits in archive, making by Igor Lebedev.
English artists worked with the perception of young people, suggesting in their video works the place of being and point of view of going action, giving two alternatives, Saint-Petersburg and Manchester. So, the group of British artists "TEA", chosen the strategy of simulating, created in the window the full illusion of English reality, and this fact threw everybody, who was there into confusion. Oleg Yanushevsky presented the object a la Marcel Duchamp. He suggested to public realizing with him the operation of socialization of industrial space. A little object, contained in a golden frame of an icon inside the dark space transformed into elegant worship and sent for children''s feeling. The brightest item was the "cemetery of insects" by Aleksey Garev, made of geometrical modules and full of dead butterflies and motes. The author defined the attitude of the society to the problem of industrial city.
As a result of this dialogue of languages and cultures in many-disciplinary space appeared children''s art works, dedicated to the historical place, topography and public event, connected with the life of Saint-Petersburg. Master class was chosen for dialogue as spontaneous and live form of art practice, necessary to help Russian children to get free and achieve the mutual understanding with foreign guests. The process of work of children under the objects was fixed by camera and video, and became one of the main exhibits of the future exposition, remanding of realized initiative.
Realization of the social-adaptation project, widely connected with using the video and audio at least was finished by the creation of the presentations in Internet and on CD-Rom, capturing attention of users to this problem and being a part of all informational activity of the State Russian museum.
By this way, by initiative of Center of Museum Pedagogic and Children''s Creativity was possible the social adaptation of Russian problem children, help them in introduction to educational programs of the State Russian museum and, maybe, in a future help in founding the Children''s museum at the "Red Flag" factory.

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