Act 3. “No-one’s”

27 Jul–16 Sep 2018
Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA)

Artwork and personal belongings of Maria Stepanova's illustrate the essay No Man's Land, which formed the basis of the libretto for Act Three.

The third act of the General Rehearsal project, a production based on a script by the poet and prose writer Maria Stepanova, opens up a conversation on the theme relevant to the entire project: the status and biographies of things and works of art, their right to have our attention, and our obligations towards them.

Stepanova adds things belonging to her personal history to the two hundred works from three museum collections. Be it a suitcase from a school trip, a dress from the 19th century or a pair of shoes from the 1990s, each object comes with its own biography, which incorporates events, places and encounters, as well as shapes, smells, colours and materials. Such things exist in every family; they gather dust in the attic, somehow they are hard to throw away. Brought together by accident, they are connected to their owners by bonds of sentimental attachment. What possible interest in their faded inner linings can they hold for an external observer?

Maria Stepanova is a poet and writer, winner of several Russian and international literary awards, chief editor of and She is an author of ten volumes of poetry, including Prose and Poetry (2010), Spolia (2015), Against Lyric Poetry (2017); a collection of essays Alone, Not Alone, Not Me (2014), Three Notes on the Current Situation (2015) and a collection of documentary prose In Memory of Memory (2017).

As part of a public programme, Maria Stepanova and the V–A–C Foundation curators Katerina Chuchalina and Varvara Ganicheva will discuss the third act of the General Rehearsal project: how the idea of impossible equality, blurring the boundaries between significant and insignificant, interesting and uninteresting, changes the idea of humanity and allows us to rethink existing museum practices.