Pedagogical Poem. Public Programme

16 Mar–30 Nov 2012
Presnya Historical and Memorial Museum

During the course of ten months at the Presnya Museum three to four comprehensive lectures take  place each week, and regular seminars and master classes are held throughout.

Pedagogical Poem was conceived by the artists and theorists of contemporary art Arseniy Zhilyaev and Ilya Budraitskis. “From the very beginning, the programme was not merely interdisciplinary, but was fundamentally based on the desire to create common space of discussion and equality, in which theorists and historians, curators and artists would interact organically with one another,” Budraitskis says. “The framework of history as a direction, as a frame of reference, as a way of thinking and creating, in this case comprised both historical knowledge itself and the constant productive questioning of it”.

An important current of thought was the so-called “theory of history” — the direction set in international thought by such critics of the historical narrative as Hayden White, Arthur Danto, and Franklin Ankersmit. “It became the main topic of both the presentation by Andrey Oleynikov, the leading Russian specialist in the field of theory of history, and my own course of lectures,” Budraitskis continues. “Vladlen Loginov, the greatest contemporary biographer of Lenin, and Yaroslav Leontiev, the researcher of the legendary pre-revolutionary Party of Socialist Revolutionaries, spoke about their own research, its links to their own thoughts and to the present social context. A significant event was the lecture by the Hungarian historian Tamas Kende, who focused on the dramatic transformation of museums in Eastern Europe… A brilliant conclusion to this thread of the Pedagogical Poem and to the entire project was a lecture by the philosopher Michael Löwy on Walter Benjamin’s philosophy of history.

"The project’s key thematic unit concerned the interaction of history and contemporary art and was represented by the performances of such leading curators for the Russian stage as Ekaterina Degot and Viktor Misiano. Each of them has created projects in their time, without which it is now difficult to imagine the history of Russian curatorship at all — Battle for the Flag (2008) and Progressive Nostalgia (2007) respectively. The theme of tradition and experience has become a defining one in the artistic practices of such diverse artists as Anatoly Osmolovsky, Yevgeniy Fiks, Dmitry Vilensky, Avdey Ter-Oganyan. The links between the urban space and the history of the oppressed concealed in dramatic transformations has been consistently explored by the Dutch artist Jeanne van Heeswijk, who also presented a piece in the Pedagogical Poem with a colourful tale about her own work. A provocative reading of the problem of experience was presented by a leading Russian theatre director, Mikhail Ugarov, who heads the experimental Moscow theatre.doc.

"It is also difficult to overestimate the significance for the project of a series of speeches on modern critical theory, presented by the philosophers Alexei Penzin, Igor Chubarov and Maria Chehonadskikh."

Kirill Alexeyev, Vladimir Arkhipov, Alexander Bikbov, Olga Briukhovetskaya, Dmitri Vilensky, ZIL Group, Ekaterina Degot, Olga Zhitlina, Vadim Zakharov, Michael Löwy, Alexander Ivanov, Nikita Kadan, Tamás Kende, Egor Koshelev, Marijan Crtalic, Vladlen Loginov, Kirill Medvedev, Andrei Oleynikov, Nikolay Oleynikov, Anatoly Osmolovsky, Alexei Penzin, Sergei Popov, Kirill Svetlyakov, Nataliya Smolyanskaya, Vlad Safronov, Teatr.doc, Avdey Ter-Oganyan, Stanislav Tiutiukin, Evgeny Fiks, Jeanne van Heeswijk, Olga Chernysheva, Maria Chehonadskih, Igor Chubarov, Hito Steyerl.