Mikhail Tolmachev.
Beyond Visual Range

Exhibition catalogues and special projects

The catalogue of Mikhail Tolmachev’s exhibition “Beyond Visual Range”.

Mikhail Tolmachev is an artist who studies media art in the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig. In 2009 he graduated from the “New Artistic Strategies” course in Moscow’s Institute of Contemporary Art.

Mikhail Tolmachev's exhibition project "Beyond Visual Range" represents the artist's experience of living in the environment of a War Museum; the Museum itself becomes an artistic tool, an interlocutor and an accomplice. The artist explores how military conflict is represented, examining the function of vision transformed by military technologies, and the equal responsibility of the human gaze, which is directed at the gunsight or a museum showcase. The project raises critical questions about the evolution of the document and exhibit, the role of the museum and museum practices, and the strategy of art and culture for the development of contemporary society.

Tolmachev supplements the exposition of almost every exhibition room of the Central Museum of the Armed Forces, using drawings, photographs, catalogue cards, documentaries and sound recordings extracted from archives or obtained from open sources.

The main part of the book is represented by a description of the exhibition rooms and the artist’s photographs. Besides that, the publication includes a preface by the curator Matthew C. Witkovsky, texts by Martin Schmidl, the artist and theorist, and Iwona Blazwick, the curator and director of London Whitechapel Gallery of Contemporary Art and also includes a conversation with the artist by Katerina Chuchalina, curator of the V–A–C Foundation.

The catalogue is published to coincide with the “Beyond Visual Range” exhibition which took place betweem 24 April and 7 October 2014 in Moscow.

Behind the scenes there remains the event, "reality” and it will always remain. That which really happened. We cannot see this for various reasons: our remote geographical location, historical distance, a certain personal and cultural upbringing of ours, political circumstances and ideological attitudes.

– Mikhail Tolmachev