DK Zattere ’19 – ’20

23 Nov 2019–29 Feb 2020
V–A–C Zattere, Venice

V–A–C Zattere once again re-imagines the format of early Soviet DK’s and offers a different cultural experience, which encourages people to engage directly with the institution on a more regular basis, making it their own.

DK Zattere aims to create the same energy that made the early houses of culture ("DK" is an abbreviation of the Russian "dom kul’tury" — house of culture) popular cultural hubs in Russia since the 1920s. DK’s were recreational centres set up for, and developed by, local communities, offering them a place to go and practise their hobbies. They were often equipped with art galleries, theatres, workshops, libraries, cinemas and concert halls.

The second edition of DK Zattere features an exhibition, a film club, a co-working space, as well as oncerts, performances, workshops, dance, yoga, and more. The ground floor of V–A–C Zattere is turned into an experimental performance area while the second floor offers more recreational, self-discovery activities including yoga classes, a series of acoustic sessions and a specially created environment taking visitors on a unique sensory journey.

An exhibition room on the first floor serves as a place for the unlikely meeting of works by European modernist artists, the creations of the Russian avant-garde, and paintings by Socialist Realists of the 1960s from the Russian city of Samara. The first two groups emerged on the eve of crucial historical moments: one created during the early years of the Soviet experiment, the other just before the First World War and the emergence of fascist regimes. The Samara works of the later period are filled with romantic expectations about the industrial achievements of the Soviet state.

Programme highlights include the Curatorial Lab, a platform for art professionals in the early stages of their careers providing them with the opportunity to work with the DK curators which will give them an insight into how the DK programme is developed; a regular theatre workshop for teenagers; Vladimir Rannev’s audio-installation reinterpreting the classic opera of the legendary city of Kitezh; Performance in a Box by the Vokrug Do Okolo theatre group; Rite Now, ritual song and dance practice led by the Russian choreographer Dina Khusein and Italian musician Mariele Baraziol; Valentina Lutseenko & Dmitry Vlasik’s Squatting workshop, in the course of which the choreographer and the composer invite participants to immerse themselves in a collective exercise exploring the possibilities opened up by squatting through dance, sound practices and so-matic techniques; choreographers Olga Dukhovnaya and Anton Svetlichny offer their own interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece, Swan Lake, with the aim of converting an elitist work of art into an easily relatable, practical workshop.

The DK music programme looks at the specific themes explored this season: flooding, the anticipation of forthcoming shifts and the port as metaphor; while this year’s DK Film Club will present three thematic cycles: Just Before the Future, Multicoloured Dreams and Forced to Be Together, presenting films by ground-breaking directors defining the nature of world cinema today.

A live stream series of online excursions offers visitors from Venice the opportunity to walk and talk alongside residents in different districts of Moscow, enabling both parties to explore aspects of the everyday as well as to share their own stories, visit landmarks and discuss the cityscapes and architecture.