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02 Jul 2010

KUDA / WHERE TO. Presence Russia - Ine Lamers & Martina Wolf at Motorenhalle Project Centre Dresden

Lenin_Still_Martina Wolf

KUDA / WHERE TO. Presence Russia - Ine Lamers (The Netherlands) & Martina Wolf (Germany) - Videoworks
Motorenhalle Project Centre Dresden


19.6.-11.7.2010 entrance free tue-fr 16-20, sa 14-18


motorenhalle. Projektzentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst
Wachsbleichstr. 4a
D-01067 Dresden

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Like no other country, Russia symbolizes the interface between Europe and Asia. With its ever changing course of history, with its abundance of cultural and natural resources it continues to remain a big miracle. But it is miracles in fact that make a subject appealing for the arts. Dutch and German artists Ine Lamers and Martina Wolf have been focusing on Russia for the last couple of years. Both are working in the medium of film and video, yet in an entirely different mode.

For her film 'Ustala' ('Tired'), Ine Lamers travelled to the remote city of Tolyatti, that had been developed virtually overnight in the 1950s and served as a symbol for the achievements of communism. Back then, the launch of the giant water power station of Kuybyshev nearby triggered a boom of industrialization and Tolyatti with its Shiguli car company represented a better life. Twenty years after the demise of the Soviet Union, utopian ideas have long evaporated and this planned ideal city is situated in an economic as well as cultural no-man's-land. Ine Lamers operates in the border zones between reality and fiction, quoting the heroic past of this location as well as its inherent desolation. Disillusionment seems to be physically graspable and yet the film breathes a poetic melancholy that is reminiscent of great Russian literature.

In a comparable way, Martina Wolf is tracking down the Soviet Russian past. By doing so, she works almost exclusively with moving images that move only minimally. Her long shots appear like paintings, composed by chance and the position of camera. If there are any dramatic moments, then those will be found with existing situations as for example the colourful play of light on the marble Lenin bust at a train station in Moscow. Other than in most of the postcommunist countries, in Russia the longing for the past before the fall of the iron curtain has survived -- monuments were not generally destroyed, the pride about Red October and the victory in the Great Patriotic War does not only unite war veterans. For some years, the day of victory on May 9th is being celebrated back on the Red Square and the city of Moscow boasts of full flag-adornment. Such a situation is captured by Martina Wolf with her video 'Day of Victory/Tag des Sieges' and performed without further comments. Yet a large advertisement screen functions as an interface with capitalist everyday-life, as a projection space for real desires, that have been only partly paralyzed by postcommunist romanticism.

curated by Susanne Altmann

The exhibition has been organized in collaboration with: The Dresden State Art Collection/Kunstfonds & Academy of Fine Arts Dresden