At the Fringes is an exhibition organized by the Department of Research Arts, a center for artistic research projects focused on the Russian territory. This new project shows the life at the fringes and in the border territories of Russia, where fringes are not exclusively state borders but also natural boundaries, land areas, divides and limits of space.
Areas that have been historically considered “remote”, “disconnected,” “isolated,” become especially interesting in today’s society as the means of communication have been organically integrated into the human ecosystem and transformed our perception of space. The fringes are closer than ever now but still remain somewhat distant. These can be spaces well within the country’s landmass as well as border territories.
Cohesiveness of space, in Russia and globally, is not uniform which produces modern forms of geographic inequality. The non-uniformity can be observed as some parts of the country are better known while others remain “uncharted territories”; the project takes this disparity as its starting point.
The exhibition opens with documentary projects where each presents an interpretation of archival or documentary records (photographs, official documents, sketches, field notes, video) covering a fringe region.
A stand-alone part of the project is its “permanent exposition.” It comprises painting and photography that recreate the image of a fringe with varying degrees of visual approximation. Complementing it, there is a library section that offers insights into the history of the Russian space and its landmark social, philosophical and artistic concepts.
In the third part of the exposition, the acoustic experience is just as important as the visual. The audience is immersed into the fringe space through installations and objects.
The project is supported by the Presidential Grants Foundation.
ZAPOVEDNIK research group