Exhibition project “Participation Effect”


“Participation Effect”

Curated by Anna Frants (Russia-USA), Varvara Egorova (Russia)

January 26 — February 6

St. Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design (Museum of Applied Arts)
St. Petersburg, Solyanoy per., 13–15


Opening night, photography by Anton Khlabov

Technologies in art gave the viewer an opportunity to feel that which seemed unrealizable — the participation effect. The participation effect is when we remember that mother smelled of milk, moss was warm and prickly in summer, and a sunray that had drowned in the carafe danced on its wall as a small rainbow…

Vladimir Nabokov called this an «individual mystery». It does not have the time of birth or the time of sunset; it cannot be explained by biology, mathematics or physics; it lives in the eternity and obeys only its owner.

It is absolutely unclear why the art that uses gadgets and software is still called «new» while not only it is not young — it dates back to the age of striking fire.

For instance, try telling a contemporary teenager about Rene Magritte and he would decide that the artist was working in the technique of augmented reality that is fashionable nowadays. However, I am not going to argue, an excessive fascination with gadgets is akin to light in the eyes of a Cro-Magnon looking at the beads.

So what will ensue from this? That which artists tried to attain for ages, that which was analyzed by ranks of art historians, that to which French Art Academy appealed in 19 th century and that which Duchamp mocked has finally become possible?

Oh, come on…

And here is Nabokov again, from his early poem of 1923:

And it took place at world’s beginning:
A savage who’s still semi-mute,
His soul is seeing, but not winged,
He’s shaggy, light and he’s not skewed,

He noticed, swinging up his bow,
As mountain eagle upwards flew,
How rich it was — the siren note
Of arrow that he just threw.

Anna Frants

Marina Alekseeva (Russia), Golem. Dream. He_She
Ludmila Belova (Russia), Free Wi-Fi
Peter Belyi (Russia), Russia 2017
Ryan Wolfe (USA), Pneuma
Elena Gubanova, Ivan Govorkov (Russia), Time Keeping
Ronald Dagonnier (Belgium), Dialectics of “Crime and Punishment”
Alexandra Dementieva (Belgium), Mirror's Memory
Dmitry Kawarga (Russia), Absorbing Concepts
William Latham (UK), Mutator
Lee Lee Nam (South Korea), Flowers and Creations
Phill Niblock (USA), Katherine Liberovskaya (Canada), Al Margolis (USA), Coast Engines
Nao Nishihara (Japan), Untitled
Els van Riel (Belgium), Omer
Veronika Rudyeva-Ryazantseva (Russia), Not here and not now!
Ayatgali Tuleubek (Norway), Sooooooo...ooothe
Nazar Rakhmanov, Eduard Rakhmanov, Anastasia Tolchneva (Russia), «50 Hz»
Anna Frants (Russia-USA), Explosion of a Can of Condensed Milk After the Water Has Evaporated


About the curators

Anna Frants
Artist, curator in the field of media art. Born in 1965 in Leningrad, USSR. She graduated from the Vera Mukhina Higher School of Art and Design (Leningrad, USSR) and Pratt Institute (New York, USA). Cofounder of the nonprofit cultural foundation St. Petersburg Arts Project, CYLAND Media Art Lab and Cyfest festival. Frants’ interactive installations have been showcased at Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (Russia), Video Guerrilha Festival (Brazil), SIGGRAPH Asia Conference (Hong Kong), Manifesta 10 Biennale (St. Petersburg, Russia, 2014), Museum of Art and Design (New York, USA), Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia), Chelsea Art Museum (New York, USA), Russian Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia), Kunstquartier Bethanien (Berlin, Germany) and at other major venues all over the world. The artist’s works are in the collections of Russian Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia), Museum of Art and Design (New York, USA), Sergey Kuryokhin Center for Modern Art (St. Petersburg, Russia) and Kolodzei Art Foundation (New York, USA) as well as in numerous private collections. Lives and works in New York, USA, and St. Petersburg, Russia.

Varvara Egorova
Curator, project coordinator at CYLAND Media Art Lab. Born in 1965 in Leningrad, USSR. Graduated from the Vera Mukhina Higher School of Art and Design (Leningrad, USSR). Works at CYLAND Media Art Lab since its foundation in 2007. Participated in all the Cyfest festivals as a designer, organizer, curator of exhibition programs. Lives and works in St. Petersburg, Russia.