09.10.2020 – 08.11.2020
Russian National Decorative Art Museum, Moscow
Agency of Singular Investigations
Bulat Galeyev and Prometheus Design Office
The name of this two-part exhibition, 15 Minute Break, refers to the short pauses in rhythmic work that can actually last for 15 minutes or can have no link with objective lapse of time. Such breaks are spontaneous and ambiguous in nature.
The first installment of the project dealt with labor and the changes it undergoes in the modern world.
The second and final installment addresses the time exempted from labor. The artists’ installations, video, audio, paintings, drawings, contemporary sculpture and photography contemplate the time of active leisure and replenishment of energy, the time of idle anticipation and laziness, the time of immersion into own thoughts and contemplation.
The exhibition space shows three approaches to conceptualizing leisure. The first notion of leisure is based on shared experiences that emerge from active types of recreation—at a beach or a festival, during a feast or a hike. This part of the exhibition features photography by Igor Mukhin from his Weekend series, new works by Lyudmila Baronina who explores labor and leisure as a hybrid, a hand-embroidered canvas by Rodion Kitaev depicting various types of active leisure, a video installation by Roman Mokrov on the stereotypes of beach recreation.
The second notion relies on engagement into practices instead of reflecting on them—these are experiences of contemplation and inactivity, facilitated by visual-and-acoustic meditations, observation of nature, and spiritual endeavors that have become especially popular recently. Vladislav Efimov made a special commission for the exhibition, the installation Still Blowing in the Wind where he reflects on technology, nature and contemplation. A dedicated room is given to Dream Life, a research project by the Agency of Singular Investigations aimed at countering ageing through management of sleep. Sergey Filatov presents a new sound installation.
Last but not least, the third notion delves into the “gray area” of leisure—this is anticipation and laziness, and all the other practices that do not fit into a definite category. This space contains “posted ads” with invitations to recreational events, collected by Eror TOY during the spring lockdown. The exploratory book by Japanese artist and photographer Ikuru Kuwajima looks at laziness as a fundamental behavior for Russians. Irina Korina shows a graphic series on one of the quarantine online fads, “What kind of couch are you?”
All projects are located in ad hoc breakout rooms, where the audience is invited to take a break and observe themselves and others outside of labor.
The exposition is complemented by objects from the collection of the Russian National Decorative Art Museum: bone and wood, metal and stone, glass, ceramic and fabric objects by authors of different eras who depicted various ways of having rest.
The irony of the second installment of this project is that representing the theme of leisure, too, requires to expend some effort.