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Now Is The Winter: Overview

An international exhibition, screening and symposium project

This three-part project consists of an exhibition and screenings in Moscow and a symposium and screenings in Ithaca, NY. Throughout these undertakings, the underlying objective is to move beyond the comparative dialectics of “cultural exchange” to create complex, evocative conversations based on underlying commonalities of individual and mass-cultural experience in these two contemporary societies.

Despite the recent re-emergence of contemporary Russian art on the international art scene, and the increasing presence of some US artists’ work in Russian venues, these opportunities still tend most often to operate on the model of cultural representation – contextualized as Contemporary Eastern European art or a Major American artist. Throughout the planning of this project, the two exhibition curators – one based in Moscow, the other in New York – have worked with the notion of shared contemporary experience in Russia and the United States. The curators contend that these commonalities stem from the on-going expansion of state power and it’s pervasive rhetoric of fear, the concentration of mass media, a challenged sense of individual freedom and the elusiveness of sound knowledge and moral clarity within both societies. These conditions are politically and socio-economically constructed, but, of course, individually, internally and psychologically experienced and expressed. It is these shared origins and diverse outcomes across cultures that draw this project’s participants into productive dialog with one another.

Thus, the importance of this project is not only to expose the work of emerging and established artists and critics to new audiences, but to promote an experience of and discussion about the states of individual consciousness that contemporary life in Russia, the United States, and our globalized media society promote.