The Moscow Museum of Modern Art and the Vadim Sidur Museum present an exhibition titled «The Happiest Autumn», which celebrates the 30th anniversary of the museum dedicated to the famous sculptor. The first retrospective of Vadim Sidur in his homeland which was held after the artist’s death in September 1987 in this very museum, which at that time was called the Exhibition Hall of the Perovsky District, marks the staring point of the museum’s history. Although the exhibition was open only for seven weeks, around 15 thousand people visited it.
In 1989, thanks to the unprecedented public pressure, the efforts of the artist’s relatives and friends and the support of the authorities and residents of the Perovsky District the Vadim Sidur Museum was opened at 37A Novogireevskaya Street. It became one of the first official centres of modern artistic culture in Russia. The museum was opened at the initiative of the sculptor’s son, art historian Mikhail Sidur. He became the first director of the museum and his wife Galina Sidur was appointed as the chief conservator and the curator of cultural programs.
Following its opening, the museum became a popular place among the artistic and literary circles of the late 80s. Over the years, Yunna Moritz, Andrey Voznesensky, Heinrich Sapgir, Lev Rubinstein, Dmitry Prigov and many others performed at the «Evenings at the Sidur Museum». The museum also held an active publishing program: almost every «Evening» was accompanied by the publication of a compact collection of poems of this or that author.
Since 2011, when the museum became part of the Manege Exhibition Halls, it has acted not only as a place where the artist’s collection is stored and represented but also as a platform for discussing and bringing to life current cultural agenda, in the context of which the artist’s legacy and the experience acquired by the museum during its long history acquires new artistic and social meanings. In 2014, the museum opened after a two-year reconstruction. This event was timed to coincide with Vadim Sidur’s ninetieth anniversary. In 2018 the Vadim Sidur Museum became part of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. It continues to actively work with new exhibition formats, engaging local audiences and the professional community in its activities.
The anniversary exhibition «The Happiest Autumn» is named after Sidur’s only collection of poems, on which he worked until his death and which was published by the museum in 1990 shortly after its opening. The anniversary exhibition focuses on the tombstone genre. For Sidur, who was not allowed by the authorities to publicly demonstrate his work in Russia, tombstone works were not only a source of living but also a way of communication with the public. The exhibition curator Yaroslav Alyoshin invites viewers to trace some motifs of Sidur’s work which, unobvious at first glance, run through his legacy, connecting his oeuvre with the lives of artists, writers and representatives of the academic intelligentsia from his circle, as well as linking the past and the present of the museum, which acts as the memorial to the sculptor, organizing events aimed to perpetuate his legacy and memory.
The exhibition is designed as a complex multidimensional space. Its time is non-linear and accidental, at first glance, coincidences in a new way connect the multitude of facts and plots. The project’s creative team includes artists Yuri Palmin, Vladislav Yefimov, and Mikhail Maximov, composer Vladimir Gorlinsky and historian and museologist Anna Kotomina. Each of the co-authors of the show proposed a starting point of the journey across the «history of the museum» and a path through its semantic and factual dimensions.
Historical and biographical materials and documents reflecting the sculptor’s life and the 30-year museum history represent an important addition to the main body of the exhibition.
Using various tools such as archival documents, Sidur’s works from the museum’s collection and the pieces specially created for the show by other artists, the anniversary project not only offers an unusual perspective on the sculptor’s legacy and the ideas he was preoccupies with, but also reflects on the function of the museum as a public institution and as a material environment, which unites people or brings them apart.
Yuri Palmin is an artist and architectural photographer. He has been collaborating with contemporary architects and the press both in Russia and abroad. Palmin’s photographs illustrate numerous books on contemporary and historical Russian architecture. He lectures at the British Higher School of Art and Design in Moscow and teaches special courses and workshops at the Strelka Institute and the MARCH Architecture School as well as is a co-founder of the Institute of Modernism (Moscow, 2014). Palmin works are in the collections of the State Museum of Architecture, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, and the Moscow Multimedia Art Museum as well as private collections.
Anna Kotomina is a researcher, lecturer and curator. She is a senior researcher at the Polytechnic Museum and the program director of the museum’s annual conference «History of Science and Technology. Museum Perspective». Anna Kotomina is the author of publications on the social and cultural history of media and the history of science.
Mikhail Maksimov is an independent artist and video-director. He is interested in digital ballistics, structures of various materials construction, waste production modeling. The Rodchenko school of photography and multimedia graduate, Maksimov participated in numerous exhibitions and film festivals, including the 3rd, 4th and 5th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Burning News Exhibition, London, UK—2014, MANIFESTA-10 — 2014. He held personal exhibition Extraction of humanity, CCI Factory — 2018. Maksimov is the winner of the Extra Short Film Festival (ESF) (2012) and International festival of cinematographic debuts Spirit of Fire (Khanty-Mansiysk) — 2018, participant of the International Kansk Video Festival (2013, 2014, 2015 — winner in the category «Best Russian Short»), Moscow International Film Festival — 2013,2014, Locarno Film Festival — 2019 and Hamburg International Short Film Festival — 2019.
Maksimov’s works are in the collections of the Moscow Multimedia Art Museum and NCCA as well as in private collections.
Vladislav Efimov is an artist, curator and photographer. He is a laureate of the Innovation Prize and twice a laureate of the Golden Section architectural award. Vladislav Efimov’s works are in the collections of the State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg), the Pompidou Center (Paris), the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Moscow), the National Centre for Contemporary Art (Moscow), n.b.k. (Berlin) and the Museum of Moscow.
Vladimir Gorlinsky is a composer and an improviser who works with spatial compositions and sound installations. Vladimir Gorlinsky’s pieces were performed as part of international festivals and projects, including the 54th Venice Biennale (Italy), the Avignon Festival (France) in 2014, the Gaudeamus International Music Week (The Netherlands) and many others.
Yaroslav Alyoshin is a curator and a social activist who is involved in organizing inclusive programs. From 2014 to 2015, Alyoshin was the curator of special projects at the Moscow Library Center. From 2015 to 2019, he was the director of the Vadim Sidur Museum. In 2016, he initiated and co-curated an international cross-disciplinary project titled «Human Commonalities», dedicated to exploring questions around disability and arts. Recently, Alyoshin has been appointed as the curator of social and cultural projects at the V-A-C Foundation.