THE RAW, THE COOKED AND THE PACKAGED – The Archive of Perestroika Art – Exhibition Concept

THE RAW, THE COOKED AND THE PACKAGED – The Archive of Perestroika Art

The Museum of Contemporary Art, KIASMA
30.11.2007 – 6.1.2008

Table of Contents – More detail in the NEWSPAPER-CATALOGUE

Foyer Balcony

Studio K & K Balcony

Archival Room

Window Gallery

New Artists’ Paintings on Main Window of Kiasma

Apartment-exhibition style carpet hanging of works, installations, sculpture, music

Archives of documents, photos, posters, smells (clothes of artists) and musicians), slides, negatives, posters, letters, etc.

A commissioned work of ‘socio-cognitive mapping’

Moving Images Section on 4 Monitors (7hrs in all)

Official observation deck on balcony (with Lenin and binoculars)

E.g. The “Archive of tins” which includes an Andy WarholCampbell Soup Can, a tin of Soviet tooth-powder..

by Andrei Khlobystin

Special Events

Opening of Studio K & Foyer Balcony, including:

another cage

(a performance of John Cage’s 4″33′ by the choir of the Russian Gardes Marines

and the audience mediated by Sergei “Afrika” Bugaev and the curators)

Kiasma Foyer, 16 November 2007


(a reception for the guests of the international conference
Revisting Perestroika – Processes and Alternatives, approx. 300 guests)

Kiasma, 29 November 2007

The “Raw Materials” Public Cultural Panel

(international guest discussion with the curators)

Kiasma Theatre 1 December 2007

THE RAW, THE COOKED AND THE PACKAGED is a multi-part exhibition with works of art, archives and historical accumulations from the Perestroika period – in different stages of their genealogy and association. The works and archives in question include paintings, photographs, sketches, slides, negatives, manifestos, official documents, letters and other ephemera as well as original 8mm “parallel” films, reel-to-reel rock, smells and further “raw” materials from the unofficial artistic cultures of St. Petersburg, Tallinn and Yekaterinburg. The time-frame stretches from the early 1980s until the early 1990s, bridging the period of dramatic and cataclysmic changes known to the world as Perestroika. Aside from material relating to figures famous in these art scenes and internationally, it includes wholly “undiscovered” artists active in this period of social collapse and cultural explosion.

The curatorial endeavour here, is not to (re)write the canon, but to investigate its production: its passage from the “RAW” to the “COOKED” to the “PACKAGED”. As the history of this crucial era is written and re-written in today’s troubled political climate, as always, the “books are cooked” to suit the ideology of the moment, and re-packaged for consumption. This exhibition invites the audience to physically engage and enact the process of writing history itself – to “make up” our understanding of the past, to read and also participate in writing the Newspaper-Catalogue, as a concretisation of the memory politics that frames the future.

Studio K The Life Room: An open space of experience, including re-creations of scenes of action. Here paintings, sculpture, installations, music, light, door-bells and peep-holes, a table and non-conformist cot/bed, entreat the viewer. This is the space of the life of a nonconformist artist, and is hung in the style of an apartment exhibition (the home-gallery of last resort in Soviet times).

Studio K Balcony The Observatory/Panopticon: A view of the Life Room from above. Aside from a statue of Lenin, with binoculars tied to his neck, usueful for looking at paintings high up on the walls of the life room, this balcony was originally to include KGB dossiers, market-price lists and media hype (the latter was blocked by present-day censorship).The works in Studio K take on another meaning from this distanced Soviet official, censoring, point of view.

Archival RoomIn this “black cube”, audience-configurable archival furniture displays, hides and orders archival materials and other evidence and testimonies from the past. There are arrchives of letters, postcards, music, posters, negatives, smells (clothes of artists and musicians), and even tins (including a Warhol Soup Can).  A unique, previously undiscovered  “Archive of Leningrad Conceptual Art” occupies an entire filing cabinet. The audience is offered  the opportunity to  open and close drawers, investigate the traces of the past, and re-write the catalogue of this exhibition on three type-writers, installed with the exhibition catalogue, cut into strips..

The Newspaper Catalogue This re-writable conceptual catalogue was produced so as to be available for us by  each member of the audience. It enables visitors to relate and re-write the history of the art works,  films, archives and socio-cognitive maps in the exhibition. Using the type-writers mentioned above, the public was drawn into full-fledged participation in constituting the narratives and descriptions of the works, which were written by the artists and collectors themselves, and translated from Estonian and Russian into English and Finnish. Due to its fast-and-ready production, its nature as an element of both the “Raw” and the “Packaged”, it is also known as “the fish wrapper”.

Window Gallery – Reflexive Mapping: These socio-cognitive maps show how the various “raw materials” came into circulation, are situated in the field of curatorial practice and made public in Kiasma itself. The Window Gallery reflects the entireRaw, Cooked and Packaged process.

Kiasma Theatre – The Cultural Panel: Panelists included Vladimir Shinkarev (artist, St. Petersburg), Ekaterina Andreeva (one-time chief curator of the Russian Museum’s Department of Newest Tendencies, writer), Alexei Yurchak (anthropology, Berkeley),Jutta Scherrer (history, Paris), Andrei Khlobystin (artist and archivist, St. Petersburg), the curators and others.

This exhibition was organised in coordination with the Aleksanteri Institute’s 7th Annual Conference in November 29-December 1, 2007: “Revisiting Perestroika – Processes and Alternatives” drawing circa 300 scholars and visitors: It was one of multiple Cultural Fora – others include the “Perestroika in Cinema” series at the Finnish Film Archives (SEA), a poetry/performance reading, an exhibition of the “Glasnost’ Collection” at the Finnish National Library and further parallel events (see .

THE RAW, THE COOKED AND THE PACKAGED was curated by Ivor Stodolsky, researcher and freelance curator, Marita Muukkonen, freelance writer and curator. The project is supported by the the Nordic Council of Ministers.

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