BRURAL: Skin of Liberty, Fractured and re-Structured

The fourth exhibition in the BRURAL series, founded by Project 59,Inc. to develop professional contacts between artists and curators from greater Brooklyn and Ural Region in Russia through the series of annual collaborative exhibitions, is coming back to Brooklyn and Bushwick. This yearís guest curator, Vladimir Seleznev, prominent artist and curator of the National Center for Contemporary Art in Yekaterinburg, brings works by artists from his native city, Nizhny Tagil.


Participating artists: Ekaterina Aksenova  Ron Barron  Oleg Blyablyas  John Boone  Todd Bryant  Alberto Bursztyn  Vitaly Cherepanov  Irina Danilova and Hiram Levy  Beth Dary  Irina Fillipova  Tatiana Istomina  JKP (group)  Angelina Kotova  Ksenya Koshurnikova  Rita Leduc  Anna Mineeva and Maria Belova  Kenneth Pietrobono  Lisa Hein and Robert Seng  Carol Salmanson  Vladimir Seleznev  Kate Stone  Fyodor Telkov  Ian Trask  Qi You  Zer Gut(group)

New York and Nizhny Tagil, two very different cities, very far from each other: one is a huge megalopolis and the other a small industrial city in the middle of nowhere; have a peculiar connection. Not many people in New York are aware that every Ural tourist guide mentions that the famous Statue of Liberty in New York is covered with copper from Nizhny Tagilís famous Demidov's mines. Development of Demidov's iron and copper smelters, known under the trademark "Old sable", led to many world-famous Nizhny Tagil products. Copper sheet metal from Nizhny Tagil received awards at the World Exhibitions in Paris and Birmingham, and then caught the attention of the sculptor F. Bartholdi, who was looking for copper sheets for the outer shell of the Statue of Liberty in New York.

The name Skin of Liberty reflects the Statue of Libertyís copper history, while Fractured & re-Structured refers to the current psycho-geographical state of Nizhny Tagil, the old industrial city in the Middle of Urals, once started with the iron ore deposits in a tall mountain that no longer exists. In its place there is now a deep crater filled with industrial waste. The oldest metallurgical plant built in the Urals during the time of Industrialists Demidovs lost its industrial function and transformed into a museum. Two industrial giants - Nizhny Tagil Metallurgical Plant and Machinery UralVagonZavod - have, since the early 90ís after the collapse of the Soviet system, been in permanent crisis and decline and are the texture of an exclusive backdrop for local artists.

BRURAL: Skin of Liberty, Fractured and re-Structured brings together artists of different creative strategies, styles and media, who make aesthetic experiments with the environment and postindustrial contemporary reality. They use ready-made industrial and postindustrial culture; new media space and modern social contexts; recycling of urban space and architecture, garbage, newspapers and magazines; ruins and remnants of things and ideas. Often with guerrilla methods, artists change the very essence of phenomena and objects, modifying their structure and developing new meanings. The exhibition features works in the genre of video, photos, collages, mixed media and installations.

This project was sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC) and also received support from the National Center for Contemporary Art in Ekaterinburg, Materials For The Arts, Sixpoint Brewery and private donations.

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