“Performance Art: Ethics in Action” First international conference at Garage

Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow, Russia
12 Dec 2013 - 14 Dec 2013

“I cannot imagine talking about ethics without discussing two particular things: one, authority, and the second, belief.”  

–Nástio Mosquito

“If performance art becomes commonplace in a society over time, it will be impossible for it to stir an ethical or political reaction.”

–Anatoly Osmolovsky


This December is the centenary of the seminal Cubo-Futurist performance Victory Over the Sun created by Kazimir Malevich, Alexei Kruchenych, and Mikhail Matyushin, which premiered in St. Petersburg in 1913. The performance caused quite a stir, since it broke with tradition in a number of ways, from the unconventional subject matter celebrating man’s technological potential and innovative anti-realist costumes in shocking colors, to the chaotic music and nonsensical lyrics. Today, this ground-breaking piece can be considered the first avant-garde performance in Russia.

In the century that has followed, artists have continuously defied and challenged not only pre-established artistic traditions, but also social and moral conventions. By pushing the boundaries time after time, often creating situations where art and life converge, they pose questions that go beyond aesthetics, introducing an ethical dimension to the artistic experience.

To mark the centenary of performance art in Russia and to explore the complex relationship between ethics and aesthetics in the development of performance today, Garage presents its first international conference, “Performance Art: Ethics in Action.” The conference is also the first on this topic in Russia.

Tracing the evolution of Russian performance art in relation to parallel developments around the world, the conference focuses on the radical experiments from the early 20th century avant-garde to the present day that have brought art beyond aesthetics into real-world situations. The two days are divided into thematic sessions, including a session on the Russian experience and a session introducing international parallels or divergences.

The conference opens with a public lecture and book launch by RoseLee Goldberg, founding Director of Performa, New York, followed by two days of case studies, panel discussions, and lectures, including a keynote paper by Simon Critchley, Hans Jonas Professor at The New School for Social Research in New York, and contributions from leading artists, academics, writers, and curators from across Russia, Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin and North America. A special performance for Garage by performance artist, musician, and poet Nástio Mosquito will take place at the end of the first day, followed by a program of live performances in partnership with the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow.

Yulia Aksenova
, Curator, Garage, Moscow; Ludmila Bredihina, curator and critic, Moscow; Simon Critchley, Hans Jonas Professor, The New School for Social Research, New York; Ekaterina Degot,curator and critic, Moscow; Song Dong, artist, Beijing; Lina ?uverovi?,  Curator and co-Founder of Electra, London and Zagreb; RoseLee Goldberg,  curator and founding Director of Performa, New York; Ana Janevski,  Associate Curator, Department of Media and Performance, Museum of Modern Art, New York; Jurij Krpan, Curator, Kapelica Gallery, Ljubljana; Laura Lima, artist, Rio de Janeiro; Magda Lipska,  Curator, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; Victor Misiano,  Curator and Editor-in-Chief, Moscow Art Magazine, Moscow; Nástio Mosquito, artist, Luanda; Sasha Obukhova, art historian and Head of Research Department, Garage, Moscow; Anatoly Osmolovsky, artist, Moscow; Tanja Ostojic, artist, Berlin; Elena Petrovskaya, philosopher and writer, Moscow; Spas Shuripa, artist and teacher, Moscow; Maria Tsantsanoglu, Director, State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki

Full Programe here:

Booking required. For further information, please contact


Garage Center for Contemporary Culture is an independent platform for new thinking in Moscow. Through an extensive program of exhibitions, events, research, education, and publishing, Garage reflects on current developments in Russian and international culture, creating opportunities for public dialogue and the production of new work and ideas.

Garage Center for Contemporary Culture is a non-profit project of The IRIS Foundation.







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