In the past 20 years, Russian society has undergone a tremendous change. At the beginning of the 21st century, the financial strength of a particular social group increased immeasurably due to oil and gas exports, as well as a corrupt economy.
In the Soviet past, no tradition or culture of dealing with capital could possibly develop. As a result, the quickly earned money of the new elites manifested itself in a luxurious lifestyle showing off their new social status. The dictates of conspicuous consumption and unbridled vanity culminated in grotesque forms of glamour, which became a model and a dream projection – and remained a dream for the majority of the population. The lack of social awareness and social responsibility prevented the building of a civil society, which in turn lead to enormous social division, and to the disorientation and radicalization of today’s society.
At the same time this period became a source of fascination for visual artists. Spontaneity, freedom, passion, and grotesque forms of reality influenced the intensity of a new artistic imagery. The artists who reflected this phenomenon in their work made even the matter of glamour the subject of their art.
The exhibition is accompanied by an intensive education program. This will provide an international context where artist talks, panel discussions, lectures and performances will examine in the consequences of glam capitalism.