Main Project – 6. Moscow International Biennale for Young Art
Main Project
Abracadabra
District "Rassvet" on Krasnaya Presnya
3k1 Stolyarny Lane
metro Ulitsa 1905 Goda
+7 (495) 699-59-67
Tue–Sun12:00–21:00
June 8 – July 31
Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.
— Simone Weil


Abracadabra is dedicated to artistic practices that dwell in the high-performance landscapes produced by the economies of presence. Since the so-called 'new economy' converted the conventional arbiters of value tied to the production of objects into immaterial alternatives such as experiences and emotions, it has been theorised that we are not working anymore, but rather constantly performing. Permanent performance made the boundaries between labor, the search for pleasure and personal commitment fluid, transforming the practice of strike as physical absence a strategy of withdrawal impossible to be undertaken. The artworks featured in Abracadabra inhabit these historical circumstances, sometime hinting at possible ways to smuggle out from the chrono-imperialist 'fear of missing out' – searching for alliances, techniques and practices that could enable us to re-appropriate our own time.

The attempt to reclaim sovereignty over our circadian rhythm might need to pass through sub-political endeavors, interstitial spaces and gestures, minor compositions taking place in opaque scenarios. It might mean to navigate the intermediary gap that is placed within protocols of disenchantment and re-enchantment, or to explore ineffable forms of suggestion, oscillating carefully between will and unconsciousness. Sometimes it might even require the learning of new knowledges, from haptic communication to an almost forgotten dance. The title of the exhibition acts as a temporary placeholder for this multiform array of researches: the word 'abracadabra' is an archaic magical incantation, the title of a homonymous 1980s disco hit by the Steve Miller Band, and one of the universally most used untranslatable phrases, conveying diverse – and sometimes diverting – meanings, depending on different geographies and epochs. According to linguistics, ‘abracadabra’ is a performative word, suggesting the hazardous production of surplus energy, able to perform an action over reality.

Abracadabra draws a line through contemporary forms of exposure and invisibility, the growing interest of contemporary culture in esoteric, clandestine practices, and the ecology of "the night out" as exuberant fugitive plans. It investigates the transformative forces of these minor, and sometimes hidden, narratives, in which notions of attention, generosity, metabolism, posture and intimacy gain operational meaning towards human survival in the dark ecologies of our time. The artworks haunting the rooms of Abracadabra won't deliver solutions to redeem the current state of things, but rather rehearse a number of positions and postures that we could try to inhabit together in the meanwhile. Mutineers, sleepwalkers, saintly hypochondriacs, counterfeiters, mosquito magnets, a sphinx, billiard players and dancers are some of the protagonists of this story, seeking to transform contemporary protocols of consumption in situated practices of autonomy.

The educational programme of Abracadabra borrows the shape of The School of the End of Time, a quasi-educational and performative platform founded by Lucrezia Calabrò Visconti, Ambra Pittoni and Paul-Flavien Enriquez-Sarano, that aims at exploring collectively new ways of inhabiting knowledge through a non-hierarchical approach between theoretical learning and artistic research. The programme of performances, lectures and workshops of Abracadabra and The School of the End of Time takes place at TSUM Foundation on June 9th, 10th and 11th.
Curator
Lucrezia Calabrò Visconti
Lucrezia Calabrò Visconti is an independent curator and co-founder of the research-driven project CLOG. She was appointed curator of the Moscow International Biennale for Young Art in 2018 with the exhibition project Abracadabra, and since 2017 she is the coordinator of the Young Curators Residency Programme by Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino. She completed the De Appel Curatorial Programme, Amsterdam, graduated in Visual and Performing Arts at IUAV, Venezia, attended the curatorial programme CAMPO12 at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, and pursued a curatorial internship at Artists Space, New York.

Recent projects include Umlaut. The public programme for contemporary visual arts (together with Stefano Collicelli Cagol and Luigi Fassi); Why Is Everybody Being So Nice?, De Appel, Amsterdam; Goodbye, See You After the Revolution!, UvA, Amsterdam; Dear Betty: Run Fast, Bite Hard, GAMeC, Bergamo. In 2017 she co-founded The School of the End of Time with Ambra Pittoni and Paul-Flavien Enriquez-Sarano. Her writing has appeared in contemporary art and culture magazines such as Not (Nero on Theory), Flash Art, L’Officiel Art, KABUL Magazine.

Alongside her studies and independent curating, she worked as artistic advisor for Artissima, Torino; assistant curator for Tutttovero by Francesco Bonami, Castello di Rivoli and GAM, Torino; Shit and Die by Maurizio Cattelan, Myriam Ben Salah and Marta Papini; TOILETPAPER Magazine and Le Dictateur, Milano.
Commissioner
Ekaterina Kibovskaya
Ekaterina Kibovskaya was born in Moscow and graduated from the journalism department (media culture and communications laboratory) of Moscow State University. She has worked at Esquire magazine and, as an independent journalist, collaborated with cultural websites and publications Snob and Art+Auction, Russia.

From 2007 to 2011, she worked as a manager in New York with a number of artists and gallery owners. As creative director in 2011-13, she played an active role in developing the framework for the modern development of Moscow's Gorky Park, participating in various initiatives in the cultural sphere.

In July 2015, Ekaterina Kibovskaya was named commissioner of the 5th Moscow International Biennale for Young Art and in November 2016 was reappointed for the 6th. In November 2016, she was also appointed head of special projects at the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA) as part of the ROSIZO exhibition space.