The biennial’s main project “Shockworkers of the Mobile Image,” was curated by Cosmin Costinas (Amsterdam/Utrecht), Ekaterina Degot (Moscow), and David Riff (Moscow/Berlin).

Collage by the employees of Ural Worker Printing Press, 1990s Photo: Andrei Luft. Courtesy Ural Industrial Biennial

1st edition of Ural Industrial Biennial 

September 9 – October 10, 2010

The curators have opted for a thematic exhibition with a wealth of historical material. The show drew together 59 artworks of 54 artists and groups in a dense narrative that has unfolded around the themes of “Shockworkers,” “The Circulation of Images,” “Building Capitalism,” and “The Economy of Free Time,” among others. Each work was accompanied by extensive commentary.

The curators were departing from the idea that the art system has minimized the quantity of unique art objects; this is why the exhibition largely consisted of reproductions, works executed according to long distance instructions or taken from internet-archives, as well as copies and prints, even when painting is involved.<br/>

The biennial’s program of special projects was curated by Alisa Prudnikova. These site-specific projects were placed in some of Ekaterinburg’s largest operating industrial plants, engaging the space of over 40,000 m2. Artists from Ekaterinburg and elsewhere in Russia as well as from Great Britain, Spain, Mexico, the USA, France, Finland, and Sweden turned these production sites into a heterogeneous territory for experiments with the industrial environment.

During the opening days an international symposium was dedicated to the discussion of the industrial past and the post-industrial present from philosophical, sociological, and artistic points of view. The biennial also featured a parallel program of events and thematic exhibitions at 20 museums, galleries, and a library in Ekaterinburg, Nizhny Tagil, and Nev’yansk.

Biennial venues:
Main venue: Ural Worker Printing Press (House of Print)
Special projects: Verkh Iset’ Metallurgical Factory, VIZ-Stal’, Ural Heavy Machines Plant, old Uralmash House of Culture, Colored Metals Factory (historical building), Sverdlovsk Worsted Factory

Read more about Ural Industrial Biennial