The Steppe Hides Itself From View curated by Varvara Busova

The Steppe Hides Itself From View, an exhibition put together by curator and archaeologist Varvara Busova, continues the Foundation's examination and interpretation of Taman's cultural layers. It zeroes in on the nomadic tribes that lived on the peninsula, modern-day images of nomadism, and the ideas of home, path and freedom.

Varvara Busova, curator,

'The plains of the Taman Peninsula are a suitable landscape for nomads. The open spaces, windswept and restless, follow the golden rule of the steppe and hide their contents (artefacts, burial mounds, settlements, temples, and roads – any material evidence) beneath their surface. The wind that has been moving between the plains and lowlands for millennia is a wingman of the hidden steppes and a metaphor for freedom. Peoples roaming the steppes – nomads – are synonymous with non-attachment, independence, and contempt for settled integration into the system. The two ways of life were at odds with each other: the nomadic culture and way of life always frightened and fascinated the inhabitants of "civilised" cities in equal measure.

By contrasting the sedentary and nomadic worlds, as reflected in objects and media, we are attempting to predict the future of the nomad community through a range of internal issues. The exhibition is divided into four chapters, each representing a question the imaginary protagonist asks themselves. Every question has two answers – one from each of the two worlds.'

Participating artists: Marina Alekseeva, Evgeny Antufiev, Maria Arendt, Vladimir Arkhipov, Businki Art Collective, Nestor Engelke, Lyokha G., Andrey Khlobystin, Mikhail Maksimov, Andrey Popovskiy, Irina Zatulovskaya.
About the curator
Varvara Busova (b. 1990, Leningrad) is an archaeologist, curator of interdisciplinary projects and a leather conservator. A keen archaeologist since the age of 13, Busova has participated in the reconstruction of horse headpieces of ancient Altai nomads based on materials from the archives of the State Hermitage Museum and studied the Scythian kurgans and burials of the Xiongnu era in the Tuva Republic and an ancient metal technology site on the border with Mongolia. Busova graduated from Saint Petersburg State University's Department of Archeology and is currently working on her dissertation at the Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences. She has participated in international archaeological and museological conferences in Beijing, Oxford, Barcelona, Paris, and Vilnius. A recipient of the School of Young Archaeologists CIS prize, and winner of the RSCI competition for support of young scientists, Busova combines scientific endeavours with curatorial activities, using archaeological material as a starting point for artistic reflection: the development of the Museum of Nature and Man concept (Arkaim, Chelyabinsk Region, 2017); The Museum of Material Culture exhibition (the high-rise on Kotelnicheskaya Embankment, Moscow, 2018); The World Is Overflowing with Either Rubbish Or Our Memories (the Golubitskoe Art Foundation, 2021). Winner of the Annual Internship Programme for Young Russian Curators (Drents Museum, Assen, the Netherlands, 2019).
About the artists
Marina Alekseeva (b. 1959, Leningrad) is a Russian artist. Alumna of the Leningrad Vera Mukhina Higher School of Art and Design (presently the Saint Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design). Member of the Derevnya Khudozhnikov (Artists' Village). Alekseeva has been publishing the Rural Life art magazine since 1999. She favours the'boxed art' format, assembling the interiors of public buildings and family homes in specially designated boxes. Alekseeva's works have been displayed across many group and solo shows. Recipient of the Sergey Kuryokhin Award in the 'Art in Public Space' category (2011); winner of the Multivision festival in the 'Video Art' category (together with Boris Kazakov, 2012); recipient of the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper's theatre award of the in the 'Best Artist' category (2018) and the CASTA DIVA opera award in the 'World Premiere' category (2018).

Marina Alekseeva
Evgeny Antufiev (b. 1986, Kyzyl) is a Russian artist. Alumnus of the Institute of Contemporary Art (Moscow). Antufiev has participated in multiple international exhibitions, including Ostalgia (New Museum, New York, 2011); Manifesta 11 (Zurich, 2016); the 1st Garage Triennial of Contemporary Art (Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2017); Metamorphosis. Art in Europe Now (Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art, Paris, 2019). His works can be found in the collections of the Tate Modern (London), Center Pompidou (Paris), Maramotti Collection (Reggio Emilia, Italy), Museum of Contemporary Art M HKA (Antwerp). Double recipient of the Kandinsky Prize ( 'Young Artist', 2009; 'Project of the Year', 2019).

Evgeny Antufiev
Maria Arendt (b. 1968, Moscow) is best known for her embroidery and exploration of the possibilities of the medium in representing architecture. In 2021, she participated in the Golubitskoe Art Foundation's residency, starting with the study of clay as the essential building material throughout different periods on the Taman Peninsula, its temporality, the endless circulation of the material between different civilisations. Maria Arendt's works are housed in the State Russian Museum (St Petersburg), the State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), the Shchusev Museum of Architecture (Moscow), as well as in foreign museums and private collections.

Maria Arendt
Vladimir Arkhipov (b. 1961, Ryazan) is a Russian artist. He began his career as an aviation engineer. In 1987, he started taking private lessons in drawing, design, and sculpture. From late 1994, he has been looking for and displaying handmade objects created by others, overcoming the modernist 'I am an artist' paradigm and asserting the value of the new one – 'They are an artist'. Arkhipov is putting together a database of utilitarian handmade objects of the world, and an archive of audio and video interviews. He is currently developing the concept of the Museum of Other Things and is preparing a book titled Home made World for publication. Selected exhibitions: The Name of the Object (Rosa Azora Gallery, Moscow, 2016); the 1st Garage Triennial of Contemporary Art (Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2017); CHA SCHA. Exhibition in the Woods [The Thicket] (Pirogovo Resort, Moscow Region, 2020); Objects of Pride and Shame (PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art, Perm, 2021).

Vladimir Arkhipov
Businki Art Collective (founded by Yulia Shafarostova, Ira Afanasyeva and Katrin Kovalenok in 2020) create installations, works on paper, and objects that develop, promote and sacralise everyday and trivial subjects. Selected shows: the 2nd Zheleznogorsk Biennale (Zheleznogorsk, Kursk Region, 2020); The World Is Overflowing with Either Rubbish Or Our Memories (the Golubitskoe Art Foundation, 2021); the MOST auction exhibition (Typography Center for Contemporary Art, Krasnodar, 2021. Winners of the Digital Dreams competition (organised by the Qatar – Russia Cultural Creative Agency).

Businki Art Collective
Nestor Engelke (b. 1983, Leningrad) creates works in his signature technique of clumsy woodblock painting. Alumnus of the Faculty of Architecture of the St Petersburg State Academic Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (Department of Architecture). Head of the Woodman and partners architecture studio. Member of the Society of Free Lumberjacks.

Nestor Engelke
Lyokha G. (b. 1983, Vladivostok) is an artist, musician, and craftsman working under a nickname. Using humour, he produces critical statements about the trigger points of our time and unconscious human behaviour. Selected exhibitions: Rebels at the Edge (Zarya ССФ, Vladivostok; Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art, St Petersburg; Moscow Museum of Modern Art, 2015–2017); Tragedy at the Corner (the Museum of Moscow; the Kolizey space, Izhevsk; the Radishchev Art Museum, Saratov, 2018–2019); the 2nd Garage Triennial of Contemporary Art (Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2020). Participated in Zarya CCA's artist residency programme (Vladivostok, 2018) and Garage Museum's Garage Studios and Artist Residencies (Moscow, 2019).

Lyokha G.
Andrey Khlobystin (b. 1961, Leningrad) graduated with a degree in History. Since 1986, he has been collaborating with creative groups and associations, including the NCh/VCh club, the Mayakovsky Friends Club, the Museum of Creative Communities, the New Academy of Fine Arts (academic secretary), the Free Culture Partnership, etc. He has participated in more than 200 exhibitions in Russia and internationally. Recipient of the Kandinsky Prize in the 'Academic research. History and theory of contemporary art' category (2019). Khlobystin's works are housed in the collections of the State Russian Museum (St Petersburg), the State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), the Zimmerli Art Museum (Rutgers University, New Brunswick, USA) and other domestic and foreign public and private collections.

Andrey Khlobystin
Mikhail Maksimov (b. 1974, Moscow) explores the possibilities of mapping potential realities. He uses software technologies and computer games to create scripts that put ideological and philosophical theories into action, which is his way to test-drive possible worlds. Mikhail Maksimov is the winner of the Ultra Short Film Festival (ESF, 2012) and the Kansk Video Festival (2015,) in the 'Best Russian Short' category; recipient of the Gold Taiga prize, the Spirit of Fire International Debut Film Festival (2018). His works can be found in the collections of the NCCA and Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow as well as private collections.

Mikhail Maksimov
Andrey Popovskiy (b. 1980, Astrakhan) experiments with the sounds of electric and acoustic guitars and violins; works with field recordings, miniature speakers, surfaces and found objects; creates conceptual works for chamber ensembles, and collaborates with Russian and foreign improvisers. Curator of the GEZ-21 Experimental Sound Gallery (2007–2015), the Practical Course of Experimental Music (2015–2016), the 33 Sounds: ABC of the St Petersburg Experiment project (Manege Central Exhibition Hall, St Petersburg, 2019), founder and organiser of several festivals and forums of experimental music in St Petersburg.

Andrey Popovskiy
Irina Zatulovskaya (b. 1954, Moscow) is a Russian artist, an alumna of the graduated from the Moscow Polygraphic Institute (presently Moscow State University of Printing Arts). She has participated in more than a hundred group shows and over 50 solo exhibitions (including at the State Russian Museum, St Petersburg (2003); the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow (2014, 2022); the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow (2016). Zatulovskaya's works can be found in museums and private collections in Russia and Europe. Recipient of the independent Master award (2004).

Irina Zatulovskaya
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