A Review of Yin Xiunzhen Slow Release in Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.
The futuristic box of a building placed in a heart of the Gorky park in Moscow, Gaeage was reopened in its third building last summer. The renovated building of the Soviet-era ‘Vremena goda’ restaurant was partly preserved on the inside, while on the outside Rem Koolhaas has put into the the polycarbonate making it a step away from the typical white cube of a contemporary museum. The contrast is even more striking when you see Soviet mosaics in the lobby or original tiles and brickwork left untouched by the architect.
Koolhaas is not the first top architect invited by the Garage founder, Dasha Zhukova, to work on the appearance of her brainchild. In 2012 another Pritzker prize winner, Shigeru Ban, bestowed Moscow with one of his examples of temporary architecture by opening a summer pavilion for Garage made of paper. Profound affinity with architecture defines Garage - it’s first residence was the Bakhmetyev bus garage, a constructivist architectural memorial that now is refurbished into the Jewish museum and tolerance centre (also a home to big contemporary art exhibits).
After the three-day reopening events in Gorky park in June 2015 (guest list included the likes of George Lucas, Woody Allen, Jeff Koons, Larry Gagosian, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Arianna Huffington, Miuccia Prada, Stella McCartney, Karli Kloss and Wendy Murdoch) the museum hosted over 20 exhibitions including shows by Rirkrit Tiravanija, George Kiesewalter, Erik Bulatov, Rashid Johnson, Taryn Simon, Urs Fischer and Louise Bourgeois, confirming its aim to introduce major international artists to local public and presenting contemporary Russian artists in a global context.
Alongside the standard exhibitions Garage constantly hosts the Atrium and Square commissions. After Louise Bourgeois’ and Urs Fisher’s installations in front of the museum, one of the most prominent Chinese artists Yin Xiunzhen has now installed a large architectural structure in the Garage atrium. The twelve meters long capsule-shaped installation called Slow Release is wrapped in 700 feet of red and white cloth (one of Yin’s favourite working materials) donated by the Muscovites.
The medicine capsule - as well as the name of the installation - references a brand-new generation of pills aimed to reduce the speed of release of the medicine into the body – to increase the therapeutic effect. The idea is furthermore accentuated by the fact that the visitors can freely enter the capsule which from the inside resembles one’s body and reconsider the connection between the fast pace of our lives, the wish for the quick effects (in this case – relief) and, on the contrary, the necessity to take a step back once in a while and take time for the continuing process of self-medication. The visitors are reminded of need for the time for themselves and receiving their very own personal experiences instead of the fast-track motion in order to keep in touch with progress and modern life.
The next big name that Garage will introduce to Russian audience is Takashi Murakami. The pop artist’s retrospective will open in September and his neon sculptures and cartoonish posters promise to come in handy for the Russian grey autumn. The exhibition will also include pieces of ancient Japanese paintings and engravings and will step out to the square in front of the museum – the monumental sculpture will be placed there.
Written by Nina Dymshitz, a Contributor to Arteviste