The Eurasian Contemporary Art Center (ECAC) is a public, non-profit organization, founded on March 1,1999 in Kurgan, Russia.
Revealing, studies, supporting and popularization of contemporary art, arranging exhibitions, forums, sympopsia conferences and national festivals, creative projects, plein-airs is the field of action of the ECAC.
The Center set the aim to establish relations with different cultural institutions both in Russian Federation and with countries of Eurasian Continent for mutual penetration and enrichment of diverse and unique cultures
For the last 4 years of ECAC activities more than 200 projects have been arranged, including about 100 exhibitions of fine arts. The expositions have been organized in Czechia, Slovenia, India, Russian Federation (Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Cheliabinsk, Omsk, Kamensk-Uralsky, Shadrinsk, Dalmatovo, Miass and many other towns). There have been held personal and group, conceptual and traditionally realistic exhibitions of artists from Austria, China, france, Bulgaria, Russia (Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Tagil, Cheliabinsk, Narhyan-Mar, Salehard, Hanty-Mansiysk, Novosibirsk and others). Besides, there have been arranged international festivals, plein-airs, symposia and conferences. Opening nights of new performances, concerts and films were held these years.
1999-2000 the ECAC gallery became the main field of action. Since 2001 the Center began to develop partner relations with other artistic institutions (galleries,museums, art centers etc.). New educational ideas of ECAC gave the possibility to turn to a new form of art presentation. Thus, within the framework of the “Artotheque” project new exhibitional sites were arranged in Kurgan region: Kurgan State University gallery, Kurgan Musical College exhibition hall, Regional College of Culture “Kultprosvet” gallery, exhibitional sites of Kurgan International University, at Kurgan Regional Philharmony, at the Ilizarov Federal Research Center. In Dalmatovo (Kurgan region) appeared an exhibitional hall, analogous activities were conducted in secondary education institutions.
Having won the highest appraisal of national corporation “Radio Russia”, the “Artotheque” was recognized as the most important project in the field of contemporary Russian Art in 2001. At the All-Russian festival “Moscow - an open city!” the Artotheque project was awarded a diploma as the best educational project of 2001. In 2003 it received the Governor’s Prize in the field of literature and arts in Kurgan region.
Starting from March 2002 the main exhibitional site of ECAC is situated in Kurgan Regional Museum of fine arts.
Thus, ECAC has become an important part of the cultural process not only in Kurgan, but also in the whole region, reviving succession of artistic generations. The regional part of the All-Russian fine arts festival “21st Century Heroes of Culture”, arranged by ECAC in Kurgan, represented to a wide audience more than 20 unique arrangements in the field of theater, literature, fine arts and cinematograph. The festival revealed not only new names and new trends in the contemporary art of the Urals and Siberia, but gave impetus to the formation of stable cultural infrastructure, laid foundations for its integration at interregional, All-Russian, and even international level. At the festival’s final part in Moscow the delegation of artists, musicians and art critics who had showed their works on the best stages and exhibitions of Russia’s capital – in Moscow.
ECAC established relations with various cultural institutions abroad, such as the artistic magazine “State of the art” (Austria), Contemporary Art Center in Shanghai (Chine), Academy of Contemporary arts in South Korea and separate representatives of artistic organizations of France, Bulgaria and Czech Republic.
The first international Russian-Austrian project was “The 21st Century Museum”. The inauguration of the Museum took place at midnight on January 1, 2000 on its basic exhibitional site in the village Iletskoye, 30 miles away from Kurgan. “The 21st Century Museum” is a museum of contemporary art, in which most works are represented in actual and conceptual genres. At the inauguration the international exhibition of Russian and Austrian artists was represented. March 31 was marked by the exhibitional action “Ottepel”, at which artists of Urals region and Moscow took part. In summer of 2000 an international symposium, exhibitional actions and the plein-air of Austrian and Russian artists were held. Events, happening in “M21” were intensively taken up in European artistic press.
Another project, connected with Chinese culture, including exhibitions of traditional and contemporary fine arts, represented both by the Embassy of China in Russia and holders of private collections. Within the framework of this project ECAC arranged in Kurgan Chinese poetry evenings, represented through local TV-channels more than 20 documentary and feature films about traditions and culture of this country.
The idea of united Eurasian cultural space became one of the leading in ECAC activities, and this is reflected in the name of the organization – Eurasian Contemporary Art Center. Besides the educational problems, collecting and researching new works of arts, the Center began to pay more attention to contacts between artists of East and West in order to bring the latter into the context of contemporary world art, cultural processes in Russia, China, and other countries of Asian region, represented in the European Countries not sufficiently. Thus, the Center works today at making informational reference portal about contemporary Eurasian art – EURASIAN ART.
Scientific activities in the Center are of extraordinary importance. Drawing in collaboration the best art critics, philosophers and psychologists of Urals and Siberia regions, the Center conducts researching of the contemporary art’s state, its numerous aspects and forms. The delegates of the Center take part at regional and All-Russian scientific conferences and symposiums, readings on problems of art.
For all this, members of the Center consider educational activities in the field of arts strategically important and necessary. Within the framework of the project “The Open Museum”, realized in Kurgan and Tyumen regions, the Center arranges traveling exhibitions for inmates of Children’s Homes, schoolboys and girls and students. These exhibitions, accompanied by lectures, give the opportuniy to the children to get acquainted not only with techniques and genres of fine arts, but also to learn to understand and comprehend art. In 3 years, the number of spectators of “The Open Museum” project was about 50000.
Unfortunately, because of insufficient financing of culture in such regions as Kurgan, the situation with educational and researching activities of ECAC got aggravated.
For some time past ECAC managed to run business independently, without any external financial supporting. This seemed to be a paradox, when considering the fact, that ECAC is a non-profit organization, and it was mainly financed by its members. At the moment the Center is not able to fulfill its projects without financial support, both of State and public institutions. Realizing the importance of its activities not only for Kurgan region, but also for Russian Federation, ECAC is compelled to appeal to all people cared about the future of contemporary art and who comprehend the significance of Center’s educational activities. Helping young talented artists as well as masters of arts will prevent to some extent the outflaw of talented youth from Urals and Siberia and will raise intellectual potential, creating opportunity to self-realization. This will attract cultural, scientific and other investments to the region. In connection with this, ECAC is ready to change its status (to become a State, municipal or any other unit, if it is necessary for financial or political reasons). Besides, the Center is ready to transfer it collection of more than 200 works of contemporary art without compensation to possession of a corresponding municipal institution or Federal Subject on condition that local State authorities would display a delicate and serious comprehension of importance of projects, described in the present address. It is necessary to emphasize, that these projects are unique (within RF). That is why realizing them within some Subject of Federation is able to put the latter on to a higher level of the cultural capital of the country.
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