This visual essay looks at five exhibition projects of the postwar Soviet Union and post-Perestroika Russia which were conceived but never produced. Their stories exemplify the logic and conditions in which the production and distribution of artworks are carried out, as viewed through Richard Peterson’s production paradigm. The situation of an exhibition is seen in the essay not only as a set of conditions determining the meaning and perception of the artworks, but rather as a litmus test that makes the broader context and the social structure of the cultural industry more visible.
The discussion was organized by The Garage Journal as a part of the eighth edition of Cosmoscow International Contemporary Art Fair. It was held at the Gostiny Dvor in Moscow on the 13th of September, 2020. Speakers were invited to reflect on the changing role of the museum as a social institution in Russia during the COVID-19 pandemic and other global crises. They discussed Russian museums’ strategies for interacting with their audiences and fundraising, as well as other aspects of museum work that are particularly important in crisis situations.