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The MishMash Group at ARCOmadrid

February 16 - February 20, 2011

We presented Russian artists The MishMash Group at ARCOmadrid as part of the museum program for Focus Russia during the fair.

The MishMash Group invited visitors to become part of their performance Volumes of Desires and Various Types of Voids at Circulo de Bellas Artes. During the performance, the group encouraged visitors to ‘sculpt their wishes’. As visitors sat, the artists cast the void between the visitor’s hands in plaster, while the visitor sat in a symbolic pose of prayer and contemplation. By the end of the performance, all the casts were assimilated into a large sculptural panel, which represented the relics left from visitors’ thoughts during the day. The artists wanted all visitors to become part of the performance with their individual thoughts and most precious prayers materialized into a large joint artwork.

Volumes of Desires and Various Types of Voids presented a reoccurring theme in The MishMash Group’s work. In the past, the artists have invited the public to become part of their art in order to create a collective work where the role of viewer and artist is merged. It touched on many of the areas present in their work such as eternity, time, space and the idea of sacred. Garage curator Yulia Aksenova commented, “Their performance connects to our contemporary experience what is sacred or in fact religious, with issues of faith being linked to the secular and routine rather than the sublime and otherworldly.”

In addition to their performance, The MishMash Group created a special installation within the ARCOmadrid fair. Once again, the artists invited visitors to be part of their performance and installation. The Group erected a large blank papered wall, behind which they had created an engraved panel designed with details of art works exhibited in Garage’s space in the last few years. Visitors were invited to playfully reveal the design with waxes, similar to the process of brass rubbing in a sacred space. The resulting work gave visitors a snapshot of Garage whilst encouraging them to ‘make their mark’ in the process.

Artists Biographies

The MishMash Group

Masha SUMNINA (born 1977) graduated from Moscow Academy of Printing in 2001. Misha LEYKIN (born 1968) graduated from Moscow Architectural Institute in 1994, member of Iced architects Group. Both now live and work in Moscow. The group has exhibited both in Russia and internationally, most recently at First Moscow International Performance Festival, Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture (2010); ArtPlay, Moscow (2010); NCCA, Moscow and Lyon (2010); Open Gallery, Moscow (2010); Europian Atelier at CHA, Moscow (2009); Absolut Creative Future at Winzavod, Moscow (2009); Russian Dreams at Buss Museum, Miami, USA. They have also been short listed for the Kandinsky Award, Russia.

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