[spectre] Fwd: solo exhibition by Ştefan Rusu: Opening: Friday, 7 May at 6 pm (eventbrite booking required)

stefan rusu suhebator at gmail.com
Thu May 6 09:28:32 CEST 2021

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From: Trieste Contemporanea <info at triestecontemporanea.it>
Date: Wed, May 5, 2021 at 11:40 PM
Subject: solo exhibition by Ştefan Rusu: Opening: Friday, 7 May at 6 pm
(eventbrite booking required)
To: <suhebator at gmail.com>

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*Endangered Species: A plea for a Red Book of Soviet Modernism solo
exhibition by Ştefan Rusu*

Trieste, Studio Tommaseo (via del Monte 2/1)
7 May – 15 June 2021

Opening: Friday, 7 May at 6 pm (eventbrite booking required)

Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan): M. Frunze Memorial House Museum, 1967.
courtesy: Ştefan Rusu

We are pleased to invite you at Trieste Contemporanea’s on Friday 7 May, 6
pm, at the opening of* Endangered Species: A plea for a Red Book of Soviet
Modernism*, a first Italian exhibition by Moldavian artist Ştefan Rusu.

The exhibition is the outcome of a research – part of Rusu’s “Insular
Modernities” project – focused on socialist architecture from Central Asia,
that includes a juxtaposed photo-series of endemic plants and modernist
buildings and the documentary film “Return From The Future”. The research
was undertaken during an extensive stay and several trips in Tajikistan and
Kyrgyzstan between 2013-2019.

Rare and endangered species, biodiversity conservation, protection of Flora
and Fauna, Red Book are frequently discussed topics in the last few
decades. Soviet Union’s tools used for biodiversity conservation were the
Red Data Books. The “Red Book of the USSR” was established in 1974 and was
first published in 1978, which included species of rare plants (and species
found in the territories of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan as well). The last
edition of the Red Book was published in 1985. Since then, with few
exceptions, the lists have not been revised and the Red Book has not been
reprinted. The Flora of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan is still incompletely
explored. Many plants have never been illustrated, some of them being
confined to a few mountain ranges or even to small valleys.

For Ştefan Rusu to put side by side images of soviet architecture from
Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) and images of rare plants from
those countries, imply a different angle of interpretation of architectural
heritage: not only as single buildings, but also as a context that needs an
approach similar to the one used for endangered species and their
protection. Artist’s activity stresses that architectural heritage of the
immediate past (as in the case of modernist aesthetics) is directly
connected with present and future urban developments and shows that,
however, this preservation is problematic in current socio-economic
situation and urban context (in some cases even dramatic) because of a lack
of social awareness of historic significance and value of these unique
monuments: Rusu’s photo-series and the documentary are an attempt to change
this perception.
Some buildings, like those depicted in the “Return From The Future”
documentary, are listed as national heritage and therefore protected by the
state. However, some buildings are in decay and are not maintained and
preserved according to their status because of a weak and inefficient
application of the law.
The starting point for Rusu’s juxtaposed plants and architectures it has
been the Museum of M. Frunze – a modernist building in Bishkek, designed by
G. Kutateladze and Y. Karikh in 1967. In this museum’s collection there is
an impressive herbarium (about 1200 items) assembled by soviet
revolutionary M. Frunze during his childhood. The herbarium is a poetical
reference to Frunze’s unfulfilled path to dedicate his life to natural

The state of conservation and the need to preserve modernist architecture,
such as this Museum in Kyrgyz capital city, is the subject of documentary
and exhibition that are now presented in Trieste: Ştefan Rusu continues a
path covered by Trieste Contemporanea’s investigation in these topics in
the last period – as it was the case of the 2020 exhibitions *Stocznia/Cantiere
*by Polish artist Michał Szlaga and *Dismantling Structures *by Croatian
artist Željko Kipke.

Ştefan RUSU (b. 1964 in Kâietu, Moldova – artist, freelance curator,
editor, and filmmaker). Through artistic, performative, installative and
documentary projects, critically contextualises the political
transformation processes after 1989, and the changes occurring in
post-socialist societies, that influenced the way people and communities
nowadays relate to the use of public space. In his artistic and curatorial
practice analytic interest is focused on the impact of current urban
transformations and interventions and on the way the present time is
affected by the authoritarian implementation of past political ideologies
in urban planning, social policies, economic strategies, citizen education
and daily life.
Ştefan Rusu is the editor of: *Spaces on the Run *(2015), *Reimagining the
New Man *(2014), *Chisinau-Art*, *Research in the Public Sphere
*(2011), *RO-MD/Moldova
in Two Scenarios* (2008). In 2012 he directed *Reclaiming the City*, a film
commissioned by the 7th Berlin Biennial, which reflects on socio-economic
structural changes and the physical transformation of the city following
the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and the impact of gentrification
processes on public space. In 2018 he participated in TAB Tbilisi
Architecture Biennale – “Buildings are not enough” with the site-specific
installation *Block 89*. His recent project,* Insular Modernities*,
explores how phenomena of socialist architecture are maintained and
perceived in the peripheries of the former Eastern Bloc and it analyses in
various formats (exhibitions, publications, documentaries, social networks,
etc.) modernist architecture heritage from Central Asia.

43’, HD transferred to DVD, 2019
Camera: Azat Ruziev
Image editor: Denis Bartenev
Sound designer: Denis Bartenev
Directed by: Ştefan Rusu

The title refers to the plot of the science fiction novel *Return from the
Stars *by famous Polish writer Stanisław Lem (in which pilot Hal Bregg
returns from a space expedition after 127 years, a time during which life
on the Earth has radically changed): the novel discusses the ideas of
social alienation, cultural shock and dystopia, which is synchronized with
the current state of the city, and the cosmonaut resembles an architect
that returns to the site he created in another century.

*Return From The Future* is a visual essay on the current state of
conservation of soviet modernist architecture of Bishkek city. A particular
aspect of this investigation is the changing status of the buildings from
its former ideologically charged function and position in the society.
E.g., the State History Museum (former V. Lenin Museum) or the Gapar Aytiev
Fine Art Museum, which suddenly lost their significance with the collapse
of Soviet Union, during which the two buildings and collections have been
the main instruments to shape the society and the new man – the builder of
advanced socialism according to Marxist thought and principles. The film is
an overview of the state of conservation of the buildings listed as
national heritage, but also an overview on recent urban changes and
transformation occurred in Bishkek after the ’90. Film was produced as part
of* Insular Modernities*, a series of documentaries about modernist
architecture in Central Asia.

To attend the opening of the exhibition, please register at:
 and select one of the following time slots:

1. 6pm-6.20pm (interview with the artist);
2. 6.20pm-7pm (film screening);
3. 7pm-7.20pm;
4. 7.20pm-7.40pm;
5. 7.40pm-8pm.

The exhibition will be open until 15 June 2021, by appointment: please send
an email to info at triestecontemporanea.it (if you also want to watch the
film, please specify it in your request).
Opening hours at the Studio Tommaseo:
Tue. – Sat. from 5pm to 8pm.
Free entrance.

Trieste Contemporanea
via del Monte 2/1 Trieste Italy
info at triestecontemporanea.it
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