VI Ural Industrial Contemporary Art Biennial is to be held in fall of 2021 in Yekaterinburg. The biennial team announces this year’s theme “Time to Embrace and Time to Refrain from Embracing”. The team continues working on the project and makes efforts to hold the VII Biennial on schedule. The project theme was discussed in January and has become even more relevant over the last few months.

Since 2020, the biennial’s organizers are the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, National Center for Contemporary Arts in Yekaterinburg, and ZAART Support and Development Center for Contemporary Arts.

The Ural Industrial Biennial is the largest international project in contemporary art on the territory of Russia. Since 2010, with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation the Biennial has been investigating industriality as a legacy and relevant practice of Ural Region. During this time, more than 300 artists from 70 countries participated in the event, and 14 local plants became platforms for the biennial. The Ural Biennial is the only Russian biennial which is the member of the International Biennial Association.

2021 Biennial theme is a changed quote from Ecclesiast “Time to Embrace and Time to Refrain from Embracing”. The project concepts will become a touch, right to touch, body limits and a personal experience. The biennial’s team notes: “If during the first meetings where we discussed the biennial’s theme, we paid attention to changing conventions of interpersonal communication, touching ethics, gesture mechanics, now we observe a direct impossibility of contacts. Feelings and actions which seemed to be inalienable, i. e. to hug a close person, mechanically touch your face, push the door with your hand, pay cash, are inaccessible for some time.

“Immortality” was the V Biennial’s theme and became an initial point for thinking about the present and the future of human existence. “We were searching for a new biennial’s theme answering the question “What can we do after Immortality?’ And we found it in a movement from macrocosmos of immortality to microcosmos of our own body and its new conditions at this transient moment. Of course, the theme connected with hugs surprisingly correlates with the difficult situation when people cannot be close to each other, but I am sure that this dilemma will remain relevant for a long time”, comments Alisa Prudnikova, Commissioner of Ural Biennial.

The theme and manifest are formulated by the biennial’s team, main project curator is selected by the expert council. It includes main project curators of previous biennial editions Shaoyi Wen, Joan Ribas, Li Zhenhua, Biljana Ciric, Yaroslava Bubnova, Cosmin Costinas, as well as Bige Örer, Director of Istanbul Biennial, Fatos Üstek, Director of Liverpool Biennial, Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt, founder of blockchain.art, former director of viennaсontemporary, Olga Shishko, Head of New Media Department in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, and Alisa Prudnikova, Commissioner of Ural Biennial. Main Project Curator of the VII Biennial will be announced in summer of 2020.

In 2019, Shaoyi Wen, curator of the Guggenheim Museum in New York was selected as a main project curator. For the first time, a main biennial platform became an operating enterprise Ural Optical and Mechanical Plant which is a part of Rostec Group. “For a Multitude of Futures: Overcome the Limits of Immortality”, the main project of the V Biennial, became the exhibition of the year according to The Art Newspaper Russia Award.

Source: Biennial’s official web-site.