The exhibition Den røde armés tilbaketrekning | Возвращение Красной Армии | The Withdrawal of the Red Army is created in the context of the shared history between Norway and Russia, as seen from a northern perspective. A history that until recently has been under-communicated, but has global significance. For the first time in Northern Norway, the public will have the opportunity to see works by internationally recognized artists such as Gustav Metzger, Asta Gröting, Amilcar Packer, Sean Snyder, Leonard Rickhard, Lee Miller and David E. Scherman.
Time, memory, resistance and play form the conceptual anchors for the exhibition itself. Works will be contextualized to evoke a spatial poetics premised upon intersecting historical eras, geographical borders, psychological lacunae, and both living and dead ideologies. Thematically, it revolves around notions of history writing and constructions of reality through language, the negotiation of collective trauma through games and play, camouflage, appropriation and repetition, alternate endings as well as questions of originality and authenticity in the work of art.
Ivan Galuzin, artist and curator elaborates: ‘Despite the title and much of what is shown here, the exhibition is not about war and its atrocities. Rather it is a dream of retreating into another realm, a medley of timelines intertwined. A chance to invent new ways of resistance, withdrawing into laziness, rest, meditation and sleep.‘
The project has been initiated by Norwegian-Russian artist and curator Ivan Galuzin and produced in collaboration with Northern Norway Art Museum’s curator Lise Dahl. A tri-language publication documenting the touring exhibition, accompanying texts and research material was published in October 2018. The exhibition opened at Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum in November 2015 and toured to Kirkenes, Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and Blaker outside Oslo.
The project is supported by Barentskult, OCA (Office of Contemporary Art), Fritt Ord Foundation, Arts Council Norway and the Norwegian Consulate in Murmansk.