saloon press release

The Second Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art, Mar. 2007, has been announced. The title and theme of the Biennial is „Footnotes about Geopolitics, Markets and Amnesia.“
So far the press announcement..

Our contribution:

We are going to implement not a “Salon“ but a “Saloon”. A room within an other room, up on a pedestal, with sliding doors, a bar and gunfire around.
We are creating an imaginary room, which could be precisely reconstructed anywhere in the world and does not recognise the laws of the country surrounding it. The performance lectures and sound works will be perceived by people not only from Russia, but from all over the world, listening to the broadcast on PS1 radio (We are fortunate to have secured the co-operation with PS1 Radio, transmitting events from the Saloon). Site Magazine Stockholm will print the lectures held in the Saloon in their forthcoming „Moscow Biennial“ issue.
There, in the days prior to the opening, the participants will conduct a workshop all together. The workshop will result in the refined rules of the Saloon. This is not a group show nor a panel discussion. It is designed, through the tools of performance, media and discourse, to attempt a rejection of the symbolic value of participants as a way to stabilise ideological left-wing or right-wing, thus inciting a radicalisation of the artistic system; an experimental vacuum suggesting unborn thoughts onto the realm of worldly potential.
The Wild West in the Wild East- or: Gold digging

Like a Saloon in the Wild West, this room exists outside the social structure, forms a non-juridical zone (think of prostitution and gambling in Westerns, behaviours accepted only within the confines of a saloon), yet at the same time articulates the society surrounding it. The saloon assumes the role of its outer society's constitutive centre, simultaneously not a part of the structure in which it is embedded and its requisite black hole. The crucial murder is traditionally decided within the saloon, executed without.
In this Ausnahmezustand, this non-juridical space, we shall observe self-administered justice—and in so doing, adjust to our societal context.

We shall formulate a location-specific Manifesto and set of rules—where the Saloon travels, so its rules are redefined.
We shall produce knowledge on a basis of mental short-circuitry—not on a basis of clarifying fact and education but rather by creating a space with the characteristics of Ancient Greek theatre: the oldest democratic institution, where society reflected on its own grounds and negotiated its rules and development. It was the only place where rules could be trespassed, in order to move onwards.

International artists are collaborating with artists from Russia. We shall have performances, performance-lectures, screenings and exhibits. A Lab, located everywhere. A vacuum, which, due to its model character, tries to implement unborn thoughts into the realm of worldly potential.
The Saloon is:

- a room of assembly.
- a celebration of the pioneer spirit and all that comes with it.
- the Wild West in the Wild East: untamed capitalism, self-administrated law, survival of the fittest.
- a space for the performing and settling of power structures—a stage.
- a non-juridical, fictive space, displaced from its environment, yet at the same time the place where conditions of society are settled.

We will not conquer the desert, we will be conquering the moon!

Adina Popescu


Today, Biennales seem to conquer the most remote places of the world and provide a western cultural hegemony all the way from the US to China. A question arises: What is the role of the growing number of Biennales in the art world and art market?

While the politics of most countries differ, their markets seem compatible, e.g., China and Germany. In a globalized world, the marriage of capitalism and democracy seems to deteriorate. The market seems to form its own restrictive ideologies, causing a detrimental self-referentiality.

—What is the reason for this Biennale, which structurally resembles a known form (a forum for the exchange of and artistic ideas and practice) yet is assuming a new functionality? What does it really stand for and what structures are being implemented? What are its precedents, and what will it become? To question this metamorphosis is the key focus of my project.

The plan is to implement an umbrella, allowing artists, architects, composers, writers, curators and economists to collaborate in an ideological non-predetermined manner. In a world in which critique and provocation are anticipated and incorporated into the system, the production of irregularities, interruptions and short-circuits seems the most direct route to dissolving the borders that limit our autopoetic systems—and, with a little luck, accidentally producing reality.