Artmossphere is the only Russian biennale that introduces general public to the most prominent street artists from all over the world and boosts the development of the local street art scene. The first two biennales took place in Moscow in 2014 and 2016, showcasing world-wide famous artists and collectives, including L’Atlas, The London Police, Miss Van, as well as Russian artists and a number of foreign experts including legendary Martha Cooper, famous for documenting the New York graffiti back in the 1980s.
This year Artmossphere has changed the name of the Street art biennale to Street wave art biennale in response to the opinion that street art belongs to the street and thus can not be properly transferred and presented in a gallery space. The street wave artists have made their way into the world of contemporary art from different subcultures, including graffiti and street art. As many of them have had an experience of illegal creative activities on the street, they have kept using their specific techniques and themes while working in the studio.
Artmossphere 2018, as both previous biennales, will be held in a format of a large group show exhibiting works of the artists with a background in street art. The main exhibition will take place in the Excise Storehouse of Winzavod Centre for Contemporary Art in Moscow from 30 August 2018 to 17 October 2018. Special shows will be held in the Red and White Halls, as well as in the art cluster outdoor territory.
It reflects the current situation when people are getting tired of a gradually growing information flow and wish to limit their use of the Web due to an urgent inner need. All the hype about constantly being online, in a hurry, afraid to miss another trend, some hot news, or notification have been causing an increase in information noise and stress level, as well as making people watch others’ ideal lives depressed. That’s why for a few years already there’s been a trend of growing interest towards everything local, authentic and autonomous, a swing back from globalisation. This trend is focused on site specific art and working with local context rather than with a digital standardized one. It’s closely followed by an interest in low tech, DIY culture, crafts, and the use of recycled materials.
‘Offline’ shows weariness of information technologies that have failed to meet our expectations; social networks from being a worldwide means of emancipation and revolutionary self-organisation has become an aggregator of personal information which is being used by intelligent agencies and is being sold to corporations and marketing experts. Though now we can be in touch with the whole world all the time, these new technologies haven’t improved our relations with each other; today people sitting at the same table can ignore each other completely because they are absorbed in their gadgets.
This situation has also affected street art, which is increasingly becoming digital-oriented. Back in the day, to get famous, artists had to paint in the streets as much as possible. However, today you can just make one work, post it on Instagram, and have a lot of people see it. So many street artists create their works keeping in mind how they will look on screen, which sometimes makes the skill and hard work look less important. Curators of the biennale offer the artists to ponder on this theme, finding their own interpretations and ideas.