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14 May 2012

Обзор в The Moscow Times

May 19, many locations around Moscow, including the Moscow Museum Of Modern Art, 25 Ul. Petrovka, m. Chekhovskaya,; the Institute Of Russian Realist Art, 7 Derbenevskaya Nab., bldg 31, m. Paveletskaya,; Artplay, 5/7 Nizhnyaya Syromyatnicheskaya Ul., m. Chkalovskaya,
For a full program and list of venues, see

Buy fashions by Russian designers at Artplay’s Russian Design Sale

Get ready for a night of museumhopping this Saturday, as Night at the Museum returns. One of the most popular events on the city’s cultural calendar, this year it offers everything from music and video art to history, space, retro cars and food.

Dozens of museums and galleries are presenting special entertainment programs and staying open late, with most of the participating venues open through midnight, and a few even later than that.

The Moscow government expects up to 700,000 people to turn up at more than 180 venues citywide. To the disappointment of some, the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts isn’t taking part in Night at the Museum this year, as it is hosting the exhibition “Voobrazhayemy Muzei” (Imaginary Museum), featuring valuable exhibits from the world’s top museums.

However, the organizers hope that this fact will be compensated for by the programs offered by other museums. The Multimedia Art Museum, for instance, is to be open through 2 a.m., while the Cosmonautics Museum is to feature a concert by contemporary musicians and the Oriental Museum is to host a yoga show.

The Institute Of Russian Realist Art is participating for the first time

Several federal museums and privately run galleries and exhibition spaces are to take part in the event, with the Tretyakov Gallery, Historical Museum, Artplay and Winzavod joining under the general conditions for the first time.

Moscow followed the example of several major European cities and hosted its first Night at the Museum back in 2007, when six municipal and four federal museums extended their opening hours to 9 p.m. The next year, more than 40 venues joined in, and in 2008, the event acquired an annual status, being held on May’s third weekend.

For the first time, this year, several theaters are joining the event, allowing people to get backstage at the Satire Theater, Mayakovsky Theater, Vakhtangov Theater, Pyotr Fomenko’s Studio and others.

The symbol of the sixth edition of Night at the Museum is a wild fox called Bandit, who was featured in a 2004 video installation, “The Nightwatch,” by Belgian artist Francis Alys. For the sake of filming that video, Bandit was set free at night in London’s National Portrait Gallery, and all of his movements were captured by surveillance cameras.

In a bid to help museum-goers avoid the large crowds and long lines seen in previous years, this year the organizers are introducing a monitoring system that is expected to help avoid overcrowding. Updates on venues’ visitor numbers at any given moment are to be provided via a hotline, (495) 543-9693, and on the event’s web site,

By registering by phone or online, a visitor may receive a coupon specifying the time of their visit to a particular museum, which should also help to avoid huge crowds.

This year, the system is operating in a test mode, and it only covers 10 museums, including the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Retro Automobiles, the WWII Museum, the Gulag Museum, and the Alexander Shilov and Ilya Glazunov galleries. The organizers promise to increase the number of participating venues next year if the system proves a success.

A picture from the ‘Artists’ project at Artplay

Extra bus routes are to be organized specifically for the event, connecting different venues.

Entry to the Moscow Museum of Modern Art is to be free between 6 p.m. and midnight. Visitors will be able to check out several exhibitions in the museum’s buildings on Ulitsa Petrovka and Tverskoi Bulvar, including “Total Environment” by American/Spanish artist Maggie Cardelus. Free guided tours of the museums are to be offered.

The main building on Ulitsa Petrovka is also to host performances by several contemporary Russian artists, including Asya Mukhina, Oleg Makarov and Olga Vavilova. Yulya Seleznyova is to play a DJ set, which is to be followed by a concert by the Moscow-based dance-rock band Brandenburg.

The design center Artplay is hosting a program that is to run from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m., called “Novoye Russkoye” (New Russian) and focused on the synthesis of “traditionally Russian genres” with new art forms. The program is to feature a series of performances, interactive events, contemporary art exhibitions, theater shows and film screenings.

The program is to occupy the entire territory of the design center. A market of Russian designers’ wares is to take up the main exhibition hall. The roof of the British Higher School of Art and Design is to be turned into a movie theater screening short films. A maze is to be built in the courtyard as part of a game installation.

‘Springtime of MKhAT’ by Dmitry Zhilinsky, whom visitors can meet at the Institute Of Russian Realist Art

But the main highlight at Artplay is to be the PLUMS Fest, featuring live performances by young video artists and musicians. There will also be exhibitions, a book fair and a culinary show featuring such fixtures of Russian cuisine as shchi, pirozhki and kvas. Classes focused on making rag dolls, pottery and eco-clothes are also going to be part of the program.

Among the institutions joining Night at the Museum for the first time this year is the Institute Of Russian Realist Art, or IRRA. It is opening its doors to visitors for free, offering a program that is to begin in the early afternoon. As of 12:30 p.m., general tours of the museum are to run. At 8 p.m., the institute is to host a meeting with artist Dmitry Zhilinsky, whose works are exhibited at the Tretyakov Gallery and several major international museums, not to mention a sizeable collection at the IRRA.

Visitors may also take part in a quest, with winners awarded with exclusive IRRA souvenirs and free coffee from the event’s partner, the coffee shop chain Kofein.