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UNTIL THE WORD IS GONE. PERFORMANCE.

The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts (Moscow), Main building, pink staircase.

20.12.2022 19.00 – 19.30

Artist: Sergey Katran

Curator: Evgenia Kiseleva-Afflerbach

Composer: Oleg Makarov

Participants: Elvina Avamilova, Evgenia Antsupova, Asipa Zhumalieva, Noemi Capela, Alexander Kometiani, Arkadi Kotanjian, Alon Lembritsky, Alexandra Limar, Jean Perchet, Louise Perchet, Mathilde Perchet, Kashallah Hassan, Alessio Gini, Alice Nakamura, Fidel Manga Sebastian

Coordinator: Alexey Debabov

The State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts presents a site-specific performance by Sergei Katran “Until The Word Is Gone” within the frameworks of its current exhibition “The Universal Language.” On December 20 at 7 pm, visitors to the Pushkin Museum will enter the exhibition through the performative space created by participants who speak different languages. Chuvash, French, Georgian, Arabic, Uzbek, Japanese, Armenian, Italian, Kyrgyz, Hebrew and other languages will resound through the museum’s grand staircase, accompanied by the sound ambience created by the composer Oleg Makarov. This way, they will form a sound corridor leading to the exhibition. The performance integrates the museum space and the soundscape created by the music and voices of native language speakers.

Sergey Katran, artist: “Reminiscent of the facade of a Babylonian ziggurat, the staircase of the Pushkin Museum becomes a symbol and an invitation to reconceptualise the ancient myth and breathe new meanings into it with the help of art. The project is also an attempt to bring a new hope to the visitor, alongside the opportunity to highlight the uniqueness of each language, and of each human life.”

Evgenia Kiseleva-Afflerbach, Head of the Department of Interdisciplinary Projects at the Pushkin Museum: “The human voice is the audible embodiment of the idea of communication. Sergei Katran’s performance at the Pushkin Museum is another opportunity to touch upon the subject of diversity and representation of various people in culture and art. The diversity of the world is more apparent when we can hear a variety of voices.”

The Universal Language exhibition explores the whole range of human interaction and the attempts at finding a common language that recur throughout the centuries. The wealth inherent in multilingualism is demonstrated through the works of art on display, as well as through the manuscripts, handwritten books and other rare objects that encapsulate the history of human communication. And the latter is tested to its limit over the centuries of human history.

Participants of the performance “Until The Word Is Gone” are native speakers of different languages. For some of them, this is their first experience of being part of the creative process, while others are already familiar with performative practices. Only the native speakers of their respective languages were invited to take part. Their voices construct a communicative situation around the Pink Staircase of the Pushkin Museum. The title of the performance Until the Word is Gone is the quintessence of a certain emotional perception of the linguistic diversity across the globe that also belies the fear of losing rare and endangered languages.

The acoustic part of the performance “Until The Word Is Gone” is composed of the sounds of different world cultures. Over the hundred vocal and instrumental fragments of the music originating in various parts of the world among different nations became the building blocks that form the background of this performative project.

Artist: Sergei Katran

Curator:  Evgenia Kiseleva-Afflerbach

Composer: Oleg Makarov

Participants: Elvina Avamilova, Evgenia Antsupova, Asipa Zhumalieva, Noemi Capela, Alexander Kometiani, Arkadi Kotanjian, Alon Lembritsky, Alexandra Limar, Jean Perchet, Louise Perchet, Mathilde Perchet, Kashallah Hassan, Alessio Gini, Alice Nakamura, Fidel Manga Sebastian

Translation: Irina Kukota

Coordinator: Alexey Debabov

“Universal Language”. Exhibition

16 DEC 2022 – 19 MAR 2023

Author of the idea: Marina Loshak

Curator group: Tatyana Goryaeva, Alexandra Danilova, Maria Timina

Scientific leadership of the project: Ilya Doronchenkov

“Universal Language”. Exhibition