Welcome to Season 5: Beyond Distance

We’re excited to announce a new season at #VirtualSPAR! With the kind support of the Pro Helvetia Moscow, six multidisciplinary artists from Switzerland and Russia will participate in Season 5 entitled „Beyond Distance“. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve been dealing with distance in different forms: social distancing, remote work, and separation. Still, with all the challenges distance made us face, it also introduced new perspectives. What is it that we see when we step back? And how can creative work and collaborations go beyond distance? The artists who will be exploring these questions during Season 5 are: Maria Guta (based in Switzerland), the duo Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė (based in Switzerland), Dagnini (based in Russia), Dmitry Shubin (based in Russia), and Lera Lerner (based in Russia).

Maria Guta (1983, Bucharest) is a Romanian artist based in Switzerland. Her work mainly looks into mechanisms of self-representation, production, and promotion of the self and persona construction as a strategic form of public identity.

She holds a BFA in Graphic Design from The National University of Arts in Bucharest and a MA in Art Direction from École cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL). Her most recent works were presented at Scena9 Bucuresti (RO), Istituto Svizzero, Milan (IT), Sundance Film Festival – New Frontier (USA), Locarno Film Festival (CH), GIFF – Geneva Film Festival (CH), Swissnex San Francisco (USA), Gessnerallee Zürich (CH), Roehrs and Boetsch, Zürich (CH), HeK Basel (CH), MU Hybrid Arthouse, Eindhoven (NL). In 2020 she received the Pax Art Award for emerging artists.

Making use of video, performance, as well as immersive and social media, she reenacts these mechanisms by
placing herself both behind and in front of the camera and performing in most of her works. In the current context of Digital Transformation, she is intrigued by concepts as beauty, eternal youth and immortality. She is also a passionate researcher on celebrity and the new forms of fame and influence created with social media and each new technology.

Dorota Gawęda (PL) and Eglė Kulbokaitė (LT) are an artist duo based in Basel (CH). Their work spans performance, text, installation, fragrance, photography, sculpture, and video. The members of the duo are the founders of YOUNG GIRL READING GROUP (existing since 2013) and co-initiators of its online archive.

Gawęda and Kulbokaitė are among the finalists of the Swiss Art Awards 2021. The duo is represented by Amanda Wilkinson Gallery in London and Lucas Hirsch Gallery in Düsseldorf and are the current artists in residence at Alserkal Arts Foundation in Dubai.

Lera Lerner is an artist, curator, art mediator, and educator based in St. Petersburg, Russia. Her practice is very much connected with participation and involvement of the audience, bringing together people from different fields: scientists, artists, museum workers, hospital patients, passersby. She is interested in spontaneous communication and it ethics, translation of different forms of knowledge into the language of contemporary art.

Lera studied at the Pro Arte School of Young Artists. She participated in numerous art projects, including the Manifesta 10, the Moscow International Biennial of Young Art, the Ural Industrial Biennial, and others. She was nominated for such prestigious art prizes as Innovation and the Sergey Kuryokhin Contemporary Art Award.

Dagnini is an artist from St. Petersburg, currently living and working in Moscow. She graduated from the Saint-Petersburg State Academy of Theatre Arts and the Pro Arte School for Young Artists. Dagnini is currently represented by Fragment gallery. She works with dynamic performances, creates objects, installations, paintings and graphics.

The main theme of her research are ‘glitches’ both in digital space and in reality. The breach of the peace and current everyday routine are the necessary condition for her work. Dagnini is winner of the State Award in Contemporary Art “Innovation 2020” in the category “New Generation” (Russia).

Dmitry Shubin is a musician and artist based in St.Petersburg. His main fields of interest: are contemporary piano music, electroacoustics, new improvised music, conducted improvisation, graphic notations. Dmitry Shubin is a pianist and improviser, performing live improvised music. He also creates sound installations and audio-video projects with an emphasis on the integration of sound and image.

He is the conductor of St.Petersburg Improvisers Orchestra, as well as the St. Petersburg Improvisers Choir, founder of the Sound Theater, curator of the School for Improvised Music (St. Petersburg). In 2016, he was awarded the Grand Prix of The Sergey Kuryokhin Contemporary Art Award.

What do you think about this?