Lithuania-Poland-Russia ENPI Cross-border Co-operation Programme 2007-2013
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Curator from Kaliningrad to present his exhibition ″9000 km″ in Klaipėda

At 6 p.m. on Friday, October 10th, the Exhibition hall of Klaipėda Culture Communication Centre (KCCC) at Didžioji Vandens street, 2, is to open exhibition ″9000 km″ as part of the project ″Close Stranger″. The exhibition reviews a social and cultural panorama of Russia as the result of work that Yevgeny Umansky, Kaliningrad-based curator, has carried out over many years.

The project title refers to the distance between the most remote West and East points of Russia – the cities of Kaliningrad and Vladivostok, and also describes the scale of the project.

The idea behind the project is to reveal the new artistic geography of Russia, to present parts of the cultural composition of its individual regions, and as well to realize a common artistic “ideogram”, which is identical to the current character of Russia as a state – at the same time European and Asian, liberal and conservative, centralized and provincial.

Yevgeny Umansky, the curator at Baltic Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts in Kaliningrad – the outermost point of Russian West – initiated a socio-cultural study that included eight regions of Russia.

Each of the regions set up a creative team of artists, writers, journalists, and art critics. The participants raised and approached the relevant cultural or social problems in their area, which, in its turn, has inspired their contemporary art projects.

The declining “industrial animals” – the giant factories of the former Soviet Union, gradually turning into ruins; the decline of Yasnoye, a village in Kaliningrad region, that once was Kaukėnai, a flourishing town in East Prussia; the intensive Chinese immigration in the Russian Far East and the difficult life in St. Petersburg – a city that has always been a culture monument – are just a few of the motifs revealing before the eyes of those who travel the route proposed in the project.

“9000 km” is a contrasting and very solid panorama of Russia that is enriched with eloquence and emotional strength, and that, of course, is not usually familiar to a statistical foreigner. The very character of the project and the ability to transform it by adapting its content to the various exhibition spaces, has encouraged the author to include it in the international cultural exchange project “Close Stranger”  that has brought together for their joint activities the three institutions in this field: Klaipėda Culture Communication Centre (KCCC, Lithuania), the Baltic branch of Russia’s National Centre for Contemporary Arts in Kaliningrad, and “Łaźnia”, contemporary art centre in Gdansk (Poland).

The “Close Stranger” project, carried out by means of exchange of exhibitions, artist residencies and presentations of their creative work, among other activities, has been complemented by the meetings and educational workshops for education experts from the three cultural institutions.

The exhibition of the “9000 km” project is open at the KCCC Exhibition hall until November 9th, 2014.

The main aim of the project „Close Stranger“, implemented from December 2012 to December 2014, is to promote cooperation among Lithuania, Poland and Russia through development of bilateral and trilateral relations. The specific objectives of the project cover facilitation of tripartite exchange within a cross-border network of institutions and professionals working in the field of contemporary arts and culture in three partner cities and dissemination of information about contemporary artistic, cultural and social issues on the territory of the project in three Programme’s countries of Russia, Poland and Lithuania.

The “Close Stranger” project is implemented in the framework of the Lithuania-Poland-Russia ENPI Cross-Border Co-operation Programme 2007-2013. The main objective of the Programme financed from the funds of the European Union and the Russian Federation is to strengthen cooperation between Lithuania, Poland and Russia through enhanced bilateral and trilateral relations. The total cost of the “Close Stranger” project is 873,620.59 Euro. The Programme’s contribution to the project equals to 768,786.12 Euro (88%). The involved institutions provide co-financing in the amount of 104,834.47 Euro (12%).