Bart de Baere, Director of M HKA

The winner of this year’s Present Continuous, an annual scheme set up by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp (M HKA) and V–A–C Foundation, to support and promote the new generations of Russian artists, is Lena Kolesnikova. The artist’s work has been acquired for the M HKA collection.

Jury members: Bart de Baere, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp (M HKA), Teresa Iarocci Mavica, Director of  V–A–C Foundation, and Anselm Franke, German curator and writer.

V–A–C Zattere: Porte aperte alla città

Luglio – dicembre 2020


(30.10.20) In ottemperanza all’ultimo decreto del Ministero della Salute, una parte delle attività previste dal progetto Porte Aperte alla Città è stata sospesa fino a nuovo avviso. Seguiteci per rimanere aggiornati.


La Fondazione V–A–C, in collaborazione con il Comune di Venezia, è lieta di presentare Porte Aperte alla Città, un progetto mirato ad ospitare attività culturali e sociali che permettano la riattivazione delle relazioni sociali interrotte dalla pandemia.

Porte Aperte alla Città is a community engagement programme created in collaboration with the City of Venice, hosting and reviving cultural and social activities led by locals, which had been previously been suspended because of the pandemic.


V–A–C Zattere: Porte aperte alla città | Comunicato stampa ottobre

V–A–C Zattere: Porte aperte alla città | Programma ottobre

V–A–C Zattere: Porte aperte alla città | Comunicato stampa luglio

performance by Ragnar Kjartansson

28 October 2019
5.30 pm — 11.30 pm

The Mayakovsky Theatre
Bolshaya Nikitskaya st. 19/13

God is a performance by Ragnar Kjartansson, which plays with the concept of repetition and duration. The artist appears in the persona of a classic “crooner”, accompanied by his collaborator, the pianist Davíð Þór Jónsson, and an orchestra on a stage evoking a mid 20th century pop-concert. Ragnar, repeating the phrase “Sorrow Conquers Happiness”, sways to an eight-bar melody in a minor key, which crescendos to its culmination, and then starts again.

In God, Ragnar Kjartansson digs into sadness drenched in sugar. The key line from the song came to life back in 2005, as the artist was singing with his band Trabant. At one of their late-night shows, Ragnar started screaming “Sorrow Conquers Happiness”, the crowd took up the chant, and something was born. The piece then took shape with the collaboration of Davíð Þór Jónsson, who wrote the music. It was first performed with Jónsson´s jazz trio Flís in Reykjavík, accompanied by the local police choir. Kjartansson filmed the performance in 2007, and since then the video has been shown many times at various museums. In 2014, God was performed in Russian as part of Manifesta 10 at the Vitebsk train station in St. Petersburg.

In this version, Ragnar and Davíð, together with invited musicians, perform inside the Mayakovsky theatre in Moscow. The venue’s lush pinkish interior and history amplify the core of the piece. The art piece invites you to sit back in lushness and history and fall asleep to the sound of sorrow. As Victor Hugo said, “Melancholia is the joy of being sad”.

The setting for this performance is carefully styled by the artist, who wears a black tuxedo and a neat smoothed-back hairdo, and performs on a stage framed by heavy pink curtains, creating an omnipresent theatrical atmosphere. All these elements play with the sense of sorrow as an alluring and luxurious pleasure. In such conditions, melancholy appears as a privilege and a sign of social entropy, much as it was described in the classic 19th century novel by Ivan Goncharov, Oblomov.

This Is Not (a) Cinema

Whitechapel Gallery, Zilkha Auditorium
Friday 27 September, 7-9pm
Saturday 28 September + Sunday 29 September, 11.30am – 6pm

Book here

Launching the This Is Not (a) Cinema film programme, Friday 27 September the artists Broomberg & Chanarin present their newly commissioned intervention in response to the recently reconstructed Anniversary of the Revolution (1918) by Dziga Vertov, with live score by multi-instrumentalist Peter Broderick.
Considered lost for nearly a century, Vertov’s directorial debut is the first ever compilation film with a propagandistic agenda. Commissioned to celebrate the first year of the self-proclaimed republic in November of 1918, this legendary film was recently re-assembled by film historian Nikolai Izvolov.
For their new work entitled Anniversary of a Revolution (Parsed), Broomberg & Chanarin have also collaborated with London based creative technology studio The Workers, to employ powerful machine-vision technology to map the physical movement in the film on to a digital rendering, using the mechanisms of 21st century surveillance to re-frame the historic archive footage.
Following the performance, the artists will be in conversation with V–A–C artistic director Francesco Manacorda.

Saturday 28 September, 11.30am-6pm

This full day screening programme brings together the work of director Alexander Shein (1933–2015, Moscow), produced through his innovative research lab SovPoliKadr (SovPolyFrame), established in the late 1960s. This is followed by a recent experimental take on Mayakovsky co-written and directed by Alexander Shein Jr.  Framing the screenings is a discussion between art theorist and philosopher Keti Chukhrov and William Brown, Senior Lecturer in Film at the University of Roehampton.

Sunday 29 September, 11.30am-6pm

This full day screening programme celebrates the pioneering CentrNauchFilm (Centre of Scientific and Educational Film) by Vladimir Kobrin (1942–1999, Moscow) and features an extended introduction to Denis Shabaev‘s docufiction feature Mira (2018) by writer Owen Hatherley.

Curator: Kirill Adibekov.

Press Release

Alterazioni Video. The New Circus Event

V–A–C Foundation celebrates the opening of Time, Forward! with a three-day public event on the canalside in front of V–A–C Zattere.

In keeping with the Foundation’s open approach in all of its activities, V–A–C has invited the artist collective Alterazioni Video to create a three-day live show for everyone to enjoy and get involved with.

On the 100th anniversary of Russia’s official state-governed circus, V–A–C together with Alterazioni Video reflect on the time when circus spectacles were events of free gathering and popular celebration.

The three-day public event will see Alterazioni Video rethink and question the circus format in a site-specific live installation featuring performers from all over the world, offering all passers-by an insight into the ageless tradition of Russian hospitality.

Alterazioni Video. The New Circus Event | Press Release
Alterazioni Video. The New Circus Event | Comunicato Stampa

Expanding Space: Out Of The Centre

February – November 2019

V-A-C is excited to launch a series of new community engagement projects held in areas on the outskirts of the city of Moscow. Focusing on different communities and their specific needs, artists, theatre directors, musicians, filmmakers and architects have developed projects in close dialogue with audience groups. Host partnerships have been established with a variety of local institutions and associations including libraries, cinemas, the Lefortovo Student Campus, chess clubs, public squares and houses of culture. Throughout the year, projects will take on multiple formats, such as Live Action Role Play (LARP), film workshops, a children’s club, a collectively authored musical as well as open stage and performance workshops.

Press Release
Project website
Kunsthalle for Music.Moscow Solos | Press Release

North-7 art collective has been selected for this year’s edition of Present Continuous, the V-A-C / M HKA Acquisition Programme, taking place for the sixth time. The artists shortlisted this year were Ian Ginsburg, Irina Korina, Ivan Novikov, North-7, Tima Radya. The winner was selected by a jury consisting of V-A-C Director Teresa Iarocci Mavica, M HKA Director Bart De Baere and guest jury member Raimundas Malašauskas, curator, writer and visiting professor at HEAD Geneve.


V-A-C Foundation and Whitechapel Gallery, London, are proud to present the third edition of the V-A-C Live performance series.

Friday 5 & Saturday 6 October 2018

Russian collective VASYA RUN bring their latest performance to the UK for the very first time. Nine young men aged between 18 to 26 from London and Moscow feature in this interactive and experimental work which blurs the boundaries between theatre, music and contemporary art.

“The aim is not to make [the performers] actors. During the actual performance they need to perform in a state of self-awareness, inner spontaneity, inner freedom and freedom of physical expression.“ — VASYA RUN

VASYA RUN is an anonymous platform investigating street subcultures, radical youth and teenage scenes, particularly amongst the generation born in the early nineties, following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Their research explores the gender politics of youth and what happens to subcultures when they become commodified.

sudest 1401 is a sociocultural project and eatery where food and company are the basis for bringing people together and encouraging dialogue. V–A–C strives for openness, equality and exchange of knowledge and ideas by putting different cultures in conversation in its main programme and aims to reflect this in the kitchen by combining different flavours and traditions.

sudest 1401 is open everyday, except Wednesdays, from 11am to 11pm.


Laguna Viva [Living Lagoon] is the first stage of a long-term strategy to enable Palazzo delle Zattere to engage with the complexities of everyday life in Venice.

V-A-C Foundation commissioned London based collective Assemble, who work across the elds of architecture, design and art, to develop a long-term project for the garden and indoor area where the Foundation’s new bar and restaurant, sudest 1401, is located. Assemble’s aim was to create an environment that would both explore and actively involve the city and they immediately turned to the organisation We Are Here Venice to work with them on the project. We Are Here Venice is an independent organisation that addresses Venice’s challenges as a living city through research and collaboration with the local authorities as well as public and private institutions connected to the city.

The new, free to access, permanent outdoor installation will enhance the ongoing conversation about the intimate and mutually dependent relationship between Venice and its context. The typical lagoon salt marsh habitat is arranged according to botanical associations and functional morphology and housed in two large tanks, which at the end of the year will be covered in individual tiles taking the project into its final stage.

As with all V-A-C initiatives, access to Laguna Viva will be free of charge and open to everyone, every day of the week from 8am to 11pm.

Russian collective Where Dogs Run has been selected for this year’s edition of Present Continuous, the V-A-C / M HKA Acquisition Programme. The artists shortlisted this year were The Agency of Singular Investigations (Stanislav Shuripa, Anna Titova), Dimitri Venkov, Ivan Gorshkov, Where Dogs Run and Valia Fetisov. A jury consisting of V-A-C Director Teresa Iarocci Mavica, M HKA Director Bart De Baere and guest jury member Defne Ayas, Director of the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, Netherlands, chose the work of Where Dogs Run, which will go to the M HKA collection.

V-A-C Live: Tunguska Event, History Marches on a Table, by Vadim Zakharov

V-A-C Live returns to Whitechapel Gallery for the second year in their joint performance series with the world premier of a new performance by acclaimed mid career Russian artist Vadim Zakharov.

Renowned Russian artist Vadim Zakharov (b. 1959, Tajikistan) presents an evening of exhilarating and subversive performance taking inspiration from the book Incomplete & Utter History of Classical Music, by Stephen Fry. From composer Igor Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka (1911) to Marcel Duchamp’s Bottle Rack (1914), Zakharov conceives a humorous journey across time and history, old and new, tradition and contemporaneity.


V-A-C Live is a performance led platform of the V-A-C Foundation.

Sasha Pirogova has been selected for Present Continuous, V-A-C/M HKA Acquisition Programme 2016. A jury consisting of V-A-C Director Teresa Iarocci Mavica, M HKA Director Bart De Baere and guest jury member Katerina Koskina, Director of EMST, chose Pirogova whose work will go to the M HKA collection.

Geometry of Now, curated by Mark Fell, GES-2, Moscow. V-A-C Live launches its future Moscow home with an investigation of sound through site-specific interventions in the space of the former GES-2 power station. 20-27 February 2017.

Cabaret Kultura

V-A-C Foundation and Whitechapel Gallery present Cabaret Kultura, three evenings of experimental performance which take inspiration from the history of cabaret and avant-garde theatre of early 20th Century Russia.

New Museum, New York, Anri Sala: Answer Me, 2 Feb. – 10 April 2016. Performance support provided by the V-A-C Foundation.

Founding Partner of the Whitechapel Gallery’s Future Fund. The Future Fund was established to support the commission and creation of new art at the Gallery (from 2015).

Donorship of the 56th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (2015).

Second year of the Collecting Young Russian Art, V-A-C / M HKA scheme, set up to support the new generation of artists in Russia and to open up Russian contemporary art to the wider world. Jury: Teresa Iarocci Mavica, Bart de Baere and Vasif Kortun. MEL SPACE, Moscow, 21 October 2015.

Art Institute of Chicago, Jean-Luc Mylayne, C 16 April 1987, Small Chapel for One Person or at Most a Couple (1987), a public project for the Millennium Park Lurie Garden in 2015, realised in collaboration with V-A-C Foundation.

Donorship of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (2014).

Collecting Young Russian Art, V-A-C / M HKA – Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp: a new annual scheme set up to support the new generations of artists living and working in Russia. Artists are nominated and shortlisted by an international jury, with the winning artist’s work going to the M HKA Collection. Curated by Yulia Aksenova, Katerina Chuchalina, Ekaterina Inozemtseva, Andrey Parshikov and Elena Yaichnikova. Cosmoscow, Moscow, 18 September 2014.

Donorship of the 55th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (2013).

A three year collaboration with Tate on the appointment of two new curators for their Russian collection and Acquisition Fund, 2015-2018.

Donorship of Manifesta 10, Saint Petersburg (Russia), 2014.

Production of Monumenta 2014 Ilya & Emilia Kabakov: The Strange City, Grand Palais, Paris (France), 2014.

Production of Pawel Althamer: The Neighbours, New Museum, New York (USA), 2014.

Restoration of the Imperial Rooms (Le Stanze di Sissi) inside the Museo Correr, Venice (Italy), 2013.

Production of Kendell Geers’ work Monument (Fired Up), commissioned for Manifesta 9, Genk (Belgium), 2012.

Production of Alexandra Sukhareva’s work Being the Mother is the Bone, commissioned for Documenta (13), Kassel (Germany), 2012.

Production of Carsten Höller’s: Experience, New Museum, New York (USA), 2011/12.