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DOCA 2021: Like Never Before but Not for Certain

Festival of contemporary art dedicated to the future
04.09.2021
DOCA 2021: Like Never Before but Not for Certain

On April 24-25, the 9th Days of Contemporary Art (DOCA) international festival will take place in Moscow. The event is held annually as part of an independent outreach project. DOCA is an open non-profit platform, which includes exhibition, music, and educational programmes. The topic of the festival in 2021, Like Never Before but Not for Certain, focuses on the visualization and rendering of the future. The Global Women Media news agency, as a regular partner of the project, shares all the latest information about the upcoming event.

doca_0T.jpg Elizaveta Zemlyanova
artist, curator of the Days of Contemporary Art (DOCA) international festival, Dean of the Faculty of Design and Photography at the Institute for the Humanities and Information Technologies (IGUMO)
doca_pro.jpg Olga Baranova
Member of the Association of Art Historians, Member of the Russian Philosophical Society, Head of the Department of Design at the Institute for the Humanities and Information Technologies (IGUMO), Press Secretary of the Days of Contemporary Art (DOCA) international festival

In autumn 2020, amidst pandemic restrictions, the DOCA festival’s demo version took place. It was a kind of preview of the big spring festival. That’s when the topic of future ethics and creative intuition of artists was announced for the first time. Some authors presented their projects in a ‘shortened’ format and thus gave rise to a serious prolonged dialogue. In its turn, the 9th DOCA festival will be a full-scale platform for visualizing the future through contemporary artworks.

Using creative intuition and non-linear knowledge, an artist can see the future today and design multiple development concepts based on new subjective ethics.

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In 2021, the festival’s programme includes an exposition of artworks of different genres: from paintings and graphics to installations and media art objects. About 60 contemporary artists from Russia, the USA, and China will take part in DOCA. Through their works, the authors will demonstrate their vision of the future, opportunities and dangers of rapid development of technology, and the relationship of present and past.

This year, 450 artists have applied for participation in DOCA through the open call form.

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The residency format has become a new feature of the festival in 2021. Participants from remote regions had the opportunity to come to Moscow in advance to prepare their projects after learning about the specificity of the exhibition space. Thus, Vlad Kononkov, a media artist from Vladivostok, Gentle Women, an art group of artists from Kaliningrad, and Sergey Poteryaev, a photographer from Yekaterinburg, have become the festival’s residents. Exclusively for the upcoming festival, they have prepared unique artistic research related to the identity of people, behavioural technology, the impact of the environment on the person, the interaction of people with the landscape, and historical memory.

Contemporary art is interesting because one can see, hear, and feel it or even become part of it. The festival will include two performances combining visual and theatrical art forms.

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One of the peculiarities of the festival is that talented students of the Institute where the event takes place participate in the exhibition programme on equal footing with renowned artists. Some projects are created by students under the mentorship of professionals. This year’s open workshops are supervised by famous contemporary artists Andrey Syailev, Valery Chtak, Slava Prtk, and Masha Ivanova.

In general, the festival is an important part of the educational programme of the creative fields of training at IGUMO. The organisers of the project see their mission in not only popularising pieces of contemporary art but also providing an open platform for young artists to fulfil their potential.

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The topic of ethics of the future is inextricably linked to environmental issues. The festival will pay special attention to these problems. Even the t-shirts of the volunteers will be made of eco-friendly materials.

DOCA fab-labs will be open for everyone wishing to take part in their work. The guests of the festival will have a chance to transform old T-shirts, give a new life to things they were going to throw away, and experiment with plastic recycling equipment, thus creating a material from which the artists will weave a tapestry during the two days of the festival.

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The educational programme of DOCA will combine three key topics of the future: ecology, art, and science. Leading experts in the above-mentioned fields will deliver lectures. Those include Galina Larina, graphic designer and eco-activist; Olga Druzhinina, Deputy Director for Science of the Moscow Design Museum; Yana Besyadynskaya, opera singer, conductor, and certified coach; Elena Panteleeva, Development Director of the ‘National Centre for Industrial Design and Innovation 2050.LAB’; Valentina Adonina-Udintseva, branding and visual communication expert; Irina Kulik, art historian and curator of Sovremenniki online project; Anna Koleichuk, artist; and Egor Kraft, multimedia artist. They will talk about the influence of art on people, the essence of ecological design, secondary materials that can be used in art, the picture of the future through the eyes of artists of the 20th century, and the mutual influence of art and science on each other.

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The festival’s music programme will traditionally present young artists with a fresh and original view of art. Asya Gurzo combining subtle lyricism and modern music in her works will present an electronic programme of her own songs and share a few tracks from her upcoming mini-album. The Søika band will immerse guests of the festival in an atmosphere of serious reflection and deep relaxation by performing works about the feelings of ordinary people in the style of indie-pop. Within the DOCA music programme, the Kasanie band will present its Velvet Velour solo project in the style of synth-wave.

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“The programme of the 9th DOCA international festival has been developed in such a way that all guests including those who are far from the world of contemporary art can find something useful and interesting for themselves. I want to believe that the festival will manage to make that world closer and clearer for many people”, emphasizes Elizaveta Zemlyanova, curator of the festival.

The expert believes it is no less important to go to exhibitions of contemporary art than to visit classical museums and galleries. It broadens people’s worldview, develops their curiosity, shapes their taste, and gives them an incredible number of impressions and emotions.

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Art, including contemporary one, is interesting because it not only affects the visual or auditory organs of a person but also stimulates intellectual activity in his or her brain. It requires the involvement of the viewer or listener. In contact with contemporary art, it is not enough to see an artwork. To understand it, one needs to think a lot, delve into the subject, explore the personality of the author, and sometimes ‘figure out’ the idea. This is the core principle of the DOCA festival. The projects presented at the festival form a discussion zone around themselves, thus leaving no one indifferent. Of course, the very topic of culture and ethics of the future must become the object of thinking and discussion because it concerns everyone.

The festival’s website: doca.moscow

Viktoria Yezhova, Global Women Media news agency

Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov


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