Ochumelaya Vystavka — The Fine Hands Show
The biennale Ochumelaya Vystavka — The Fine Hands Show is an exhibition of works conceived by 34 international artists in Berlin and implemented by more than one hundred producers in Krasnoyarsk (Siberia) based on their instructions. Through its remote production process, the exhibition acknowledges the realities of art-making since the invention of the ready-made at the start of the twentieth century and the rise of conceptual practices in the 1970s. But although modern art revolutionised the way art is made by postulating that conceiver and producer need not be identical, many museumgoers still perceive the works on display as unique, handmade objects.
In a nod to the 1971 exhibition Pier 18 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York – in which photographer Harry Shunk ‘acted out’ the works on the participants’ instructions – we asked artists from various disciplines, including painting, sound and video art, sculpture, fashion design, and photography, to formulate directions for the production of an artwork. Each provided one to ten standard pages of more or less detailed, more or less poetic, more or less feasible instructions. The makers in Krasnoyarsk, including artists, craftsmen and laypeople, in turn used the assignments as an opportunity to showcase their personal abilities and explore new techniques.
A playful and skilful exhibition that reflects on transmission, copyright and authorship, Ochumelaya Vystavka — The Fine Hands Show is also a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the vagaries of international exhibitions in an age of global travel restrictions and reduced carbon emissions.