Cosmoscow Blog

"Institution of the year" 2020: Chicory CCA

This year’s Cosmoscow Institution of the Year is the Chicory Center for Contemporary Art, a self-proclaimed institution in Zheleznogorsk (Kursk region) established in 2018 by the namesake art group and a team of young enthusiasts. The Center sees its main goal in constructing infrastructure for the city and region. Over the past 2 years, the Center’s team has hosted about 12 exhibition projects, an educational program, a curatorial laboratory, a reality show, first (2018) and second (2020) Zheleznogorsk Contemporary Art Biennale.

The Center works as a design office to develop large-scale solutions to improve lives. For example, ‘spatial sensibility’ is proposed as a value characteristic of Russian small towns. It can be seen in Yaroslav Kudryashov’s series “Semiotics of the Square” presented at the Center's stand at the Fair. A project “Something Big and Fun in the Forest” by Splash is about the anticipation inherent in children who are able to feel the urge for discovery and live in a powerful stream of life. Nikolay Salkov develops a ‘miracle medium’ and addresses the topic of anomaly. In his project “Flower Bed”, he celebrates the process of mining (specifically: for iron ore in Zheleznogorsk) and makes the city-forming process an artistic method.

At Cosmoscow, the flickering and chameleonic activity of the Center is based on the principles of “gonzo-curatorship”: honestly without rules but with winks and promises of healthy provincial happiness. For the Center, its participation in the Fair is considered as a “penetrative” strategy: Chicory tries to look like a real gallery even though most of the project’s participants think of themselves as situational artists.

Participants: Andrey Aranovich, Alexandra Dorofeyeva, Eduard Dushny, Fedor Duyunov, Yaroslav Kudryashov, Dmitry ‘Splash’ Makushin, Nikolay Salkov.