Our Future Houses of Culture
For a long time, Russian artists took their cues from Moscow and St. Petersburg, but perspectives change, and their focus is now on Russia’s regions. Now artists rarely look to move to Moscow or St. Petersburg; instead, they move back home, studying their hometowns and home villages. The regions’ cultural infrastructure, however, is not yet prepared for this abundance of art and music initiatives. In Tyumen, for example, there are still not enough exhibition spaces, relevant galleries, or contemporary art centers. At the same time, the city is home to a multitude of different houses of culture (Neftyanik House of Culture, Zheleznodorozhnik House of Culture). While they can be found online, they don’t feature any contemporary art; their programming looks like a vestige of the Soviet past and the 1990s.
Our Future Houses of Culture is a project that explores the fate of Tyumen’s houses of culture, as well as encompassing a series of street art objects and stickers depicting imagined future houses of culture. The series is done in a self-taught style using bright colors; the pictures resemble rural houses. QR codes lead viewers to information on the exhibitions, events, concerts, and plays that could take place in any of these little fictional houses of culture. The site features music by contemporary musicians and work by Russian and international artists and directors. The program is based on a study of what the city’s young cultural figures are interested in: what shows they’d like to put on, what artists they want to host, what issues they want to touch on. Let’s see what we can dream up!
Alexandra Melnikova works in various media including painting, drawing, installation, street art, photography, video, and performance. Her projects explore the environment’s reflection in the intimate inner world, the transformation of memory, and personal narratives’ mutation and metamorphosis into a life background, as well as search for the sacred in insignificant, everyday objects. Key exhibitions include special projects at the Ural Industrial Biennale (2019, 2021), Nemoskva Is Just Around the Corner (Manege, St. Petersburg, 2020), Art Prospect Festival (2020), the solo show Falls Asleep (Kontora Parohodstva, Tyumen, 2020), the street art festival Street Morphology (Tyumen, 2020, 2021), and Vse svoi (Slovtsov Museum Complex, Tyumen, 2020).