Unofficial Moscow

Unofficial Moscow, the First Moscow Art festival, will debut in the city Sept. 3 to 5, with visual arts, music, theater, literature and film among the offerings.

The festival is billed as an alternative to Moscow's official City Day holiday, where performances and works of mainstream artists abound. Organizers of Unofficial Moscow say their event, by contrast, is in touch with Russia's cultural underground.

The festival aims to unite out-of-the-mainstream performers and artists with a fresh audience, all participants sharing the values of openness and interest in things alternative. Organizers say City Day should be more than a party for Moscow's city government, it should be a celebration that erases cultural differences and creates unity - energized by contemporary culture, not deadened by tired stereotypes.

An exhibit of "unofficial art" from the Soviet Union and Russia in the 1980s and '90s, organized by one of the most respected Russian curator Andrey Erofeyev is one of the central events. Media attention is expected to be great, given Erofeyev's stature in the underground art scene. Unfortutely, due to dependence on the city administration, two museums (including the one that has been showing the first part of the exhibition this summer) rejected the exhibit. The organisers found a way out by creating a virtual exhibition in the Internet. It will be presented Sept. 3 at 6 pm in the Rotonda gallery (Leninsky prospect, 18 bld.2).

Festival organizers negotiated with 100 or so galleries and exhibition halls to host Unofficial Moscow events, and 30 have already given approval. Featured artists from throughout Moscow will show traditional art objects as well as video installations, while others will present naive and children's art. Unofficial Moscow's festival will present so-called alternative films, made without state sponsorship in the former Soviet Union.

The festival features a film program that will include shows of old unknown and forgotten movies (created from the 30's to the 70's) at the Dom Kino (Vasil'evskaya, 13, screenings starting at 11:00 till 9 pm., excluding 5 pm Sept.4 and 1 pm - 9 pm nonstop Sept.5). It is the first and maybe the last chance to see these pictures, some of them featuring famous actors, others discussing major issues - unacceptable luxury for that era.

A programs on parallel films is organized by the underground Cinefantom club at Rotonda (Sept.3 and 4, 9:30 pm till 0:30). Also "Yauf" production company will present a collection of the Russian short movies made in the last three years at the fashionable club Park (located on Pushkinskaya embankment, Sept.5 starting 10 pm).

Unofficial Moscow literature program will feature the Crimea club round table with famous Moscow writers and artists, who moved to Moscow from other provincial Russian cities. The list of participants will include such names as Andrey Bitov, Anna Brazhkina, Marat Gelman, Vadim Gushin, Vitaly Kalashnikov, Igor Klech, Slava Kuritsin, Andrey Levkin, Igor Sid and others (Sept.3 at 6 pm). It will take place at the Literature museum (Petrovka, 28)

The literature program includes other unique events such as meetings between the followers of the cult Russian novelists Victor Pelevin and fantasy author, Max Frei. A celebration in honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the greatest Russian novelist of the 20 century Andrey Platonov will take place at the Anglia book store (Hlebny pereulok, 2/3), featuring the author's daughter and his British translator Robert Chandler. Please note that English may be the dominant language here.

Also during the festival the jury of the global Russian language and literature competition on the Internet, TENETA-Rinet 98, will nominate the winner of the on-line literature competition. It is the 5th competition in the history of TENETA and so far the biggest, most promising one. The event will take place at Dom Kino Sept. 4 at 5 pm.

The goal of the Unofficial Moscow's music program is to show the wider picture of the live music culture, to represent new and old music legends, tendencies and genres, to show musical productions, which combines entertainment with contemporary art. More then ten concert halls and forty night clubs will participate in the festival program which will include alternative rock concerts, festivals of the new music and jazz and other concerts. The New music festival for connoisseurs will take place at TUZ theatre (Mamonovsky pereulok 10) Sept.4 at 6 pm. A Jazz-rock festival "Transatlantic Express" will begin at 5 pm at the "Mesto vstrechy" club (Tverskaya 17). For the detailed list of musical events please check the program.

The theater program will include a mini-festival of Moscow's independent theaters. We intend to have an unprecedented 3-days theater marathon, which will surely attract many theater fans. The program will be focusing on new theater names, such as K.l.a.s.s, The Search for the Things, Quiet Pool, Debut-Center, known today only to a narrow circle of theater professionals critics, but eager to become part of the current theater elite. This theater festival will include drama shows as well as dancing performances. 13 directors will present their performances, among them Anatoly Leduchovsky, Gennady Abramov, Alexander Ponomarev and Urko Yatsenko and others.

Finally, the festival intends to conduct street performance programs which will be held under the open sky. More then 10 events are being planned by the festival committee. The most important event will take place on Triumfalnaya Ploshchad (metro Mayakovskaya) on Saturday, where artists and musicians will perform classical music concerts and country songs. Here people will be able to obtain free tickets for the events and a catalogue of the festival. A rock concert under the open sky will take place at night nearby, at the "Aquarium" garden near the Mossovet theatre.

We hope to see you among the guests of the "Unofficial Moscow" and wish you a satisfying cultural experience. Unfortunately, full information on the festival is available only in Russian.

Please don't hesitate to contact our press service at 238-4040 or 238-2783.

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