Garage Center for Contemporary Culture

We arrived in Moscow on a cold Tuesday morning. The traffic in this city is insane, which is perhaps expected from a city of 11-million people, although traveling two hours by taxi from Domodedovo International Airport at 5 am was more congestion than we expected. Arriving at our hotel, we were relieved to discover that we had a reservation (even at 7 am), and collapsed into bed gratefully after many a sleepless hour on the airplane, confident that our Muscovite benefactors were indeed expecting us.

It’s an adjustment being in a country where a majority of the population doesn’t speak one’s native tongue. Luckily, our hosts at Garage Center for Contemporary Culture have been nothing short of fabulous. Our first afternoon in Moscow, we were picked up by car and and transported to Gorky Park, the present site of Garage’s Temporary Pavillion, a building constructed in part from giant cardboard tubes and designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. Dubbed “Garage” after the former Bus Garage the gallery occupied up until last year, the organization is awaiting a more permanent home in Gorky Park in 2013. In the meantime, the pavillion is an impressive transitional building.

The space the second edition of CLOUD will be installed is certainly different than the first space it occupied at Nuit Blanche Calgary. For that matter, the second edition of CLOUD is destined to be fairly different from the first version of the sculpture we built, but I’ll come back to that later. CLOUD ii will be installed indoors, with wooden flooring, and white walls. It will also be part of Art Experiment 2013, an annual group show featuring around six immersive installations by different artists from around the world, none of whom have been announced publicly yet. It’s all a giant secret, aimed at surprising and delighting Moscow art-lovers into loving art more, and non-art-lovers into thinking about art differently (ie. as a more fun thing). We’ve always considered CLOUD an experiment in community participation, so this context should be just splendid for the piece.


Wistfully, however, I am missing Calgary a little bit. And not just because we’re missing Christmas (which isn’t a big deal in the former Soviet Union) to build CLOUD ii, but because in Calgary we’re part of a particularly inter-supportive community. During the course of building the first edition of CLOUD at ACAD, we had so many pals who “just stopped by” to help out for hours at a time. With 2 3/4 weeks to go until the sculpture’s completion, not only are we missing the resources these folks offered, but we’re missing the entertainment of having pals like Brendan Kane, Clare Duckett, Svea Ferguson, Andrew Cook, Keith Rodger, Eric Heitmann, etc. etc. etc.!! to keep our spirits up. Nonetheless, we’ll make some new pals while we’re here (even if we can’t communicate perfectly) and it’ll become a different kind of experiment. As always, a request to those folks visiting this blog from out there in internet-land: wish us luck!

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