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September 2021

Interview with artist Polina Polikarpova

By /ART/

I r e n  R u s s o

Interview with artist Polina Polikarpova

How would you describe what you create?

I try to project the very special state of melancholy and nostalgia for times before the Internet era.


I was born and grew up in a creative family, my father is a commercial photographer and my mother is a seamstress, so I usually try to use my parent’s craft in my artistic practice. Also I’ve got my BA as an art historian in Kharkiv state academy of design arts. But academic education gave me much more networking skills among other students who became gallerists, artists, art managers, etc.

What kind of photographer did you set out to be?

Independent photographer-flâneur, who is always aestheticizating the local Ukrainian context for creating my own visual vocabulary of characters, landscapes, vernacular architecture. I always wanted to be a “pioneer-discoverer” in different aspects. For example, for creating portraits I am always much more interested in finding interesting, unknown people, without having a rich model experience and having nice Instagram. Or I enjoy finding new “wild” locations for shooting, then share it to other colleagues on Google maps, then to be calm and pleased that I was the first who has been there.

What are the fundamental messages you want to get across with your work?

I never have some strict messages, for me it is important to transfer the general state of nostalgia.

What is the concept behind your ongoing ‚Absentee — Attendee‘ series?

From the very beginning of my photographic journey, I have explored my habitats with a clear, defined goal — to find new, interesting locations that could become a worthy backdrop for a good portrait. But this time I changed my method and focus. For this, I turned to flanery as a kind of meditation, the desire to explore and contemplate the most unobvious places and views.

What’s the most important thing for you when shooting a series? How do you bring out the idea?

“Pretty Ghetto” and “Absentee’Attendee” series weren’t planned in advance, it’s result of my constant long-term explorings. In “Pretty Ghetto” the human was always the main hero, happening on some surrealistic but local background. In “Absentee” I’m changing my focus to native landscape as a main character and theme for observing. In other series, such as “38” I appeal to the theme of relationships between me and my best friend and model Yaroslava, because I always was obsessed by such themes as similarity in relationships between best friends, models and photographers, etc. In the near future I’ll present my new series called “Childhood Ballad” where I was looking for children like me in my early 2000’s childhood, and then photographing them in my old clothes with old toys from that time.

Which artists have inspired you?

There are my contemporaries: Michal Pudelka, Lukasz Wierzbowski, Nazar Furyk, and of course, Synchrodogs.

Which work are you most proud of?

I appreciate all of my work.

What is next for you?

First photo book 🙂

The Manege Fair is over, but Cosmoscow Online continues


I v a n  E r o f e e v

The Manege Fair is over, but Cosmoscow Online continues

Dear Friends,

The 9th edition of Cosmoscow International Contemporary Art Fair took place against all odds this year and was a huge success. Thank you for all your support!

There was a lot that was new at this year’s fair, and we are not just referring to the change in dates and venue. Cosmoscow 2021 played host to a record number of galleries, which came from the widest range of countries in the fair’s history. We introduced ‘The Inbetween: Digital Art as NFTs’, a new section of the fair that was developed in collaboration with CADAF (Contemporary and Digital Art Fair). It was also only the second time that we presented the collective booth Created in Moscow, together with Moscow’s Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development and the Agency for Creative Industries. This year, the booth was dedicated to sculpture.

As usual, the fair presented a number of projects in connection with programs run by the Cosmoscow Foundation for Contemporary Art. Visitors were greeted by Razzle-Dazzle, a new work by Irina Korina (our Artist of the Year), and Clot, an installation by Misha Bury (winner of the Ruinart Art Patronat competition) which was created specially for Cosmoscow Fair. Visitors also had the chance to see booths by Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow and Vyksa Art Residence, who featured as our Museum of the Year and Institution of the Year respectively. Finally, for our Collector’s Eye program, we displayed selected works from the collections of Alexey and Vera Priyma (Moscow) and Evgeny Khamin (Voronezh).

We are infinitely grateful to our partners who made it possible for the fair to take place: the official partner Ruinart, the automotive partner Audi, the innovative partner Samsung, the partner Hutton Development, the watch partner Breguet, the Cosmoscow Online partner Visa, the partner Otkritie Private Banking and the official hotel The St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya.

We also thank the partner for fundraising and special projects v confession agency, VOSS official water, the insurance partner „Alfastrakhovanie“, the logistics partner Fine Art Way, the partner for the design of Collector’s Lounge DesignAid, the partner for the design MPS Pooling Systems, the partner for transfers Ultima Yandex.Go, partner of VIP Preiview Zelinsky & Rosen.

Thank you for joining us at the Moscow Manezh. We were delighted that you were able to spend time with the art and enjoy our wider program of events, including performances and a series of discussions at our Mediaforum and Cosmoscow Talks.

The good news is that Cosmoscow Fair continues online! The online version of fair will be available until September 26 and can be found on the platform TEO. Whether you didn’t manage to attend the fair in person or just feel that you didn’t have long enough with the art, we encourage you to visit us at Cosmoscow Online.

Remember, online visitors can receive access to special rewards by making a purchase with any Visa card, including an invitation to an exclusive event by Cosmoscow Collectors Club. They can also enjoy free delivery on all purchases over 150,000 rubles within the Moscow region as part of a special offer by Otkritie Private Banking.

We’ll see you next year when Cosmoscow will be celebrating its 10th edition!

Aleksandra Gritsenko „kukla“

By /ART/


Fashion stylist: Yuliana Popova @yulianappv
Model: Arina Sanzhizhapova @ BST Models Agency @arinaa___s
Makeup Artist: Vasilisa Nikolaeva @nikol_vasillisa
Photographer: Aleksandra Gritsenko @ask_me_to_shoot

Bodysuit Cheremushno

Suit – Argan Project, Shoes – Dasha Uragan; Bodysuit Cheremushno

Shirt – Tex man, accessories stylist own;

Suit – Argan Project, Shoes – Dasha Uragan

Dress Argan Project, Shoes vintage

Kimono – Embra and more; Shoes – Dasha Uragan

„After Gucci’s heads in hands, nothing looks surprising.“ Interview with the designer of the brand N. Legenda.


Lyubov Melnickowa

"After Gucci’s heads in hands, nothing looks surprising." Interview with the designer of the brand N. Legenda.

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week will be held in Moscow from October 19-23. PURPLEHAZE magazine asked questions to the designer of the N. Legenda brand, who has been participating in MBFWRussia shows since autumn 2016. The main concept of the brand is a drama in the style of minimalism. Interested in psychology and anatomy, the designer of the N. LEGENDA brand creates a faceless cut for the personality, not being afraid to talk about gender.

Thank you for taking time for an interview with us! We are happy to welcome you to PURPLEHAZE magazine. Before asking questions about the brand, I would like to learn more about the designer and founder of the brand N. Legenda.
Tell me a little about yourself. How did your creative path begin and why did you decide to become a fashion designer?
I dreamed to be a fashion designer since was a child. I have graduated from the ST. Petersburg University of Technology and Design as an engineer-constructor of clothes in 2010. Then I did two years of Master’s degree studies and my Masters’s thesis was “An image as the synthesis of dress and body”. My education was not as artistic but more as technical. During studying, I was an assistant stylist and sewed single things for the photoshooting.
Then I worked in different fashion houses like a patternmaker (constructor of clothes) along with created own fashion brand on weekends and evenings, 24/7. It seems… that I had the first month holiday this July for all this time))) In 2013 I sent an application to Fashion Scout (the international platform of support young designers, based in London), taken a grand to participant and could debut at MERCEDES-BENZ KIEV FASHION DAYS with catwalk show. The next three years were continuously saturated with all kinds of competitions for designers in Russia.
In spring 2017 we presented a debut menswear collection “Beautiful Boys” during MERCEDES BENZ FASHION WEEK RUSSIA. Outfits with pink oversize jacket and with monochrome lines samurai jacket were noted a lot of Russian and international press. These two catwalks were the most important and turning events for the brand’s history

What does fashion mean in your understanding?

For me, the concept of fashion has grown into trends, fashion is like a virus, but design is an own opinion. I mean if you can’t defend your opinion, it will be difficult to create fashion brand and to stand up to the competition.

The N. Legenda brand was founded in 2012. How has the fashion world changed since that time?

Fashion in 2012 and fashion in 2021? These figures are very symbolic. I want to believe that fashion world is turned over. Earlier, connections solved a lot. But today in Russia emerging designers have a lot of opportunities, people and press are interested in “a new blood”. Seems that now it’s important such words like individuality, talent and conception. Now it is not shameful to wear the clothes of young designers.

Tell us a little about the brand. At what point did the idea of creating a brand come up?

Most likely the idea born while I was studying at the University. I remember that different people imposed their opinions and said a lot of commentaries how my clothes must be look and which color of fabrics I must use. Then for the first time I thought about what exactly I like. I decided to create an account in Facebook where I will post articles and photos with arts and creativity which I interested in. I gave the account nickname Nikolay Legenda. I find that this was the beginning of the history of my brand.

Few people know the real name of the brand designer. Why N. Legenda?

I did not set the task of hiding my person behind N.LEGENDA. I’ll be honest with you, I consider that name Olga Kapitonova doesn’t fit the clothes which produces brand N.LEGENDA. All my environment waited from Olga Kapitonova women dresses of pastel color. By the way, I’ll tell you a secret, I have another one name stuck in my head, and I want to make it to a reality.

As a rule, a clothing brand is a large team that takes part in the creation of collections. How many people are in the brand team and what are the responsibilities of the chief designer?

N. LEGENDA-a brand of a specific thematic segment. We make our collections in St-Petersburg (Russia) in our own small manufacture. We don’t pretend to produce large collections, we value individuality and the possibility of choice. I design and patter make collections by myself. Even a couple of garments in the collection happens that I sew by myself. Several tailors and a manager help me. If it necessary, we are attracting additional people.

Now many brands are for environmental friendliness and recycling. What materials does the N. Legenda brand use? Are you planning to create collections from recycled materials?

Environmental friendliness and recycling is a very serious problem but it has not yet been fully studied, like the situation with recycle paper cups and cotton shopper’s bags is as eco-friendly as it seems. It is necessary to really understand what is 100% recycled and what is not. To begin with we decided to work at slow fashion, produce limited edition of collections. I cut items myself and know which fabric consumption need, therefore, have scanty waste. Also, sometimes we recycle our items from previous collection or use up-cycle vintage fabric.

In the latest collections of N. Legenda, you can notice that the models who participate in the shows correspond to the main theme of the brand (without gender boundaries). Are there any non-professional models among them? How does the selection of models for displaying collections take place?

Each collection has own character. We work with modeling agency and I’m glad that they have many different types of models now. we also like to give opportunities to new faces. For them, participation in our show becomes their first show, and then it’s nice to see them on the world catwalks.

But I still think that I have a lovely type of guys with „sharp cheekbones that can be used to cut veins“.

The brand exists since 2012. Thanks to the cut and style of the brand, it suits any gender. The brand was created when the topic of gender was not as popular as it is now. What prompted you to create a brand without gender? In your opinion, has the brand become more popular due to the relevance of this topic?

When I created brand in 2012, the education taught that there were a lot of style which had clear differences. Also with gender. It was very annoying! I wanted to make clothes free of borders and that it could not be attributed to any style and gender. I

n 2012 I didn’t know that in 2021 it will be so harmonic. Female designer with men name of brand who make clothes without gender sounds so epic.

About question, has the brand become more popular due to the relevance of this topic? I think, no. Most our customers appreciate clothes by N.LEGENDA for brightness and individuality, because it adapts to different looks and styles. Maybe that’s why musicians like to use our outfits in music videos, shootings and at performances.

Who is the N. Legenda brand for? Can you describe its target audience?

During all time customers and influencers of brand are our like-minded people, creative personalities who value individuality, uniqueness and quality. Fans and customers of N.LEGENDA are the younger generation of artists, musicians, stylists and etc.

Target audience – bad guys who in deep of their soul prefer sweet ice-cream))))

N. Legenda is a well-known brand in Russia. Many Russian celebrities can be seen in N. Legenda clothes. Would you like the brand to exist on the world market in the future?

YES, I would. In dreams, to make collaborations with some international painters and illustrators.

The main concept of the brand is a drama in the style of minimalism. Can we say that N. Legenda a reflection of the inner world of the brand designer?

Most likely, Nikolay Legenda can be called my alter ego.

Why do you think there are so few Russian designers on the world catwalk?

We get a lot of offers to participate in pop-up stores and catwalk during fashion weeks from Europe and America. But we just don’t have enough finances to create international professional crew like own crew in Russia and organize fashion show with dignity. What reasons do other designers have?! I don’t know.

How would you describe today’s fashion and what feelings does it cause you?

It seems to me that now is the calm before the storm. After Gucci’s heads in hands, nothing looks surprising. I believe that something interesting is waiting for us in the near future. Today I’m seeing only how Asian idols, Italian music bands and American singers are attracted to promotional fashion campaign.

5 of your favorite designers.

John Galliano, Martin Margiela, Rick Owens, Cristobal Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten.

Instagram N. LEGENDA @nikolaylegenda

Anna Kurmaeva „born for gold“



Photographer/Producer/Retoucher: Anna Kurmaeva @solar.anny
Art director/Wardrobe stylist: Nina Gusarova @gnina_style
Make up artist/Hair stylist: Irina Starinova @iriss_star
Model: Alina Pavlushova @iambeba

Dress – SPRWMN @sprwmnofficial Tights – Calzedonia @calzedonia Boots – MSGM @msgm Accessories – Vintage; Body – Alex NYC @alixnyc Accessories – Vintage

Dress – Michael Kors @michaelkors Jumper – Tibi @Tibi Boots – MSGM @msgm; Dress – Michael Kors @michaelkors Boots – MSGM @msgm Accessories – Vintage

Jumper – Tibi @Tibi Tights – Calzedonia @calzedonia Sandals – Preppy @preppyshoes

Dress – Toteme @toteme Sandals – Simmi London @simmishoes; Dress – Michael Kors @michaelkors Boots – MSGM @msgm Accessories – Vintage

Dress – SPRWMN @sprwmnofficial Tights – Calzedonia @calzedonia Boots – MSGM @msgm Accessories – Vintage

Top – Theory @theory Pants – Fendi @Fendi Sandals – Simmi London @simmishoes

Overalls – Hannah Artwear @hannahartwear Boots – MSGM @msgm

Body – Alex NYC @alixnyc Accessories – Vintage

Arnaud Ele & Laura Knoops „drapes“



Photography by Eleknoops — Arnaud Ele & Laura Knoops @eleknoops @arnaud.ele @knoops @cosmopola_berlin
Styled by Sonja Hodzode & Judith Gölzer @sonja_hodzode @judith_goelzer
Muah by Victoria Plekhanova @diekunst @agency_bigoudi
Model: Malaya Stern Takeda @malayatakeda @vivamodelsberlin

Shirt: Schepperheyn @schepperheyn Pants: Stella McCartney @stellamccartney Socks: Falke @falke Sneaker: Adidas @adidas; Bra: Frances.O @frances___o Pants: Henrik Vibskov @henrikvibskov Sneaker: Saucony @saucony

Scarves: Schepperheyn @schepperheyn; Shirt: Schepperheyn @schepperheyn Pants: Stella McCartney @stellamccartney Socks: Falke @falke Sneaker: Adidas @adidas

Blazer: Joseph @josephfashion Sneaker: Asics @asics_sportstyle; Blouse: House of Gobin @houseofgobin Pants: American Vintage @americanvintage_officiel

Top: Iceberg @iceberg Earring: Acne Studios @acnestudios

Blanket: Laura Knoops @knoops Earring: Ni Daodao @takeoni; 

Bra: Frances.O @frances___o Pants: Henrik Vibskov @henrikvibskov Sneaker: Saucony @saucony

Shirt: Prada @prada Scarves: Schepperheyn @schepperheyn Graphic prints: Laura Knoops @knoops @zigzagzurich Floral prints: House of Gobin @houseofgobin; Stockings: Hēdoïne @hedoineofficial Ring: Mies Nobis @miesnobis; Top: Iceberg @iceberg Earring: Acne Studios @acnestudios

Digital Dreams, Uncanny Feeling: Interview with Curators of Ars Electronica Project Helena Nikonole and Oxana Chvyakina

By /ART/

From left to right_ curators Helena Nikonole and Oxana Chvyakina at the opening of ‘Uncanny Dream’. Electromuseum in Rostokino, Moscow (03.09.2021). Photo_ Kseniya Yablonskaya

J u l i a  K r y s h e v i c h
K s e n i y a  Y a b l o n s k a y a

Digital Dreams, Uncanny Feeling: Interview with Curators of Ars Electronica Project Helena Nikonole and Oxana Chvyakina

The recently opened Ars Electronica festival puzzles us with this year’s theme A New Digital Deal. And it’s not that we haven’t shaken the idea of the omnipresent digitalization, which has reached its apogee during the global series of lockdowns, but just the very thought occupying our minds, how can we deal with that? May the new order of things change our lives for better or worse? And eventually, is that such a new thing? 

While the current edition of Ars Electronica is running in a hybrid format, which both implies on-site events in different countries around the globe and online projects, I was lucky enough to personally meet Helena Nikonole and Oxana Chvyakina, the curators of the Moscow-based ‘Kepler’s Garden’ this year (the 2020 concept of ‘Kepler’s Gardens’ has successfully assimilated in the ground of the festival, so that this time the system of ‘gardens’ has spread itself internationally). Oxana and Helena have in detail told about their project Uncanny Dream: the way it matches the spirit of the time, correlates with the general idea of the edition, and seamlessly rests upon personal links.

‚The Becoming‘ by Pavel Seldemirov. Courtesy of the Artist

Helena, Oxana, I am really glad to be speaking with you today, a week away from the opening of Ars Electronica, one of the biggest digital art festivals in the world and probably the most famous one.  

Just before we get down right to the topic of your exhibition, I would like to focus particularly on the Ars Electronica festival. What are your impressions of this season? Is it the first time you take part in the event? 

Helena Nikonole: Personally, I have visited the festival many times. Before the pandemic, I took part in Ars Electronica both as an artist and as a curator. Just last year, together with my colleague and the other curator Olga Vad, we intended to exhibit in Linz, but as the pandemic spoiled our plans, we had to transfer the show to Moscow, to the Electromuseum. Parallel to it, we created an online part. So, yes, this is the second time. 

This year I have invited Oxana to join me: I chose Oxana because of her incredible experience in curating the Wrong Biennale (an art biennial for digital culture hosted online since 2013). I just thought we would make a perfect duo 🙂 

Oxana Chvyakina: As for me, it was my first Ars Electronica experience. I have curated online projects before, but the thing with the Ars Electronica festival this year was to create a hybrid event. The exhibition Uncanny Dream will take place both on-site, in the Moscow-based Electromuseum and digitally. The theme for this year sounds like A New Digital Deal. The festival’s system is conceived as a network of gardens spread over the world. So we decided to create one in Moscow. I am happy to be doing it together with Helena. 

‚Stopping Light‘ by Ivan Netkachev. Courtesy of the Artist

That was exactly my next question. The currently unfolded age of ‘Coronacene’ has affected Ars Electronica — as you have already mentioned, today it hosts both online and offline projects on par. To your mind, what influence did this ‘going digital’ step have on the entire concept of the festival, if any? 

H.N: Actually, it is the second time the Ars Electronica festival hosts its projects in a hybrid form. I guess this year the organizers of Ars Electronica have learnt some lessons from 2020, so they could incorporate the experience. 

You know, the huge part of the festival, which is networking — when you just enter the show and meet new people — is missing this time. That’s why they came up with those special platforms and Swapcard that represent a virtual space for connecting with others. You just visit the platform, see the profile pics of those who have joined the conversation, and dive right in! I think it helps. The point is, we would still like to go to Linz with the artists to attend Ars Electronica physically, but in the circumstances, at least, we have some digital opportunities.   

The one that I particularly cherish is coming ahead. On September 11 there will be a 24-hour multimedia performance in the Moscow-based Cube art space, with a live stream running parallely on the project website. The participants will construct a disturbing image of an everyday global catastrophe, elements of which surround us during the third decade of the 21st century. Different toolsets like electronic musical instruments, game engines, DIY synthesizers, the artists’ voices and many others will be involved. The performance promises to be a great event, which might open up the topic of Uncanny Dream even more. I’m glad that it will be available digitally, which means globally. 

‘Charon AR’ by Vladimir Sheshak. Courtesy of the Artist

‘Charon AR’ by Vladimir Sheshak. Courtesy of the Artist

The artistic co-director of Ars Electronica, Gerfried Stocker once shared his opinion on the way the festival functions: Ars Electronica is all about the maximum flexibility and improvising. Can you agree with the statement? What features and characteristics have you noticed in the work of the festival? Which of them would you perhaps like to see on the local arts scene or even implement in your own curating practice? 

H.N. Of course, Ars Electronica is about improvising. Gerfried Stocker is at the head, and he is the one who carries the vision. The festival organizers do it from one edition to another, but 2020 and 2021 have been a special case, because of the difficult conditions everyone has to face now. The organizers have just realized, they could not make it the way they used to over the past 30 years. As a result, Ars Electronica has become even more international. I also think they are stimulating the growth of the local communities by proposing changes and taking new initiatives.

O.C. On my part, I would also point out professional networking as a big advantage of taking part in Ars Electronica. The organizers seek to create a network of artists, curators, critics, and all those who have to do with the new media arts. As an emerging curator, I appreciate it a lot. 

‘Aeternum illud’ by Xenia Obukhovskaya. Courtesy of the Artist

Now let’s talk about your project. The festival has a rather labyrinthine structure, which perfectly rhymes with the concept of ‘Kepler’s Gardens’. Uncanny Dream takes place in the Moscow-based Electromuseum in Rostokino, which is a member of the Moscow Exhibition Venues Union. How would you define the location of your exhibition towards the entire system of the festival, complex and intertwined? 

O.C. For some reasons we didn’t face any kind of selection when applying. At least, we heard nothing of that. Once the organizers received our proposal, they were very excited about it, so we had really positive reviews about the project idea. I think Helena and I have just put one bullet in the bullseye. You know, the topic A New Digital Deal sounds vast and speaks for itself, so the exhibition Uncanny Dream has perfectly fitted in the entire concept of the festival. 

Uncanny Dream tackles the issues of the ‘Coronacene’ epoch, which is relevant for people around the globe today. Actually, we are going to have an introductory online meeting with all the curators of ‘Kepler’s Gardens’ in a few days — the situation is different everywhere, and it changes! How should we deal with it? What kind of future awaits us? So I would say, our show mostly focuses on the mediums that answer those how-questions. 

H.N. I think the other reason for including Uncanny Dream in the program was the interest of the organizers towards the Russian community of new media artists. That is what Martin Honzik, the festival’s director and curator told me in person: You have an amazing community of artists in Russia, but it feels like you are underrepresented globally. 

What is also striking, this year we engaged young artists only a.k.a. ‘digital natives’, whereas in the previous editions there were participants from different generations and different post-Soviet countries. It is just Moscow and Saint Petersburg this time. As curators, we focus on the ways ‘digital natives’ explore the digital space in times of the pandemic. The organizers appreciated our concern for video games within the exhibition, while it is certainly the format that needs to be displayed online. Uncanny Dream has a true hybrid spirit — viewers can enjoy it both digitally and physically. 

‘Aeternum illud’ by Xenia Obukhovskaya. Courtesy of the Artist

‘Aeternum illud’ by Xenia Obukhovskaya. Courtesy of the Artist

Uncanny Dream features works by 14 artists and 1 art collective. All of the participants reside in Russia and do digital art; apart from that, they have very distinctive backgrounds: e.g. in game development, architecture, and music. What selection criteria did you use while inviting the artists to become a part of the project? Were the personal links also in play? 

H.N. Many of the artists selected are either from the Rodchenko Art School or the School of Contemporary Art Free Workshops
(Moscow Museum of Modern Art). Some of them are my students (Editor’s note: Neural Networks in Arts and Art & Science are Helena’s author’s courses). Together with Oxana we discussed which of the artistic projects could or better not be shown online. Oxana also suggested inviting some people from the Independent Video Games Community. Besides, the list of participants for Uncanny Dream includes artists like Yuliya Kozhemyako (Supr) and Fedor Balashov (WASDSWAG), who have already gained some international recognition. For instance, Yuliya has exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale this year.

O.C. Ideally, there should be an educational platform for the emerging media artists, so that they could later integrate into the global digital arts community. You know, it is hard to be a self-taught artist in the field of technological arts now. I guess educational and exhibit opportunities interlink here a lot.
Originally, we thought of organizing an open-call, but unfortunately we didn’t have enough time for it. There were only three months to prepare the entire project. That is why we decided to use personal links. After all, many things work like that in the contemporary art world. 

H.N. I agree. As a lecturer and an independent curator, I often include the works of my alumni in some bigger art projects. It is like a short path from the classroom to the big art world, so to speak. 

‘Neurofrodite’ by Nika Peshekhonova. Courtesy of the Artist

The press-release of your exhibition explains the title Uncanny Dream as an uneasy feeling one gets because of the ever-changing reality. The text says, the exhibition tackles such acute issues as AI bias, different forms of biopolitics, social isolation, and loneliness during the pandemic, which does not sound bright at all. Yet did any of the artists from those whose works have been selected for the Uncanny Dream dare to bring a more positive perspective on the topics listed above? 

O.C. I don’t think anybody would describe this feeling as a depressive one, because of the emotional distance implied. As for me, the exhibition focuses on the common experience we all have gone through, it doesn’t have to do much with one’s personal feelings or state. 

H.N. Yet I guess many of the artists intended to display that uncanny feeling. For example, Pavel Seldemirov’s project is exactly about that kind of sensation one has probably experienced during the pandemic. You know, the exhibition also suggests a metaphorical way of seeing things: a fairytale forest, which makes you feel… well, uncanny. 

The following question I would like to be answered by each of you. Please choose one of the works featured at Uncanny Dream that, in your opinion, is essential for understanding the idea of the entire display. In other words, which work should the viewer pay special attention to?

O.C. I would definitely mention video games. There are like six of them, the works of Yuliya Kozhemyako, Katya Gallitskaya, Xenia Obukhovskaya, Anastasia Koroleva, Alexey Ryabov, and Pavel Seldemirov.

H.N. Yes, all of them discuss the pandemic experience, the major topic of the show. Given that the viewer is into video games, (s)he would easily grasp the idea. 

‘Generotic art’ by Fedor Balashov aka WASDSWAG. Courtesy of the Artist

‘Generotic art’ by Fedor Balashov aka WASDSWAG. Courtesy of the Artist

Helena, Oxana, I wonder how you came together as a curatorial duo for the current exhibition. Your backgrounds in new media arts seem to overlap, and, most probably, being based in Moscow, you knew each other before. How did you share the duties within the project? Was it easy and fast to reach agreement on the concept? And what is the best part of curating the show together? 

H.N. I really enjoy working with Oxana and I like the very idea of collaboration. You know, while collaborating with someone, you can better see the other person’s perspective, which contributes to making the project multidimensional. 

O.C. Yes, me too. I think we have made a very good team with Helena. By working together we can share our duties and discuss everything. We just have a gut’s feeling of what needs to be done (laughing). Perhaps, this is an indicator of us having grown up to high professional standards. 

I wonder to whom of you the idea of the project belongs…

O.C. Helena came up with the title and the main idea for the exhibition, I would say. Afterwards, we have just got down to elaborating the concept. Personally I find it complicated to name things, whereas for Helena it might be easier.

H.N. Oh no, I am usually bad at names.

O.C. Really? 

H.N. Honestly! However, this time it was very natural, I just had a picture in my mind, so I decided to follow it.  

‚In Between‘ by Katya Galitskaya. Courtesy of the Artist

My last question, art curators just like artists usually appreciate all the projects they had in their creative career or, at least, the ones they decided to include in their portfolio. However, some exhibitions/initiatives are particularly appreciated. Can you say that Uncanny Dream as a form of your participation in the Ars Electronica festival was exactly the kind of experience you value so much? If so, how do you think it has shaped or will shape your curating practice? 

H.N. Of course, it’s special. No idea how it is going to shape my future experience (laughing). It’s hard to say. 

O.C. Well, taking part in Ars Electronica is definitely important for my career as a curator. I wasn’t sure of that when we just began working on the project, but now I am, absolutely. 

H.N. I still hope we will be able to bring our project to Linz next year. 

O.C. Hopefully. 

2021 Ars Electronica Festival takes place from September 8—12 in its headquarters in Linz (Austria), locally, and online.

‚The Becoming‘ by Pavel Seldemirov. Courtesy of the Artist

You can learn more about the project ‘Uncanny Dream’ and follow the news here:
And don’t forget to visit the festival website:



NASTYA NEKRASOVA, a Russian brand and permanent participant of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia joined MBFW Berlin for the first time. The video presentation of NASTYA NEKRASOVA’s digital collection was streamed at on September 7, as well as at MBFW Berlin’s official social media accounts. The digital show by NASTYA NEKRASOVA was arranged under the global initiative MBFW International Editions Vol 1 for designer exchange between Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weeks.  Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia in Moscow and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin made an agreement, and in turn a designer from MBFW Berlin will join the fall season of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia scheduled for September 19 through 23.

“The new collection has been inspired by ASSA, a super-popular Soviet film, namely the night dreams of the protagonist,” says Anastasia Nekrasova.

“Global collaboration and allying are major trends of the new era. The more experience we share, the more we communicate, all the more opportunities for designers from across the globe – it is easier for them to get into the spotlight, to be sustainable and unique,” believes Alexander Shumsky, President of Russian Fashion Council and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia.

NASTYA NEKRASOVA uses organic and recycled materials, supports local artisans and manufacturers and follows the slow fashion principles – less clothes, better quality. In 2021, the brand started a new totally digital clothing line.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin is taking place from September 6 to 8, both offline and online. Complementing these shows are presentations of fashion films by Marc Cain and talks by „She‘s Mercedes The Studio X MBFW Berlin“, a panel talk of the „Fashion Council Germany“ and three „Fashion Open Studio x MBFW talks“.

Russian Fashion Council:  

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia:

For additional information, please contact:

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia

Artyom Brusov „Honeymoon Trip“



Photography and Fashion by Artyom Brusov @seebiome
Modelling by Anastasia Brusova @odninepriyatnosti

Swimsuit by H&M and Vintage Pareo

Vintage Dress

Dress by H&M, Vintage Dress

Dress by H&M

Vintage Dress

Vintage Dress and Sandals by Zara; Dress by H&M

Vintage Dress and Sandals by Zara