Misha Leyikin, Masha Sumnina:
“Arkhip Kuindzhi never left any letters, diaries or documents: everything we know about him comes from the memoirs written by his friends and colleagues. His personality slips away from us; we know little of his life for sure. Kuindzhists haven’t even agreed on when the artist was actually born. His memorial apartment offers only an interpretation of the period décor, since no objects owned by the artist’s family have been preserved. Kuindzhi’s works themselves describe a slipping substance of light.
We are creating our own memorial apartment within Kuindzhi’s memorial apartment. We’ll show things that would normally be hidden from the visitor’s view: walls of our bedroom, diaries, sketches, objects that inspire us, personal photos and belongings. Which of these are authentic and which are not still depends on our own choice. All the objects are both ours and his; they are somehow linked to what we know about Kuindzhi and the museum, and especially to what we know about emptiness and slipping away, about memory and documentation of it. The second strand is that of a landscape; landscape being a map of sites and events we find important. These quasi-maps or picture-maps will be displayed among the landscapes painted by Kuindzhi’s pupils. All exhibits of our museum-within-museum will be equipped with proper museum labels.”
Misha Leyikin, born 1968, graduated from Moscow Architectural Institute. Masha Sumnina, born 1977, graduated form Moscow Academy of Printing. Both schools descend form the famous VKhUTEMAS (Higher Art and Technical Studios). In 2000 two artistic careers grow into a marriage or vice versa, and this is how MishMash came to being. Mishmash meaning a ‘confused mixture of things, jumble, mélange, chaos’. The artistic duo exploits forces they can not control, such as wind, water, mould, visitor etc., thus bringing into play the devices that create harmony out of chaos and studying the interplay between order and disorder. As a result their works linger somewhere in between genres, along the way of impalpable, undistinguishable, as if in the twilight zone, and you never know what form they are going to take – that of an action, installation, painting, sculpture, a tower made of bread or a gigantic face.
Museum “Apartment of Arkhip Kuindji” recreates the atmosphere which many years surrounded a legendary master of the landscape. Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindji spent his last 13 years of life in this house. Nowadays the artist’s studio represents an exhibition devoted to his pedagogical activities in the Academy of Arts, where he was a professor of the landscaping and manager of the studio from 1894 till 1897 during which he was able to nurture a galaxy of original artists.
This apartment in Birzhevoy pereulok (Stock Exchange lane) attracted Kuinji’s attention first of all by its enormous attic studio which opened a magnificent view of the city, Strelka (Spit) of Vassilievsky Island and Petrogradskaya Storona. The studio appeared to be very convenient for work. After the master’s death his student Nikolay Roerich expressed the idea of founding a Museum in the studio. The museum opened by the 150-year anniversary of Arkhip Kuindji’s birth to commemorate his role in Russian culture.
Adress: 1/10 Birzhevoy pereulok, app. 11
Tel.: (812) 323-31-33
Museum Hours: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 12:00-17:00
Closed: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday
Ticket: 100 rub.