Prawn sex … and other future sounds of Russia | Musique Non Stop


Monday, March 13, 2017

Prawn sex … and other future sounds of Russia

Bankrolled by an oligarch and staged in a derelict power station near Red Square, the Geometry of Now festival aims to bring Russia back to the heart of the avant-garde – with neon raves, black-robed gurus and bone-chilling industrial noise

Leonid Mikhelson, the richest man in Russia, stands on a balcony overlooking the main hall of GES-2, a disused power station, as Moscow’s art crowd mill around him. It’s the opening night of Geometry of Now, a festival of sound art and club culture staged by his foundation, VAC. Curated by British artist and electronic musician Mark Fell, the four-day festival’s attractions include a man playing one note on a cello for an hour; a lecture on gender, politics and sound by the transgender musician Terre Thaemlitz, and a late-night DJ set by Detroit techno legend Anthony Shakir – along with 15 sound-based installations around the building, one of which is a vastly amplified recording of prawns having sex. So – given that Mikhelson paid for it all – which is his favourite artwork?

“My daughter,” Mikhelson tells the Guardian through an interpreter. Victoria Mikhelson is the “V” in VAC (somewhat improbably, the foundation’s full name is Victoria, the Art of Being Contemporary). A 23-year-old art history graduate who studied at New York University and the Courtauld Institute in London, she is one of the prime movers behind Geometry of Now. Her father, meanwhile, is the boss and major shareholder of Novatek, the Russian gas company. Forbes currently estimates him to be worth $18.2bn (£15bn). As the overhead heaters roast an audience preparing itself for the doom-rock sonic assault of Sunn O)))’s Stephen O’Malley and Muscovite underground artist Alexey Tegin, the suited Leonid may look a little out of place, but he’s taking the event in his stride. Is he looking forward to O’Malley and Tegin’s bone-chilling mixture of Buddhist chanting, industrial crashing sounds and howling guitar?

People had never seen an original work by Warhol

Usually 'no budget' means there's no money. This time 'no budget' means there's no limit

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by Alex Needham via Electronic music | The Guardian
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