Initial details for the UK-Russia Year of Culture 2014 were announced today at the Science Museum in London. Over 250 events are set to take place across Russia and the UK between January and December 2014, officially opening in Moscow with the exhibition The Golden Age of the Russian Avant-Garde, curated by cult British director Peter Greenaway in April. Details of 21 events and programmes, largely focused on classical arts were revealed at the event, with the rest set to be released in the new year.
Ed Vaizey, UK minister for culture, communications creative industries, stressing the importance of the year for UK-Russia relations, said it would be a “flow of ideas”, looking at scientific and sporting achievements as well as the arts and creative industries. He was echoed by Mikhail Shvidkoy, the Russian President’s special envoy for cultural cooperation who added: “The main value for both our countries will be trust. Contradictions appear when [people] do not understand each other”.
In the UK, highlights include a large-scale exhibition of the work of Kazimir Malevich at the Tate Modern, and various theatre and music performances. The year will close with the Science Museum’s Russia’s Space Quest (working title), a six-month exhibition exploring the story of Russian space exploration as far back as 1911. Ian Blatchford, director of the Science Museum, said: “In the history of civilisation and archaeology, people still talk about the Tutankhamun exhibition [at the British Museum in 1972], but for people in the history of science, it’s telling the Russian story of the space race. We’re borrowing objects that have never left Russia or been seen in public in Russia itself”.
Russia will play host to the recent Barbican exhibition Designing 007: Fifty years of Bond Style, which will travel to the Multimedia Art Museum Moscow, as well as exhibitions of British art from the 1990s, fashion in film and various seasons of theatre by UK companies in celebration of the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth.
The visual identity for the year was also revealed at the launch — an example, according to organisers, of two creative agencies from both countries working together. A website detailing the wider programme is set to go live on 1 January.
Highlights in Russia:
Highlights in UK: