Day 3. Theories, practices and "Night at the Manege"
By the third day the Moscow Cultural Forum obviously got into stride, and conversations became less theoretical but more practical. Attendees got a possibility not just to discuss the future and trends, but also to take practical advices and answers to tough questions.
The third day of the Forum was best remembered for presentations of outstanding projects. One of them, called "Literary Moscow," was presented in the Hall "Ideas and Projects." Metropolitan museums along with the Google Company started this project. Its main idea is in the following: spaces of Moscow literary museums have been digitized, virtual panoramic tours and digital exhibitions dedicated to lifes and works of Russian writers and poets have been created on the basis of these materials. The project involves the State Pushkin Museum, the State Museum of V.V. Mayakovsky, Mikhail Bulgakov Museum, The State Literary Museum and others.
At the presentation of the project, Sergei Kapkov said that the Department of Culture would try to pay more and more attention to the development of literary projects. "Year of Culture will smoothly become a Year of Literature, and I'm sure that we’ll be able to develop our success, - he said. – I am talking about the program for modernization of Moscow libraries, development of bookstores, even changing of outdoor signs and stylistics of Moscow ads because for us it is also literature and Russian language. Book fairs, which we will organize, will be able to inform the whole world that Moscow is a big center where literature is created and where we have an interest in literature, where books are issued in paper and electronic formats. And it is always important for us to hear your suggestions on how to develop the Russian language and literature, how to make a million school children to read, to write, to rhyme and what new forms we have for it".
It is possible that not only pupils and students will be able to view the virtual tours. According to the agreement signed yesterday between Maria Razbakova, head of the Social support for older people "VNUK", and Lev Khazanovich, director of the Yablochkina House of Veterans at the Department of Social Protection of Moscow Population, older Moscow citizens also will be able to learn how to use computers. Now the Yablochkina House of Veterans hosts more than 70 people, they all their life have been engaged in creative work and almost all of them want to be able to go on-line and use the computer. Now, they will get the help from volunteers "VNUK" social movement.
Another interesting cooperation agreement was signed between Ekaterina Kalachikova, director of the Training Centre for Educational Development in the field of culture and art at the Moscow Department of Culture, and Anton Belov, director at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. Joint programs related to music and contemporary art are planned. The first joint project will be the "Art-experiment: 32 questions from John Cage": children from Moscow music schools will play a concert consisting of cover versions of works by popular artists: The Beatles, Queen etc. Anton Belov explained his interest in the music industry as follows: "Every year we choose a new theme. This is the idea of our work. We look for something that can be interesting for us to learn and to process. This year it is music, next year - the other direction. Thus, we are expanding the knowledge of contemporary art among Moscow citizens and foreigners".
Discussions of architectural projects took the main part of the third day of the Forum. Thus, in the hall "Amphitheatre" the future of the Narkomfin building, which stayed in poor condition, was discussed. Specifically for this discussion, five young architects prepared reconstruction projects. The projects were evaluated by Elena Gonzalez, architecture critic and curator; Anna Bronovitskaya, associate professor of the Moscow Architectural Institute; Nikolai Pereslegin, architect and head of Kleinewelt Architekten bureau; Alexander Senatorov, general director of the IG "Copernicus", dedicated to the restoration project of Narkomfin building. The project called "Plan two" became the project of a special interest for the experts. According to this project the Narkomfin building remains a residential building, supplemented by various comfortable spaces for people: there must be a co-working and a lecture hall, and the roof, furnished for parties, and a bar, and a well-wooded park. "Each of the five projects is interesting, but exactly this project can be discussed and concretized even now", - architect Irina Verbitskaya summarized.
Reorganization of the ZIL Factory territory was another great architectural project discussed during the third day of the Forum. Project presentation of ZIL total reconstruction by “Research and Project Institute of General Planning for the city of Moscow” (Genplan Institute of Moscow) and the Bureau "Project Meganom" was made in the hall "Oval". According to the project approved by the Mayor of Moscow, residential areas, pedestrian areas, swimming pools, hotels, promenade embankments and new parks will appear on the place of abandoned ZIL industrial zone. Of course, there also will be cultural objects: a science museum, a puppet theater, a concert hall and an academic theater are included in the construction plan. Completion of work is scheduled for 2022.
Meanwhile, there was a discussion about the cultural rights of citizens in the hall "Citizen", a notion that, as it turned out, was needed a definition and interpretation. During the conversation, the first deputy head of the Moscow Department of Culture Elena Zelentsova compared the right to receive cultural benefits with the right to receive general education, but in case of culture, it was not so obvious. According to Zelentsova, the talk about cultural rights is escalated because the people’s need for creative development has been increased, and contemporary culture, first of all, is a form of self-realization. "But we have to decide how the right for self-realization will be performed, - said Elena Zelentsova –we won’t be able to follow the same path, that education has taken". Daniel Dondurei, chief editor of the magazine "Cinema Art", a member of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, called the cultural right the “air that we breathe, but never think about". Experts also discussed the financing of culture; by their opinion, support ought to be found in business. Results of a survey conducted in the framework of the Forum were announced at the end of the session. According to them, the majority of voters believes that the main cultural right of the citizen is the availability.
Actually, the whole program of the Forum, particularly the third evening, fully satisfied the cultural right for availability. Everyone was able to get into the "Manege" for free and to listen to the central discussion of the Forum: talk show by Kapkov Sergey and Alena Doletskaya about "Culture of the conflict". Uninteresting conversation here could not happen: the main heroes were: Nikita Mikhalkov, Konstantin Ernst, Tatyana Tolstaya, Boris Khlebnikov, Vasily Tsereteli, Vera Obolonkin and Sergei Kapkov. The last one, as a representative of the government, had to fend off the claims. Even the master of the talk show couldn’t resist announcing recently closed Theatre.doc the victim of government censorship. Boris Khlebnikov supported this opinion: "Consumer attitude of the state towards the product that it wants to see is growing. A hall for 30 people scares the state because it works directly with reality". Having listened to everybody carefully, Sergei Kapkov promised to sort out the situation. However, the topic of censorship wasn’t closed by that. Then Tatyana Tolstaya rushed into the battle accusing the government of hypocrisy. "You say there is no censorship? And where did it go?"- Tolstaya boiled over. - "On the contrary, it is increasing more and more. I have been working on television for 12 years and have been watching how problems and conflicts have been washed out of our program. There are different kinds of censorship: for example, TV program is shown at two o'clock, and then they say that there is no rating. If there is no rating, the program can be removed and replaced by some entertainments: "songs, dances and other light entertainments”.
Rather heated discussion on the national cinema took place at the Forum. Nikita Mikhalkov suggested financing only those projects that are worthy. Criteria is the careful preparation of the project. "There is Cinema Fund, there is a defense of the project, experts decide how much money the Fund will launch - it's state money. My suggestion is to give money only when there is a production project. If the project is unprepared - go and prepare it!"- the director said. Boris Khlebnikov was disagree with him. Khlebnikov argued that the funding was directly dependent on censorship. As an example, he mentioned the unrealized project by Alexander Mindadze "Dear Hans, dear Peter", the film for which the money had not been allocated. However, Sergei Kapkov even here managed to minimize the conflict: "Censorship is when they call and say to take something away, we don’t have such a thing for sure. The role of the state is increasing, government order appears, but it is poorly formulated. We should give these functions of the Ministry of Culture, for example, to the Cinema Fund or Mosfilm. They will set a task and allocate the money to the children, patriotic, historical movies, etc.",- he explained.
The epic "Night at the Manege" began immediately after the talk show. The space where previously discussions and presentations were held, turned into a huge stage for musical bands and theater teams. Igor Butman was the first with the jazz program, then actors of the Meyerhold Center showed a musical and plastic fragment from the play "Normansk". Then the Likvid Teatr troupe showed the performance. Actors dressed in identical gray office suits performed a 30-minute dance show to the music of Handel about restrictions on the outer freedom and limitlessness of the inner freedom. The culmination of the "Night at the Manege" was a concert by the actors from "Gogol-center". Kirill Serebrennikov’s students performed songs from their performances, as well as cover versions of Victor Tsoi’s famous songs and set to music poems of Lermontov, thus celebrating the 200th anniversary of the poet. Professional break dancers took part in another plastic performance called «Low-tech. Street theater work". Their performance took place at the site surrounded with warning signs of repair works, and they were dressed in recognizable orange uniforms. After midnight, the indie rock band On-the-go performed at the Large Hall, and in the next hall there was a demonstration of works of participants of the Moscow International Short Film Festival "The debut movie". The market with a food court, a library, a bookstore and an exhibition of photographs and souvenirs with city symbols was open throughout the night for guests.