In the summer of 2014, Moscow will host the International Biennale for Young Art for the fourth time. 3069 applications by artists under 35 from 84 countries of the world were submitted for the competition, which lasted from November 2013 through March 2014. For the Main Project of the Biennale, Artistic Director David Elliott selected works by 83 authors from 32 countries.

David Elliott on the concept of A Time for Dreams:

“For this fourth edition of the International Biennale for Young Art in Moscow I have chosen the title A Time for Dreams in acknowledgement of the chronic precariousness of our own times and the urgent need for the dreams and visions of younger and future generations to break the barrier of ‘things as they are’ to make things better. Europe has not seen a major war for nearly seventy years and although its present situation is far from hopeful and many conflicts still occur elsewhere
in the world, we believe, perhaps foolishly, that morality and ethics will triumph.

Good art can reveal unexpected relationships and truths. It demands of the artist both a position and a perspective on reality and the future: the ability to see, analyze and experience in order to dream. The dreams that these young artists express are of many kinds: utopian and nightmarish, cynical and hopeful, hot and cold, wet and dry, vulnerable and strong. But, above all, they are challenging and constructive. This also implies that, in order to make the space to create something better, sometimes they have to destroy that which is destructive itself.

A Time for Dreams was selected from over 3,000 art projects submitted on the Biennale website and includes the work of eighty three artists under the age of thirty five chosen from across the world. Half of them are women, and this reflects a long overdue development in the art world. As part of my curatorial work, I travelled extensively in Russia meeting artists and visiting studios and, of course, also relied on my past experience in encouraging artists to apply. Still, for me, there were many new discoveries in the works I found on the website.

Focusing on both present and future, moving in time and space between concerns with microcosms and universes, this exhibition resounds in a polyphony of individual perspectives interwoven by different ideas of aesthetics and culture - as well as standards of ‘goodness.’ The dream of good art – however it is made and wherever it comes from – has to be rooted in truth, ethics and a belief in life.”

Mikhail Mindlin, Director General of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA):

“In the course of preparations for the Biennale, an important positive trait became evident: every year, there is a growing interest among artists from all over the world towards the project. This is proven by the growth in the number of applications and the widening of the Biennale’s geography. This year, a considerable number of applications came from Asian artists, and from Australia – for the first time in the history of the Biennale. The Biennale succeeds in its mission by discovering new names and bringing more young artists and curators into the art process, giving them the opportunity to speak publicly and be noticed by the professional community. For the new generation, this is a chance to take part in a large-scale international project that attracts dozens of thousands of visitors. Apart from the main and strategic projects, the Biennale incorporates special and collateral events hosted by different exhibition venues in Moscow. Following the Biennale theme, A Time
for Dreams
, we would like to suggest that our visitors should dream together with the artists.”

Vasili Tsereteli, Executive Director of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA):

“The Biennale for Young Art presents works by artists under 35. Emerging, largely unknown by the public, they show their works at this international event and have a chance to meet acclaimed masters. The artistic community can discover new names from all over the world, including from different regions of Russia – this opens up the art world. Well-known and emerging artists have equal opportunities, as everyone can apply to take part in the project. The fourth Biennale is different because of the international reputation of its curator – the main project is designed by David Elliott.”

Alina Saprykina, Director of the Museum of Moscow:

“Museum of Moscow is a museum of a city in progress. Alongside the real city there always are notions of a perfect city and, of course, works of art that praise, criticize, or idealize. The art of contemporary young artists reflects our time that often runs faster than we can perceive. Years will pass, and some phenomena, events and people will become parts of history. This process has never ceased, and this is what our museum is about. Dreaming about the future, we can’t avoid scrutinizing the past. It seems to us that the Biennale for Young Art, the main project of which is housed at a city museum with 117 years of history, will attract a wider audience and gain a new meaning.”

Information on the Artistic Director of the Biennale:

Davıd Elliott is a curator and writer. During his long career as a museum director he has built a number of museums from scratch, and has extended and developed a number of others. Elliott was always distinct in the span of his professional interest and the attention to new areas on the map of contemporary art world.

From 1976 to 1996 Elliott was Director of the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, United Kingdom, and in 1996–2001 – Director of Moderna Museet (The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art) in Stockholm, Sweden. He was Founding Director of the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan (2001–2006), and the first Director of the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Turkey (2007). In 2008–2010, he was Artistic Director of the Biennale of Sydney, Australia, and in 2008 he was appointed Rudolf Arnheim Guest Professor in Art History at the Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany. Elliott was Artistic Director of the 1st International Biennale of Contemporary art in Kiev, Ukraine (2011–2012), and from 2008 has been Visiting Professor in Museum Studies at the Chinese University in Hong Kong. From 1998 to 2004, he was President of CIMAM, the International Committee of ICOM for Museums of Modern Art. He is currently President of the Board of Triangle Art Network/Gasworks in London, United Kingdom, and on the Asia Advisory Board of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, USA.

At the beginning of 2015, his next book, Art and Trousers: Tradition and Modernity in Contemporary Asian Art, will be published.