The Era of Art in Russia – Erarta
Erarta is the largest private museum of contemporary art in Russia and it collects artworks of talented artists from over 20 regions of Russia. The museum aims at a widest audience and totally not only at art experts. Its purpose is to bring people closer to contemporary art and make it an important part of people’s life. In the first room there’s an introduction it’s like a Manifesto of the museum and it states its main goals. There’s written a provocative but true statement “As a rule, if someone says they don’t understand art it just means he or she doesn’t feel any personal connection to it”. But then, you soon understand that in the museum everything is arranged in order to lead the viewer on his or her path of discovery contemporary art, no matter what experience of contemporary art you had. And since I had a really disappointing one I’m even more well surprise to have really and honestly enjoyed Erarta.
The museum is organized in 2 main sections. In the left wing is located the permanent exhibition and the artworks of the gallery while in the right wing the temporary exposition. The variety of art is impressive and represents various generations and trends. Paintings, sculptures, installations are connected by common themes, subjects or similar artistic researches. Most of contemporary artworks are deeply connected with the past, Russian history and culture. Even if at a fist look they don’t seem linked to traditional art and themes in some of the works you can recognize symbols and themes of paganism, orthodox religion, modernism, motherland and of the Soviet era. It is impressive to see how strongly they are still present in contemporary Russian artists’ works and Russians’ life too.
Erarta is a global project of contemporary Russian art. The name derives from the combination of two words “Era” and “Art, the two sculptures at the entrance of the building, and means “the Era of Art”. Erarta Galleries are located in St Petersburg, New York, London, Zurich and Hong Kong. It’s much more than a museum it’s an art centre which hosts plays, concerts, film screenings, lectures, workshops and developed his own art projects “U-Space”, “Theatre With no Actors” in which plays with characters of paintings, Audio Installations, “Art-Animation” and “Art-Literature”. There’s a special section dedicated to science art, in which you can experience interactive installations. One in particular, is able to analyse brain information from your skin as you put your finger on it. Then you will listen to a music getting louder on the right or the left of the installation depending on whether the right (in charge or emotions)or left hemisphere (rational part) is your leading one.
The museum is located in Васильевский остров (Vasilievsky ostrov) and you can get there by metro station Василеостро́вская (Vasileostrovskya) or by bus n. 7 and trolleybus n. 10, 11 from the city centre.
Written by: Jessica Carrettiero