Tag Archives: capitalism

Marxism Today (or, The Soft Power Approach to Changing Perceptions of Russia)

marxism 2day

Join us for the first stage of Sarajevo-born artist Nada Prlja’s new commission Subversion to Red, a performative round-table discussion reflecting upon the relevance and application of socialist and Marxist ideals today.

Speakers include: Dave Beech, Hannah Black, Gail Day, Mark Fisher and Nina Power. Chaired by Vlad Morariu

As part of First Thursdays the gallery will be open until 9pm.



In March 2011 the London arts foundation Calvert 22 and the Russian investment company VTB Capital have announced a strategic partnership designed to showcase cutting-edge Russian artists in London and widen the exposure of the British public to creative Russian culture as part of a wider artistic programme that presents culture from Russia, Central and Eastern Europe.

VTB Capital is positioned as Calvert 22’s primary strategic partner, providing support for the artistic vision and core activities of the organization. Calvert 22 and VTB Capital are committed to promoting global co-operation through cultural understanding. 

VTB Capital is the recognized leader in Russian investment banking, and one of the company’s key objectives is to promote Russian culture throughout the world. VTB Capital’s partnership with Calvert 22 provides a unique opportunity to engage an open dialogue with the British audience.

Working together, VTB Capital and Calvert 22 are committed to promoting and developing new possibilities for global cooperation through cross-cultural understanding and exchange by implementing an ambitious artistic programme that is part of the company’s soft power approach to the global community.

Nonna Materkova, Founder/Director of Calvert 22, comments:
“I am delighted to announce VTB Capital as our primary strategic partner and proud to be associated with such a highly regarded, trailblazing organisation. This partnership marks a truly exciting and significant new phase in Calvert 22’s development and one that will ensure the foundation continues to present the very best of contemporary Russian, Central and Eastern European art as well as supporting new artists and cultural practice from these regions so as to genuinely introduce fresh and original perspectives to the UK. We are immensely grateful for their support and look forward to working together.”

Olga Podoinitsyna, Member of the Board at VTB Capital, comments:
“Throughout the nearly 3 years of partnership between VTB Capital and Calvert 22 Foundation, we have made a considerable contribution to the showcasing of Russian art in London, and also promoting the understanding of Russia as part of the global community. We support Calvert 22 as a unique vehicle for bringing contemporary Russian culture to Britain, putting people in touch with the actual trends in the country and offering them a new perspective on Russia. Our company plays an important role in strengthening ties between the Russian and British business communities and the partnership with Calvert 22 is a key part of VTB Capital’s soft power approach to changing perceptions of Russia.


VTB Bank (Russian: ОАО Банк ВТБ, former Vneshtorgbank) is one of the leading universal banks of Russia. VTB Bank and its subsidiaries form a leading Russian financial group – VTB Group, offering a wide range of banking services and products in Russia, CIS, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the U.S. The Group’s largest subsidiaries in Russia are VTB24, Bank of Moscow, and TransCreditBank.

VTB was ranked 236th on the FT Global 500 2011, The Financial Times’ annual snapshot of the world’s largest companies. It climbed to 82nd in the ranking of the 500 largest companies in Europe, the FT Europe 500 2011, and to 38th in the FT Emerging 500 2011, the list of the 500 largest companies on the world’s emerging markets. The Moscow-based bank is registered in St. Petersburg and came 65th in the British magazine The Banker’s Top 1000 World Banks in terms of capital in 2010.


The main shareholder of VTB is the Russian Government, which owns 75.5% of the lender through its Federal Agency for State Property Management. The remaining shares are split between holders of its Global Depository Receipts and minority shareholders, both individuals and companies.

In February 2011, the Government floated an additional 10% minus two shares of VTB Bank. The private investors, who paid a total of 95.7 billion roubles ($3.1 billion) for the assets, included the investment funds Generali, TPG Capital, China Investment Corp, a sovereign wealth fund responsible for managing China’s foreign exchange reserves, and companies affiliated with businessman Suleiman Kerimov.


As of September 2009, the Supervisory Council of VTB Bank consist[ed] of Alexei Kudrin (Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation), Arkady Dvorkovich (Aide to the President of the Russian Federation), Anton Drozdov (Chairman of the Management Board, Russian Pension Fund), Andrey Kostin (President and Chairman of the Management Board, JSC VTB Bank), Alexey Savatyugin (Head of Financial Policy Department of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation), Vitaly Saveliev (CEO, JSC Aeroflot-Russian Airlines), Alexei Ulyukaev (First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation), Grigory Glazkov (Independent Consultant), Matthias Warnig (Managing Director, Nord Stream AG), Nikolai Kropachev (Rector of the St. Petersburg State University) and Muhadin Eskindarov (Rector of Finance Academy under the Government of the Russian Federation).




Founder and Director
Nonna Materkova

Board of Trustees
Nonna Materkova (Chair)
Alexey Kudrin
Margarita Gluzberg
Innokenty Alekseev
Dominic Sanders
Nigel Nicholson



From 1990 to 1996, Kudrin worked in the Saint Petersburg Saint Petersburg City Administration under the liberal mayor and reformer Anatoly Sobchak. His first position was Vice Chairman of the Committee for Economic Reform. Until 1993, he worked in various financial positions in the city administration, before he was promoted to Deputy Mayor, in which position he served from 1993 to 1996. Future President Vladimir Putin was the other top Deputy Mayor of Saint Petersburg at the time. Kudrin was also Chairman of the City Administration’s Economic and Finance Committee.



Russian President Vladimir Putin jokingly called former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin a “slacker” on Thursday [April 25, 2013] for refusing to rejoin his government, as the two jousted on live television over how to revive a weakening economy.

“I offered – he refused,” Putin told a live call-in show after Kudrin took the microphone to criticise his administration’s economic policies. Smiling, Putin added: “He’s a slacker and doesn’t want to work.”

The good-natured exchange indicated that, although Putin remains on good personal terms with Kudrin, who served as finance minister for 11 years before resigning in September 2011, their economic views remain far apart.

Since quitting, Kudrin has publicly sympathised with opposition protests over alleged ballot fraud in the ensuing parliamentary and presidential elections that secured Putin’s return for a third Kremlin term.

His presence in the audience of Putin’s annual question-and-answer session and his tough questions were probably stage-managed to show that Putin could tolerate hard questioning.

Kudrin, a fiscal hawk and economic liberal, told Putin it was important to find political consensus and take into account the concerns of people who want to invest money and create jobs.



Filed under contemporary art, critical thought, international affairs, Russian society

ECONOMY (Edinburgh/Glasgow)


Image: Dani Marti, “Good Dog,” 2012.


Stills, Edinburgh
Saturday 19 January–Sunday 21 April 2013
Opening: 18 January, 6pm

Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), Glasgow
Saturday 26 January–Saturday 23 March 2013
Opening: 25 January, 7pm


In the 21st century the economy has come to provide the ground zero of our sense of self. But what does this experience of a life dominated by economic relations feel or even look like?

Two parallel exhibitions make the core of a curatorial project which examines why, and how, art since the 1990s has revealed the economy to be the axis of contemporary existence.  Presented at Stills in Edinburgh and the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Glasgow, ECONOMY features works by over 40 international artists including new commissions by the Austrian collective WochenKlausur and Scottish photographer Owen Logan. A reflective follow-up to the curatorial project, the volume ECONOMY: Art and the Subject after Postmodernism is forthcoming from Liverpool University Press.

Exhibitions David Aronowitsch & Hanna Heilborn | Ursula Biemann | Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz | Tracey Emin | Andrea Fraser | Claire Fontaine | Melanie Gilligan | Johan Grimonprez | Andreas Gursky | Kai Kaljo | Owen Logan | Rick Lowe | Jenny Marketou | Dani Marti | Angela Melitopoulos | Marge Monko | Tanja Ostojić | Anu Pennanen | Stéphane Querrec | Raqs Media Collective | Martha Rosler | Hito Steyerl | Mitra Tabrizian | WochenKlausur | Paolo Woods

Film Lounge Dario Azzellini & Oliver Ressler | Jeremy Deller & Mike Figgis | Marcelo Expósito & Nuria Vila | Yevgeniy Fiks, Olga Kopenkina & Sasha Lerman | Christos Georgiou | Michael Glawogger | Francesco Jodice | Ernest Larsen & Sherry Millner | Jesper Nordahl | Maria Ruido | Yorgos Zois

The end of the Cold War, represented by the fall of the Berlin Wall, generated a number of ‘turns’ in the context of contemporary art: turns to collectivism, to activism, to archives, to social bonds, relations and communities, to labour, to biopolitics and the document, to struggle. This restless quest for the right ‘tag’ has been one way of saying that contemporary art is, finally, becoming new. Navigating art’s current shift to materialist aesthetics, the ECONOMY exhibitions and film programme showcase strategies deployed over the past two decades to chart capitalism’s most advanced frontier: ourselves. The artworks presented—and often re-interpreted—illuminate the diverse ways in which our lives and sense of self are shaped by and through capital’s internalised rule, from our childhood experiences to the way we labour, play and make love or war.

Guided by a set of seven keywords (work, sex, life, enclosures, crisis, spectres, exodus) widely used in recent analyses of capitalism and potential alternatives, ECONOMY draws together a small selection of the many artists whose work attends to capitalism’s far-reaching transformation in its global moment. Paolo Woods’ photographs of Africa’s takeover by Chinese businessmen are set against Martha Rosler’s documentation of airport design as soul narcotic; and Raqs Media Collective’s investigation of happiness is a critique of capitalist subjectivities as much as Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz’s queer articulation of labour and desire. Presented for the first time in Britain, Tanja Ostojić’s devastating portrayal of the post-socialist migrant’s sexualisation meets Melanie Gilligan’s capital as pure Spirit and the relentless intensity of Anu Pennanen’s depiction of a Parisian shopping mall. Tracey Emin’s self-portrait with money complements Mitra Tabrizian’s City bankers of year 2008 as guilty or not and Andrea Fraser’s anatomy of art-world production values. Jenny Marketou’s children-art collectors share the planet’s future with David Aronowitsch and Hanna Heilborn’s children-slaves—a planet which Ursula Biemann and Johan Grimonprez find in poor environmental shape. These are just some of the ways in which ECONOMY artists have registered multiplying social divisions as capital has been claiming the earth. In doing so, they give us also reasons to think about the paradigm of art after postmodernism—one where proliferating forms of economic otherness have replaced postmodernism’s iteration of cultural difference.

The independent ECONOMY website is an integral part of the project.  As well as offering further information about the accompanying programme of screenings, public forums, talks and performances, the Public Forum section facilitates collective investigations into how we interpret our relationship with capitalism and the possibility of alternatives. Users can upload photographs to the Image Archive, exchange views on themes raised in the debate section and consult the material in the Reading Room. To see, hear and speak out, visit www.economyexhibition.net.

ECONOMY is a collaboration between Stills, CCA and the University of Edinburgh.

Curated by Angela Dimitrakaki and Kirsten Lloyd: curators@economyexhibition.net

Saturday 19 January–Sunday 21 April 2013
23 Cockburn Street
Edinburgh EH1 1BP
Hours: Monday–Sunday, 11–6pm. Free.

CCA  Glasgow
Saturday 26 January–Sunday 23 March 2013
350 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow G2 3JD
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 11–6pm. Free.

ECONOMY is generously supported by The Association of Art Historians | The Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust | Creative Scotland | Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen e. V. | Austrian Cultural Forum London | Goethe Institut Glasgow | Finnish Institute in London | Arts Council of Finland | Inigo | City of Edinburgh Council | Glasgow Life | The Nancie Massey Chartable Trust | Scottish Contemporary Art Network.


Leave a comment

Filed under art exhibitions, contemporary art, critical thought, film and video