AES + F Russia, b. 1987

 

First formed as AES Group in 1987 by Arzamasova, Evzovich, and Svyatsky, the collective became AES+F when Fridkes joined in 1995. AES+F work at the intersection of traditional media, photography, video, and digital technologies. AES+F defines its practice as a kind of "social psychoanalysis" through which they reveal and explore values, vices, and conflicts of modern global culture.

 

AES+F achieved worldwide acclaim in the Russian Pavilion at the 52nd Biennale di Venezia in 2007. "Last Riot"- provocative, original multichannel video installations that have defined both the AES+F aesthetic and the maximum capacity of the medium.  

The second series- "The Feast of Trimalchio (2009)", appeared in Venice in 2009, and the third, Allegoria Sacra (2011), debuted at the 4th Moscow Biennale in 2011.  United as The Liminal Space Trilogy, these tour-de-force series premiered in September 2012 at the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin. 

Also displayed in Moscow Manege, the central exhibition hall of the group home city, and has since been shown on many occasions at various museums and festivals. 

In 2015, AES+F premiered Inverso Mundus at the 56th Biennale di Venezia. Inverso Mundus was later shown at the Kochi-Muziris Biennial and several other museums and festivals worldwide. Between 2016 and 2019, AES+F worked in set design for theater and opera. AES+F created their first video set design for Psychosis, a reinterpretation of Sarah Kane's famous play, 4:48 Psychosis, directed together with Alexander Zeldovich. Psychosis premiered at Electrotheater Stanislavsky in Moscow in June 2016. 

In 2019 the group premiered their first opera with the Italian opera director Fabio Cherstich, a reimagined Turandot acclaimed by critics as audacious and visionary. 

Turandot has been created as an international co-production at the initiative of the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, together with Teatro Comunale in Bologna, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, and Lakhta Center in St. Petersburg. For more than a decade, works by AES+F have been showcased in signature festivals and biennial exhibitions of contemporary art around the world, including — Moscow and Venice — those of Adelaide, Gwangju, Havana, Helsinki, Istanbul, Kyiv, Kochi-Muziris, Lille, Lyon, Melbourne, St. Moritz, Sydney, Taipei, Vancouver, and many others. AES+F work has been featured in influential events devoted to new media — such as ARS Electronica (Linz), Mediacity Seoul, and Video Zone (Tel Aviv) — and photography — such as FotoFest (Houston), Les Rencontres d’Arles and Moscow’s Photo Biennial.

The group had more than 100 solo exhibitions at museums, exhibition spaces, and commercial galleries worldwide. AES+F works have been shown in such prestigious venues as the ZKM (Karlsruhe), HAM (Helsinki), Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Tate Britain (London), MAXXI and MACRO Future (Rome), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (Madrid), Today Art Museum (Beijing), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), Leeum Samsung Museum of Art (Seoul), The State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg), Garage Museum of Contemporary Art (Moscow), National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), Faena Art Center (Buenos Aires), and many others.

Their works appear in some of the world lead collections of contemporary art, such as Moderna Museet (Stockholm), MOCAK (Kraków), Sammlung Goetz (Munich), ZKM (Karlsruhe), Art Gallery of South Australia (Adelaide), and the Museum of Old and New Art (Tasmania), Centre de Arte dos de Mayo (Madrid), Centre Pompidou (Paris), and the Louis Vuitton Foundation (Paris), the Vanhaerents Art Collection (Brussels), Taguchi Art Collection (Tokyo), and many others. Their work is also well represented in some of Russia's lead national museums, such as The State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), The State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg), the National Center for Contemporary Art, and the Multimedia Art Museum (Moscow).

AES+F received Sergey Kuryokhin Award 2011, the major award of the Kandinsky Prize 2012, the major award of the NordArt Festival 2014, and Pino Pascali Prize 2015 (18th Edition) – all for the project Allegoria Sacra. AES+F were also awarded a Bronze Medal (2005) and a Gold Medal (2013) by the Russian National Academy of Fine Arts.