Audio-visual installation 'VESPERS OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN' (54th VENICE BIENNALE)

1st - 15th June, 2011
54th Venice Biennale

Curator: Victoria Golembiovskaya

Audio-visual installation 'VESPERS OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN' directed by Oleg Kulik, video by Denis Kryuchkov, music concept by Hermes Zygott.

The presence of Oleg Kulik in Venice with his video-installation based on the Opera "Vespers of the Blessed Virgin" by Claudio Monteverdi presented at Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, in January 2009. The idea for the installation coincides and compliments the theme of 54th Venice Biennale – “ILLUMInations”. The exhibition’s curator, Bice Curiger, conceives the theme and mission of the exhibition to spread “light” of new artistic ideas, echoing the etymological and symbolic meaning of the "illumination‟. The opera is to run concomitant with the Biennale organizers who have chosen three Tintoretto masterpieces to be included in the exhibition.

Located in the historical venue of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, the installation will re-create the theatrical production of "Vespers of the Blessed Virgin", held in January 2009 in the Théâtre du Châtelet through a film medium. The visual concept and execution are by Oleg Kulik, the production and the direction are followed by Denis Kruchkov and the sound design is made by Hermes Zygott.

The composition of Vespro (evening prayers) originally by Claudio Monteverdi, produces a unique contemporary reading of ethical and aesthetic collisions ingrained in this piece of highly functional and confessional music. Created in the 17th century, the piece stands out as an avant-garde exploration of repetition and contrast previously unexplored by composers. The production allows audiences to experience Monteverdi's masterpieces in spazio-aureo and visual manifestations. The play was an attempt to reproduce the ancient ritual of the liturgy with the aid of new technologies. The installation will allow viewers to become immersed in the atmosphere of a theater production by being surrounded with a multi-channel videos projected onto the screens and ceiling of the beautiful Ground Floor Hall of Scuola Grande di San Rocco.

Tintoretto’s approach to painting is notable for his brilliant ability to combine religious imagery and that of everyday life through bold use of perspective, collapsing sacred spaces into real structures of the painted surface - the bricks and mortar. Tintoretto was especially gifted at conveying dramatic compositions while making them accessible to a wide audience. Similarly, Monteverdi’s monumental musical composition Vespro della Beata Vergine, created in 1610, combines secular music into its religious performance. Despite its vast scale and the incorporation of varied musical forms, such as sonata, motet, hymn, and psalm, the Vespers offer many poignant and intimate moments that are only further highlighted by Oleg Kulik’s teams visual orchestration and execution.

Essentially the Vespro della Beate Vergine installation is the study of a new genre, the genre of liturgy (“common cause” in Greek), the genre we could define today as the “ritual addressed to the Ultramundane”. This project is a study of sacred spaces existing since ancient times, an attempt to examine this kind of human activity as contemporary art, that would paradoxically combine the world of Tradition and integral perception of life, and the world of new technologies. The fusion of  – Monteverdi and Tintoretto – at la Scuola di St. Rocco would give contemporary means of representation an atemporal context of the vertical outlook. The 31st of May - on  the date of Tintoretto’s death 417 years ago we Present our project as a tribute to the master of the Renaissance.




The RNA Foundation is a cultural platform that aims at promoting established as well as up and coming Russian artists and creative individuals. Founded by Victoria Golembiovskaya, the RNA utilizes its wide reaching connections to provide support and exposure to artists, facilitating their relations with curators, dealers and critics. With experience in art management and curating Golembiovskaya established RNA in order to contribute to the Russian art education system, diversifying its narrow scope and implementing a wider, international engagement.


By providing space and means for artists to develop their practice, our goal is to establish a constantly expanding and developing network, where the Russian contemporary art scene can be introduced to a wider art market, galleries and institutions across the globe. To do so, an exploration of new ideas is needed, as well as an active expanding of boundaries of the media available. This progressive outlook allows us to bring out the collaborative potential of not only museums and galleries we work with, but also of other foundations, auction houses and art institutions.


One aspect of our future projects is to establish a series of workshop spaces that will provide an interdisciplinary environment for Russian artists from all backgrounds and with varying degree of experience. Serving as a meeting point and an exchange ground for cultural capital, these work and gallery spaces would also function as lecture theatres for educational purposes and public events. We also plan to create residencies between Russian and international artists, where we hope to instigate a much needed cross-fertilization and collaboration.


However in order to realize such varied projects, we often need financial support whether from an individual, patron, trust or company. Philanthropy and charity are important factors in realizing any cultural project and we would be happy to work with you, directing the need of social engagement and cultural support through RNA’s activities.


Active since 2008, RNA Foundation is an exciting, passionate organization that has exhibited and curated around the world, devoting our focus on international artistic progression.

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Before launching the RNA Foundation in 2008, Victoria Golembiovskaya worked as a film producer and artistic director, gaining a vast experience in art management and further expanding her knowledge of history of art, which has graned the RNA foundation an original place and point of view within the international art community.

Our service is second to none; we provide consultations for the establishment and maintenance of private collections, as well as for large-scale curatorial projects. We have the contacts and resources to get a hold of rare works from all over the world for both private and public clients. In the last three years alone the RNA Foundation has produced shows in London, Moscow and Venice, handling valuable works in unprecedented environments, with a priority in presenting them in unique yet elegant manner. While maintaining a high standard and a rigorous vision we tailor our services to the client.

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