Lenin: Icebreaker

Special project of the 5th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art and a project of the Austrian Cultural Season in Russia 2013/14
Date(s) 16 September 2013 — 25 May 2014
Address Icebreaker Lenin, Murmansk
About the Project
Curators: Stella Rollig (Austrian Artists), Simon Mraz (Russian Artists)

The first atomic icebreaker in the world, the “Lenin” becomes first time ever the site of an international Art exhibition project. 

The legendary icebreaker — a symbol of Soviet technical progress and power — worked for 30 years and then in 1989 was placed in the city of Murmansk for its anchor. On board the icebreaker were such famous figures as Richard Nixon, Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro, and though the ship is now a museum. “Lenin” is a monument telling a stunning part of history, but not only that, it is a artistic masterpiece itself. Artist and Designers have been commissioned to design the interiors and spaces, to decorate the representative rooms. However “Lenin” has been never before a platform for contemporary art exhibitions. Russian, French and Austrian artists will create works: installations, photographs, sculptures, paintings and videos especially for this project. The task set before the artists by the curators: artistically reflect the history and character of this unique icebreaker through the prism of its own historical significance, aesthetic manifestation of its greatness and power and its connection with the present. Through the artists eye we want to rediscover this historic place, a place telling a powerful story, a part of history but also about today. Icebreaker “Lenin” is the attraction number one in Murmansk today. Visitors will see the ship and its interiors together with the art created for it as equal parts of this project, from the canteen to the captain’s bridge, from the officer’s cabin to the radio room.

It is the “Lenin” bringing for the first time international art on a large scale to a broad public to the Murmansk region, it takes on board international artists and gives them the chance to discover a new region and city that most of the artists see for the first time. It is “Lenin” that continues actually it’s mission as an ice breaker, this time in a metaphoric but not less powerful way.

It is Contemporary Art rediscovering the legendary Atomic Icebreaker “Lenin” introducing it in its historic importance and unique aesthetics to a broad international public. “Lenin” and The Arts have at least two things in common: breaking the ice & exploring new territories.

As a special project of the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art there will be a special exhibition of sketches, models and photographs of art works made for the Icebreaker exhibition opening on 20th September at D.E.V.E Gallery Moscow on the territory of Red October Art Space.

In 2014, the exhibition will be on display in a modified variant at the Lentos Art Museum Linz (Austria).

Artists: Cathérine Charreyre, Judith Fegerl, Swetlana Gabova, Shanna Kadyrova, Johanna and Helmut Kandl, Wladimir Kondratyev, Taisia Korotkova, Maria Koshenkova / Michael Lushnikov, Wladimir Kumashov, Sonia Leimer / Gerhard Gruber, Marko Lulić, Alexander Lysov, Igor Makarevich / Elena Elagina, Alexander Povzner, Isa Rosenberger, Michael Strasser, Alexandra Sukhareva, Leonid Tishkov, Anna Titova, Tamara Zuewa. Exhibition Photos: Yuri Palmin.


Murmansk. Icebreaker “Lenin”. Sept. 18th, 2013 — Jan. 10th , 2014.

Moscow. D.E.V.E. Gallery Brugge-Moscow. Sept. 21st — Oct. 13th, 2013.

Linz, Austria. LENTOS Art Museum Linz. Feb. 28th — May 25th, 2014.

New York. Austrian Cultural Forum New York: In autumn 2014 the LENIN: ICEBREAKER project will be shown in New York. The exhibition will be organized in cooperation with the Austrian Cultural Forum New York and will include approaches of artists from the U.S.