Research carried out as part of the “Ideal Exhibition”. 5th Ural Industrial Biennale of Contemporary Art, Ekaterinburg. 2019

Project “The Ideal Exhibition”



The “Ideal Exhibition” project was a phantom exhibition that did not physically exist, but made its existence known in various different spaces. Its author, Svetlana Usoltseva, is known primarily as an institutional curator. Over the 13 years she has been working in the Ekaterinburg branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Usoltseva has carried out a large range of projects — thematic exhibitions, curatorial studies and art residences. “The Ideal Exhibition” stands in opposition to past exhibition practices while simultaneously reflecting the author’s inner desire to make an impeccable curatorial statement. It is impossible to achieve an absolute ideal, and the pursuit of it is continuous and without end. Having rejected established methods of arranging research activity, communication and display, Usoltseva brought to the fore the process of perpetual searching. By means of publications on her Telegram channel, surveys and interviews, and the positioning of signs and banners that supposedly point the way to an ideal exhibition, she reveals the variety of small events that fill the everyday life of a curator trying to create an exemplary project.