Irina Lebedeva: “Of all the visitors to our modern and contemporary exhibitions at the New Tretyakov, about half are foreigners. We think Russians should make up a greater share. The digital exhibition we recently opened in Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport is one such way to get Russians more interested in 20th-century art. This exhibition features masterpieces by Kandinsky and Malevich that have been digitised and exhibited on a screen in 3D.
In our world it’s necessary to grab people’s attention with novel and interesting approaches. We plan to popularise 20th-century art in the most unexpected and novel ways, especially in public areas that attract many people. These days we are overwhelmed with a torrent of information and it’s important to stand out from the crowd. If people don’t come to the museum, then we will go to them. But this is not an attempt to replace great works with reproductions. We hope such methods will pique the public’s interest, and then they’ll want to see the original and come to the museum. When contemporary art first became public in Russia in the 1990s, it happened very suddenly. The reaction was quite aggressive and negative. Our task is to explain that it’s not just senseless hooliganism and mischief, but that there’s a purpose and meaning to it.”