Ilmira Bolotyan

Museum date

”Date in the museum” is an interactive research project that involved more than 400 people between the ages of 20 and 53. The artist signed up for dating sites such as Mamba and Tinder and mentioned in her status that she invites men to the museum for an exhibition of contemporary art. Ilmira refused to meet outside of the institutions of contemporary art. Only 12 men agreed to meet with her! According to the project frameworks visit to the museum represents an act or a metaphor for seduction. All who accepted Ilmira’s suggestion to visit a museum had a strong desire to continue their relationship. They became participants without any glimpse of understanding the idea of the project.

The goal of the project is to switch attention of its participants from the female objectification to the exposition, to turn a date with a female artist into the meeting which provide opportunity to get in touch with art. The moment of acquaintance with art is akin to flirting and discussions about exposition become dramatical interactions. Invitation to the institution sometimes gets interpret like insult. So all the participants get involved in peculiar relationship they never expected to.

The topic of sexuality and frustrations, and their manifestations in contemporary society becomes one of the aspects of the research. In addition, the project focuses on institutional critique and determination of a museum’s role in people’s live. ”Date in the museum” examines museum’s space perception, its function of entertainment place and the feeling of incomprehensibility for mass audience.

Graphic works presents us biomorphic creatures referred to the aesthetics of Botanical illustration. Images reflect mutual sensual tension, desirable temptation expected after online flirting. Documentation becomes another result of the project, including photos and videos, materials, correspondences and painting, which in this context presents a perfect work of art.

Curator – Oxana Polyakova
Documentor – Mariana Karysheva

“Date in the Museum” was presented in Fragment Gallery from the 25th of May till the 12 of July 2017. In 2018 the project was nominated for the Sergey Kuryokhin Contemporary Art Award in the category “The Best Visual Art Project”.