Evgeny Granilshchikov: Courbet’s Funeral

Evgeny Granilshchikov, Courbet’s Funeral (still), 2014, single-channel video shot on a mobile phone, 11:33 mins. Selected by the Moscow Museum of Modern Art from its permanent collection.


22 September – 1 November 2020

Composed of mobile phone footage from February – April 2014, Courbet’s Funeral is a collage blending video poetry with documentation as the artist explores a personal and political moment in Moscow during emerging protests against the war in Ukraine.  Filmed like a video diary, the work captures a mood of anxiety and uncertainty about the future amongst the artist’s group of friends, alongside dreamy semi-documentary recordings of everyday life; conversations in cafes and bars, flipping through art books and carefree nights out dancing.

The screens and interfaces of laptops and mobile phones illuminate the murky interior scenes of the film, while the sun floods the streets and squares of Moscow suggesting hope in the air. Evgeny Granilshchikov based his contemporary collective portrait on a specific historic event, referenced in the title of Gustave Courbet’s painting, A Burial at Ornans (1849) – a pictorial frieze, revolutionary in its prosaic truthfulness as it conveyed the sadness of a community in mourning.

Evgeny Granilshchikov (b. 1985, Moscow) studied literature and animation at the Rodchenko School of Photography and Multimedia in Moscow. His works range from short three-minute videos shot on a mobile phone to multi-media installations. In his search for a new visual language, he questions and redefines what a film is and how different cinematic situations can coexist. His works are often autobiographical with complex narratives that reference the medium of film itself.

Moscow Museum of Modern Art founded in 1999 by the President of the Russian Academy of Arts Zurab Tsereteli, is the first state museum in Russia devoted to the art of the 20th and 21st centuries. MMOMA is an active participant in the country’s artistic life and is spread across five venues in the historic centre of Moscow. The institution prioritises education in the field of art, support for young artists, its own publishing program, and the development of inclusive projects, scientific activities, and laboratory expertise, as well as a regional programme.

Evgeny Granilshchikov’s work was selected by MMOMA in partnership with the MOCT Arts Foundation.

The Artists Film International 2020 programme responds to the theme of language. Local sounds, rituals and political realities feature, from the rhythms and images of a Bahamian Junkanoo to the contested ancestral lands on the desert border between Mexico and the USA.