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Volga region branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts


Volga region branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts is the only museum and exhibition institution in Nizhny Novgorod which is aimed to develop and popularize contemporary art.

Founded in 1997. (Nizhny Novgorod branch at the beginning) at the premises of public organization “Nizhny Novgorod centre of contemporary culture “Kariatida”. In 2007 it was granted a status of Volga region branch with sub branches in Samara, Izhevsk, Kirov and Kazan. 2

NCCA Volga region branch is located in the heart of the city, in the Arsenal historical building (2nd half of XIX century) on the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin territory. Arsenal is one of the largest buildings of the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin. Total area – over 5000 square metres. Architectural style – late Classicism. Architect – A.L. Leer, engineer – colonel P.D. Gotman.


1839-1843 – construction of Arsenal by decree of the Emperor Nikolay I. 1843-2001 – Arsenal operates as a military depot and archive. 2002 – Arsenal is conveyed to the Nizhny Novgorod (Volga region at present) branch of the National centre for Contemporary Arts. 2006 – Beginning of restoration upon the project of architects Evgeniy Ass and Alexander Epifanov. 2011 – first phase of reconstruction works is finished, opening of the Arsenal’s renovated part – 1/3 of the building, which houses exhibitions of contemporary art from Russia and other countries, guided tours, lectures, concerts and workshops for children.


Concept of the Arsenal’s restoration and its adaption for facilities of a contemporary art centre

• Transformation of the Arsenal from closed military establishment into contemporary public institution, territory of contemporary art; •Preservation of the spirit of the time and historical space in combination with the latest technical equipment.


• Division of the Arsenal into several zones: exposition zone with enfilade of exhibition spaces; public and information zone which includes mediateque, bar and concert hall; production zone with art and technology workshops, warehouses and other technical premises; •Transformation of the pathway in front of the building into active public space which will be used as an open contemporary art gallery and venue for various actions, performances and show. 2011 – first phase of restoration works was finished, the Arsenal began functioning as a full-fledged museum and public space.


Before and after restoration


Genius Loci Permanent exposition “GENIUS LOCI” was created with materials discovered in archeological excavations, carried out on the Arsenal building’s territory and around during construction works over the period of three seasons. The exposition describes history, architecture and special features of the Powder Tower and the Arsenal buildings. Visitors have an opportunity to take a virtual journey through the Kremlin’s central square of the XIX century and hear a life story of Evdokia, Nizhny Novgorod citizen of the XV century.


2014 – completion of the restoration works in the Arsenal and opening of the Centre of contemporary art of international level Aims: • Modernization and europeanisation of the city and region; • Becoming an intercept point for different cultures, meeting place for art and audience, art and the city, art and culture; • Erasure of boundaries between art and environment, engagement of different culture institutions into collaboration; • Demonstration of contemporary art with art histories; • Establishment of a dialogue with artists, becoming a workshop and ideas laboratory.


Our mission: Arsenal is the space of artistic communication for human and territorial development. Our activity: • Support of contemporary art and culture initiatives; • Development of cultural environment of Nizhny Novgorod; • Improvement of living quality of Nizhny Novgorod population: organization of diverse cultural entertainment for people of different age and interests; • Investments into the region’s human capital: intellectual and creative development of children and youth. 10

Branches of activity Exhibitions


Personal group projects from contemporary art “classics” to young artists

• “Blizzard” exhibition 29 April – 19 June 2011

•“Communal Avant-garde” exhibition 9 November 2011 – 22 January 2012 12

International collective exhibitions based on curatorial research and cooperation with museums • “Portrait/Landscape: Genre Boundaries” exhibition 2 June – 5 August 2012

• “Moscow Conceptualism. The Beginning” exhibition 29 September - 2 December 2013

• “Walter Benjamin’s Spruce tree” exhibition 26 December 2012 – 10 March 2013 13

Personal projects created specifically for the Arsenal • Jannis Kounnelis “ST” 18 April – 20 May 2012

• “Woman in Action” festival Held annually in April


Public art

•“The Park of Love” by Terry Hardy (USA) 3 – 9 September 2012

• Installation by Philippe Jouillat (France) “Tarantas” 18 May 2013 15

Synthetical projects


Festival of contemporary academic music. Arsenal is actively participating in creation of contemporary music community in Nizhny Novgorod.

•“Three Thursdays with Johny Cage” festival 13, 20 and 27 September 2012

• Festival of contemporary academic music “Lead Voice”: Beat Furrer and Contemporary Russian Composers 29 and 30 November 2012


Experimental productions

Theatre, music and art projects mixing different genres and trends of contemporary culture • Marevo opera by PROVMYZA group 16 – 19 July 2012

• Authorial project of artist-conceptualist Vadim Zakharov and Maria Porudominskaya Ideological Defile inspired by Me-Ti. Book of Changes by Bertolt Brecht ME-TI. THE BOOK OF CHANGES. 26, 27 and 28 February 2013 18

Educational projects

Public lectures, cinema and video screenings, concerts, creative meetings. Lecture cycles on art, literature, science, cinema and design, as well as video screenings are organized for audience with different interests throughout a year. Aithorial lecture cycles of art historian Anatoly Golubovsky, art critique Valentin Dyakonov, iterary critic Evgeny Proschin, The Enlightener award laureates, etc.


Arsenal for children and teenagers

“Arsenal + Family” program of interactive lectures, guided tours and master-classes for children from 5 years old and their parents functions throughout a year. Main directions: “Main Characters of the XX century art” and “Family art workshops”.


Continuation of the program - “Arsenal + School” intended for pupils, student of colleges and universities.

For teenagers there is the Arsenal teenage club “TAK!” It is intended for high school pupils (from 13 years old) and students interested in traditional and contemporary art.


Arsenal for leisure

Entertaining and educational festivals, marathons and other events for wide audience with different interests


“Museum Night” – annual event which attracts a big audience. Is held on the Day of museums on the 18th of May. On this day events are organized as a marathon, all the Arsenal spaces and branches of activities are involved. In 2012 over 5 000 people attended the Arsenal Museum Night, in 2013 – almost 10 000.

“Big Animation Festival” – international animation show and cartoon factory. Held annually in June. 23

New programs

Social program “Contemporary Art for Contemporary People! � Wednesdays were announced to be the day of free admission for all types of public. Guided tours are organized for disadvantaged social groups. MEST.COM - program of support of local cultural initiatives and local cultural space monitoring. The program included presentations of books, poetry collections, films as well as plays, concerts and plastic arts theatre performance.


Mediateque Mediateque was opened in 2012, it contains a large library and collection of documents and video materials on design, architecture, museum pedagogy, etc. The collection has over 4000 books.



The bookshop is a unique place for Nizhny Novgorod where people of acquire literature dedicated to contemporary art, books on humanitarian sciences, modern poetry and prose.


Souvenir store The store is developed in two directions. First is development and distribution of souvenirs with the Arsenal logo and sale of merchandise as mementos about the place.


The Arsenal coffee shop The coffee shop has wide choice of desserts, ice cream, cold and hot coffee and tea. Receptions are held here, as well as press conferences. The coffee shop always has information flyers about current events in the Arsenal.


Awards and nominations 2011 Sergey Kurekhin award – contemporary art awards in Grand Prix nomination “Pop mechanic for interdisciplinary projects “Three string quartets for one video”. Top-50 of “Arcthronika” magazine The director of the NCCS Volga region branch Anna Markovna Gor was at the 31st place in rating of the most influential persons in Russian art. Person of the Year 2011 – according to “Delovoy Kvartal” magazine The director of the NCCS Volga region branch Anna Markovna Gor was the award’s laureate in nomination “Person of the Year in Culture” 2012 First annual award of The Art Newspaper Russia in nomination “Restoration of the Year” for restoration works in the Arsenal. Main award of the national award INNOVATION-2012 for the Marevo opera by PROVMYZA group.


Partners of the Arsenal



Volga region branch of The National Centre for Contemporary Arts 603082 Russia, Nizhny Novgorod, Arsenal, Kremlin, building 6 Phone +7 831 422 75 55, +7 831 423 57 41 Facebook: В контакте: Twitter: Instagram: ncca_arsenal YouTube: ArsenalNCCA


Profile for Ncca Arsenal


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