V–A–C Foundation and M HKA engage in a longer-term collaboration by supporting the work of contemporary Russian artists in a variety of way. V–A–C wants to enhance the presence of leading Russian artists, of different generations, in selected European museum collections. M HKA exhibits and collects works by artists from Russia and other countries of the former USSR. The museum focuses on ‘Eurasia’, thereby contributing to the geographic diversity of collecting and programming.


Taus makhacheva caspian sea  2014. photo documentation of performance  %283%29 (c)image: Taus Makhacheva
Caspian Sea, 2014
photo documentation of the performance 'Caspian Sea'

The grand hall of the Art Museum’s castle in Uppsala where the opening performance of Friction Festival took place is called the ‘peace room’. After speeches of the representatives of the Cultural Board of the City of Uppsala the guests were invited to have some cake. Each piece was repeating the shape of the Caspian Sea and neighboring regions. Before cutting the cake the artist asked each guest for the regional preference: ‘Would you like a piece of Iran? Azerbaijan? Or Russia?’ That cake copied the shape of another cake, seen in the archival 16 mm film footage, found by the artist in the Krasnogorsk Film Archive. The footage shows Adolf Hitler and his generals cutting the cake, while the Russian voice-over speaks about Nazi’s plans to conquer Baku in order to gain control over the large oil deposits. The montage analysis shows that the authenticity of this film is questionable. It was initially presented as an excerpt from German propaganda, but it might as well have been fabricated by the USSR.