Pedagogical Poem (Ilya Budraitskis and Arseny Zhilyaev)

is an interdisciplinary project based on research at the intersection of the history, contemporary art and pedagogy. Over 100 events were organised at the Presnya Historical Memorial Museum in Moscow in 2012 alone.


The project «Pedagogical Poem» conceived by Arseny Zhilyaev and Ilya Budraitskis and organized by V-A-C Foundation is a unique interdisciplinary research conducted at the intersection of the history, contemporary art and pedagogy. A series of over 100 meetings took place between March and November 2012 at the Presnya Historical Memorial Museum. These series consisted of lectures and seminars led by Russian and international artists, historians, cultural theorists as well as master-classes of various artists. The project led to the formation of a group of permanent visitors and auditors of the series who had diverse professional interests. They were united by their interest in this project and common practices of creative cooperation.

The project culminated with the final exhibition «The archive of the future museum of history» devised by the participants of the «Pedagogical Poem» series. It took place at the museum as an outcome of the educational program and independent research work at the archive.

Museums do not always become spaces for open discussions; despite the considerable democratization that took place in the last century, the level of freedom and the competency of the exposition curators is still limited. The role of museums of modern history — the former Revolution Museums in Eastern European countries – is even more ambiguous. At the start of the XX century, they demonstrated to the world an unprecendented example of democratization and innovation — the formerly limited access for the public has been removed, workers have participated in creating museum expositions, private collections have been opened to the public and, at the same time, scientific approach to history has been developed. In addition, museums have incorporated statistical data and created thematic installations devoted to the history of the oppressed. Unfortunately, during the post-revolutionary period and the years of political stagnation, the museums have turned into the dogmatic tool of expression of the official ideology of the party. But at the end of the XX century after the collapse of the «real socialism», East European museum institutions not only lacked any novel methodological bases for their work but they have been forced to deny the reasons of their own creation.

The final exhibition «Archive of the future museum of history» was divided into the several zones that reconstruct the atmosphere of an archive. Thus, a professional museum excursion through memorable historical locales of the Presnya district engages in a dialogue with an improvised walk through places that are important for the personal histories of the participants of the Pedagogical Poem in the form of a documentary film. Central investigations have been devoted to the history of the transformation of the Presnya Museum. One important part of the exhibition is a public library, where anyone can get to know the lecture material and a collection of books connected with the central themes of the project. As a supplement to the exposition materials, dedicated to the event of the beginning of the 1990s, a miniature museum has been created of opposition print materials from 1991 to 2012.

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