Human Commonalities

  • Hayhoe, Simon (CoI)

Project: Other

Project Details


Autumn 2016 marks the beginning of the collaborative research project Human Commonalities in Moscow between the V-A-C Foundation and Moscow Museum and Exhibition Unit ‘Manege’. Human Commonalities is a multidisciplinary project and open discussion dedicated to exploring questions around disability and the arts. It will bring together international specialists from the fields of art, disability studies, education, philosophy, psychology and sociology. The project will consider a wide range of areas including perceptions of contemporary art, possibilities for greater inclusivity in a professional cultural context, alternative frameworks for contemporary artistic practices, and challenges in the current economic and sociopolitical climate. The project will be carried out with the aid of So-edinenie (Connection), a support fund for deafblind people, and will be hosted by the Vadim Sidur Museum, one of the subdivisions of the Moscow Museum and Exhibition Unit ‘Manege’. Five public roundtable discussions will be held over the course of two months at the Vadim Sidur Museum. They will include Russian and international art theorists, philosophers, educators, psychologists, historians, sociologists, artists and curators. Running concurrently, an exhibition prepared by the V-A-C Foundation and ‘Manege’ will present works by contemporary artists, as well as works by Sidur. Human Commonalities will include two performances conceived by Fayen d’Evie (originally developed in collaboration with Sophie Takách and Shelley Lasica) jointly with Irina Povolotskaya. Prologue to Handling [Vadim Sidur] (22 September, 5pm) will take place next to Sidur’s abstract work, Structure No1, in front of the Research Institute of Human Morphology in Moscow, with a second performance Tactile Dialogue [Shared Action] (24 September, 5pm) in the Vadim Sidur Museum. Vadim Sidur was a prominent avant-garde sculptor and a veteran of World War II. The idea behind Human Commonalities was inspired by a historic moment directly connected with Sidur. In the late 1980s, pupils and graduates from the Zagorsky Boarding School for deafblind children made several visits to his studio and museum to gain a tactile experience of his modernist sculptures. This was one of the first initiatives in Russian history dedicated to helping deafblind people access contemporary art. With the So-edinenie support fund, exhibition tours will be organised for deafblind, deaf and hard of hearing visitors, and blind and partially-sighted visitors. The participants include Emanuel Almborg, Yuri Albert, Tatiana Basilova, Amanda Cachia, Maria Chekhonadskih, Keti Chukhrov, Fayen d’Evie, Asta Gröting, Simon Hayhoe, Alexander Kondakov, Andrey Maidanskiy, Darrin Martin, David Mitchell, Valery Podoroga, Irina Povolotskaya, Robert McRuer, Sharon Snyder, Alexandra Sukhareva, Alexander Suvorov, Sadie Wilcox, Elena Yarskaia-Smirnova.

Layman's description

Human Commonalities
Curated by Anna Ilchenko and Yaroslav Alyoshin
Vadim Sidur Museum, Moscow
A collaborative research project between the V-A-C Foundation and Moscow Museum and Exhibition Unit ‘Manege’, with the So-edinenie support fund, dedicated to exploring questions around disability and the arts.

Key findings

* People with sensory impairments are under-represented in the arts
* Philosophical thought has played a significant part in excluding people with sensory impairments
* People with sensory impairments can develop their own art given the opportunity, especially when they engage all their senses and language
Effective start/end date10/09/1630/10/16

Collaborative partners


  • sensory impairment
  • blindness
  • deafness
  • art
  • fine art
  • creativity


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