“I’m interested in subterranean culture that says ‘I will trick you’ to official culture, ‘I will play you.’”
New York, London, Berlin—all are familiar names on the global trade routes of contemporary art. Less so Moscow, which has only regained some of its avant-garde glory in the new century. In this short time, Olga Chernysheva has emerged as an acute observer of post-Soviet life.
“I asked my students for the image of the essence of tenderness. One girl brought in a small, silver plate with a bunch of grapes neatly laid out on it. When I noticed she had stripped the skin off the grapes, I got goose bumps.”
When I arrived in London this past September to meet Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin at their studio, the first thing we discussed was the power play between interviewer and interviewee.
The revolutionary strategies of It’s No Good by poet Kirill Medvedev and the 2012 documentary Winter, Go Away
In 1993, Alexander Floresnky, founder of the infamous Russian underground art group Mitki, nearly turned down the opportunity to illustrate the collected works of the great Russian humorist Sergei Dovlatov—thankfully, he did not.
Kevin Kinsella on the dark tensions within Ilya Kabakov’s work—and the political implications of the artist’s apolitical approach.
Kevin Kinsella takes issue with the Gagosian Gallery’s framing, both literal and figurative, of Russian Supremacist Kazimir Malevich.
Danzig Baldaev, hired by the KGB to document tattoo symbolism within the Russian penal system, secretly sketched the atrocities inflicted on political prisoners. The drawings are now published in Drawings from the Gulag.
We took a walk, bus ride, walk, bus ride, walk to an apartment in the middle of Leningrad, up many flights of stairs—no speaking, so the neighbors would not hear a foreign language as we passed their doors.