Russian Performance: A Cartography of Its History

Yulia Aksenova, Alexandra Obukhova

Russian Performance: A Cartography of Its History is the first major survey of a century-long history of Russian performance and its unique traditions, from the early experiments of the Futurists to the radical actions of today
The exhibition, which includes over 150 works, is organized chronologically. The curators offered one major route and several alternative ones to explore the display. Each work was marked by tags that referred to key themes of the project, such as ‘body,’ ‘city,’ ‘slogan,’ ‘sound,’ etc. The curators chose not to divide performance art into types or genres. The project included not only habitual photo and video materials, but also texts, drawings, interactive objects, installations and video art objects.

In bringing together artists of different generations and periods, the exhibition aimed to reveal their interconnections, common traits and differences in their practice, but also to show the extent to which performance in Russia was linked with the life of the country, following the routes of history.

Russian Performance: A Cartography of Its History also presented original reconstructions of historically important works: Stas Shuripa’s animated version of the Futurist opera Victory over the Sun (1913), Lyubov Popova’s stage machinery for Generous Cuckold spectacle (1922), and the costumes from The Death of Tarelkin spectacle designed by Varvara Stepanova (1922).

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