Chto Delat?

Biography

The collective Chto Delat? (What is to be done?*) was founded in early 2003 in St. Petersburg by a workgroup of artists, critics, philosophers, and writers from Russia with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism. They create interventions in public spaces, video projects comprising theatrical mises en scène, and monumental installations blending architectural elements, documents, timelines, and murals. Chto Delat sees itself as an artistic cell and also as a community organizer for a variety of cultural activities intent on politicizing “knowledge production”. The works of the collective are always case based analyses of a concrete social and political struggles. In 2013, Chto Delat initiated an educational platform in St. Petersburg, School of Engaged Art, and also runs a space called Rosa’s House of Culture. From its inception, the collective has been publishing an English-Russian newspaper focused on the urgent issues of Russian cultural politics, in dialogue with the international context.

Chto Delat recent solo exhibitions include: Museo Universitario Arte Contemporaneo, MUAC (Mexico, 2017), Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, CAAC (Sevilla, 2017), KOW (Berlin, 2017), Secession (Vienna, 2014), Kölnischer Kunstverein (Cologne, 2011) and Institute of Contemporary Art (London, 2010). The collective also participated to many significant group exhibitions and international events: Nuit Blanche Toronto and Paris (2017), San Paulo Biennale (2014), Art, Really Useful Knowledge, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid, 2014), Art Turning Left: How Values Changed Making 1789–2013, Tate Liverpool (Liverpool, 2013), FORMER WEST: Documents, Constellations, Prospects, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin, 2013), 10th Gwangju Biennale (2012), Ostalgia, New Museum (New York, 2011), Morality, Witte de With (Rotterdam, 2010), Plug In, Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven, 2009) and 11th Istanbul Biennale (2009).

*The collective’s name refers to the titles of two writings about social emancipation: a novel by Nikolay Chernyshevsky published in 1863 and an essay by Lenin published in 1902.

Exhibition

Chto Delat? Performative Practices of Our Time
2018.02.14 - 03.31

The collective known as Chto Delat? (What is to be done?) employ narrative strategies borrowed from the theatre of Bertolt Brecht and reclaim elements of the aesthetic vocabulary of the avant-garde to open up a critical space in Russian political discourse, both historical and contemporary…

Read more