Video documentation of the Afterall ‘Artist as Curator' symposium. Ekaterina Degot's 'Apt-Art and the Trekhprudny Squat as Case Studies of Artists Curating', followed by a discussion between Elena Crippa, Ekaterina Degot and Lucy Steeds, Managing Editor, Afterall Exhibition Histories series.
If 'underground' art presents an alternative to the art market, 'unofficial' art in the Soviet Union was a critical reflection on a non-market institutional system. It generated quirky dreams on the autonomy of art, and in early 1980s, when independent art in Soviet Union reached its stage of self-reflection, these became institutionalised. If it was politically risky for an artist under capitalism to quit the safe territory of autonomous art for a communal life, it was equally dangerous for an artist under anti-capitalism to quit communal life for art-making. This paper will concentrate on some examples of ‘fake' galleries of the 1980s and early 1990s in Moscow, including the Apt-art (apartment-art) gallery, and Trekhprudny Squat.
– Ekaterina Degot, abstract, 'Apt-Art and the Trekhprudny Squat as Case Studies of Artists Curating'
Ekaterina Degot is an art historian, writer and curator based in Moscow. She has curated, on her own or in cooperation with others, exhibitions such as ‘Body Memory: Underwear of the Soviet Era' (2000–04); ‘Struggling for the Banner: Soviet Art Between Trotsky and Stalin’ (2008); ‘Citizens, Mind Yourselves: Dimitri Prigov'- (2008). In 2010, she curated (with David Riff and Cosmin Costinas) the 1st Ural Industrial Biennial in Ekaterinburg, ‘Shockworkers of the Mobile Image'. In 2013 she will be curating, with David Riff, the First Bergen Assembly in Bergen, Norway. Her books include Terroristic Naturalism (1998), Russian 20th-Century Art (2000) and Moscow Conceptualism (with Vadim Zakharov, 2005).