Paper Museums: Moscow Conceptualism in Transit

Bringing together three unique artist-led publications – A-Ya (1979-1986), the MANI folders (1981-1986) and Pastor (1992-2001) – ‘Paper Museums’ looks at the collaborative nature of their production, showcasing three generations of artists who together form the movement known today as Moscow Conceptualism.

With an equally balanced emphasis between archival and object-based approaches, the show explores the ways in which ‘unofficial’ Soviet artists used periodicals as both repositories for their works and substitutes for exhibitions, as a reaction to conditions under which they could not exhibit freely. Featuring works by more than twenty-six artists, ‘Paper Museums’ focuses on Moscow Conceptualism in particular and the dialogues within this group that span several decades. Giving an insight into both the wider context in Moscow and the international situation in the late Cold War period and post-Perestroika, the exhibition includes archival material, interviews, reproductions, paintings, objects and documentary footage.

‘Paper Museums’ features a re-working of the exhibition ‘5 MANI Folders’ curated by Elena Kuprina-Lyakovich and Alexandra Danilova, as well as materials from the Vadim Zakharov Archive, Berlin, and the personal archive of Igor Chelkovski, Paris. A reprint of Dmitry Prigov’s book Stikhogrammy, published by A-Ya Editions in 1982, will accompany the exhibition.

Curated by Elizaveta Butakova with Professor Sarah Wilson (The Courtauld Institute of Art) in collaboration with John Hansard Gallery. With special thanks to the Prigov Family Foundation, plus a number of private lenders.

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