Chto Delat at ICA
In September 2023, the Chto Delat collective will turn 20 years old and it is one of the most discussed examples of the longest and most diverse collective work in contemporary international art. During this time there have been many dramatic changes in the world and the collective's artistic work and statements have always sought to match, and often predict, these changes.
The group was founded in St. Petersburg and aimed to combine political theory, the poetics of art and activist practices. It emerged from an important activist event when St. Petersburg cultural workers protested for the first time against the reactionary cultural policies of the authorities on the occasion of the city's 300th anniversary. It was the moment when the conservative, imperial turn in Russian politics was openly declared, and the collective Chto Delat tried to oppose it in its work.
Nowadays at this dramatic moment in history, when most of the members of the collective were forced to leave Russia, we need to understand how a new situation of wars, repressions, forced emigration, and climate catastrophe forces us to rethink the need to continue making art in search of a language that can speak about a rapidly changing world and empower the fragile communities in situations of danger.
At this meeting we will discuss the various periods of formation and development of the Chto Delat collective, show various samples of our video work, and talk about the educational initiatives of the School of Engaged Art some of them we plan to develop with the ICA Yerevan next year.
Chto Delat will be represented at this meeting by Olga Egorova Tsaplya, Alexander Skidan, Nina Gasteva and Dmitry Vilensky