Chto Delat, Time Capsule. Artistic Report on Catastrophes and Utopia, Exhibition view, Secession 2014, Photo: Oliver Ottenschläger

Chto Delat

Time Capsule. Artistic Report on Catastrophes and Utopia

November 21 – January 25, 2014

Chto Delat’s exhibition Time Capsule. Artistic Report on Catastrophes and Utopia combines a complex environment centered around the sculpture A Resurrected Soldier and the film The Excluded. In a Moment of Danger (both 2014) with an archive comprising posters, ephemera, fragmentary footage, and documents that illustrate the oeuvre of the Russian collective in the more than ten years of its existence.

Chto Delat’s work on the exhibition—conceived, in keeping with their theatrical-dramatic praxis, as a “tragic” show—was overtaken by the most recent political events in Russia and Ukraine, which are symptomatic of an ongoing dramatic transformation that changes the face of the world. For Chto Delat, these developments pose an almost existential challenge to the possibilities of artistic action. As they write, their work “[…] reflects what art could be at a moment when familiar politics and everyday life start falling apart. The events of recent months have thrown Russian artists and creative workers into a completely new reality: a new Cold War atmosphere, an escalating search for enemies, ever-tighter repression of all dissent, and an open military confrontation with Ukraine leaving thousands of dead on both sides.”

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Chto Delat (What is to be done?) is a collective that was founded in St. Petersburg in 2003 and counts artists, critics, philosophers, and writers from St. Petersburg and Moscow among its members.