A lecture by Tomáš Glanc. Where Am I? Viktor Pivovarov’s Czech Circles

A lecture by Tomáš Glanc. Where Am I? Viktor Pivovarov’s Czech CirclesA lecture by Tomáš Glanc. Where Am I? Viktor Pivovarov’s Czech Circles


The Slavicist, literary historian, and curator Tomáš Glanc will speak about the renowned Moscow Conceptualist Viktor Pivovarov’s life and practice after his move to Prague, concentrating on the art communities Pivovarov became part of in the Czech Republic. 

It is a well-known fact that Viktor Pivovarov’s practice was firmly connected to the circle of his like-minded colleagues, often labeled Moscow Conceptualists, or the Sretensky Boulevard Group. Many of his closest friends—Igor Kholin, Genrikh Sapgir, and Ovsey Driz, to name a few—even became characters in his works. However, in the early 1980s, the artist moved to Prague, leaving behind Ilya Kabakov, Eduard Steinberg, Eduard Gorokhovsky, Dmitri Prigov, and the rest of his allies. Despite the distance from Moscow, in the Czech Republic Pivovarov came into contact with some notable local artists—many of whom are still friends to this day. Of course, working with Czech artists meant a union of two different worlds and paradigms, but those collisions of aesthetic programs and historical contexts were all the more compelling.

This lecture at Garage will introduce some of the acclaimed and influential representatives of the Czech art scene—several generations of artists who, in various ways, became close to Pivovarov. It will spotlight several figures of Czech art, including Václav Boštík, Karel Malich, Václav Stratil, František Skála, and Jiří Černický. Their creative relationships with Pivovarov cause us to contemplate the significance and nature of communities in contemporary art.



Tomáš Glanc is a Slavicist, literary historian, and curator. He studied and later worked at Carlow University in Prague where, at the beginning of the 2000s, he was head of the Institute of Eastern European and Slavic Studies. Glanc was director of the Czech Cultural Center in Moscow, a researcher at the Center for East European Studies at Bremen University, and a visiting professor at Humboldt University in Berlin and the University of Basel. Since 2015, he has taught at the University of Zurich. His publications are focused on contemporary Russian culture, the avant-garde, and issues of formalism, structuralism, and semiotics. He is co-author of the documentary film about Viktor Pivovarov, The Album (Czech TV, 2001).