Artist talk by Factory of Found Clothes

Artist talk by Factory of Found ClothesArtist talk by Factory of Found Clothes


The lecture will acquaint the audience with the first women’s art group in the post-Soviet space, Factory of Found Clothes which was founded by Natalia Pershina-Yakimanskaya (a.k.a. Gluklya) and Olga Egorova (a.k.a. Tsaplya) in the mid-1990s and aimed to turn clothing into an art medium.

The dresses, shirts, and coats created by the group’s participants ranged from sentimental and tender to surreal and frightening. They told stories of romantic love, confessed their sins, and exposed their imaginary proprietresses. Their surfaces displayed drawings of internal organs, drops of blood made from glass beads, and intimate confessions written in a childlike hand. In their manifesto of 2002, the artists promised “to protect the child in each of us” and argued that “the artist’s place is on the side of the weak,” paving the way for the collective and participatory practices of the “utopian unions” of the 2000s. Dressed in white, angelically asexual chemical protection suits, the lyrical heroines of Factory of Found Clothes had developed from schoolgirls into sisters of mercy, claiming for art the potential for helping people and taking the side of the oppressed. The performance Triumph of Fragility, in which students of a naval college marched through St. Petersburg in formation carrying miniature snow-white dresses in their hands, became the group’s artistic manifesto. Rejecting the imposed stereotypes of male power and feminine weakness and revealing the child inside the uniformed military cadets, the artists undermined the unshakable power- and authority-driven hierarchies in Russian society.


Natalia Pershina-Yakimanskaya (a.k.a. Gluklya) (b. 1969 St. Petersburg) is сonsidered one of the pioneers of Russian Performance. She co-founded the artist collective The Factory of Found Clothes (FFC) using conceptualized clothes as a tool to build a connection between art and everyday life and the Chto Delat Group, of which she has been an active member since 2003.

In 2012, the FFC was reformulated into The Utopian Unemployment Union, an inclusive project uniting art, social science, and progressive pedagogy, giving people with all kinds of social backgrounds the opportunity to make art together with the help of artist method embracing human fragility. Gluklya’s work has been presented at the 56th Venice Biennale of Art, All the World’s Futures, curated by Okwui Enwezor (2015). She lives and works in Amsterdam and St. Petersburg.

Olga Egorova (a.k.a. Tsaplya) (b. 1968, Khabarovsk) is an artist, filmmaker, teacher. In 1995 with Natalia Pershina-Yakimanskaya (a.k.a. Gluklya) created The Factory of Found Clothes (FFC) and was a member until 2014. In 2003, she became one of the founders of the group Chto Delat. Since 2013, she has been teaching at the School of Involved Art. One of the most important topics of her art is the study of the relationship between the personal and the public (“personal as political”). She is a director of the films and performances (learning play) of the Chto Delat group. As a member of Chto Delat, she takes part in exhibitions, theater and film festivals, conferences, etc. She lives and works in St. Petersburg.


Free admission with advance registration


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