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Garage at Cosmoscow. Art in the City: The History and Contemporary Practices of St. Petersburg Performance


In 2021, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art will present the St. Petersburg part of its archive collection at the 9th Cosmoscow International Contemporary Art Fair. The display on the Museum’s stand is designed to demonstrate the diversity of the St. Petersburg’s art life in the 1990s, a time of bold creative experiments and the emergence of new forms of art, lifestyle, and leisure.

Curated by Maria Udovydchenko and Anastasia Kotyleva of Garage Archive Collection in St. Petersburg, the project focuses on ten stories of interactions with the city based on materials from the archives of Andrei Khlobystin, Irina Aktuganova and Sergey Busov, Lyubov Gurevich, Lena Popova, Navicula Artis Gallery, and the group Factory of Found Clothing, all of which are held at Garage.

Alongside individual performances and art projects, the display also features complex cultural phenomena illustrating the artists’ and curators’ different approaches to working with urban space. Actions by the groups Factory of Found Clothing, SVOI, and the New Blockheads, the New Academy’s dandyism, exhibitions on Palace Bridge, the Kharms Festival, the Stubnitz art boat, the project Malevich's Garden, rave parties, and the second a wave of graffiti are “encrypted” in neon signs and lightboxes, imitating the chaos of urban advertising. More information about each story is available in thematic podcasts and archival documents available via a QR code.

During the fair, new performances by St. Petersburg artists Anna Andrzhievskaya, Dagnini, Lera Lerner, Semyon Motolyants, the Party of the Dead, and Sever-7 Group will take place on the Museum's stand and in "Manege". The musical part of the program includes a performance by Valery Alakhov (New Composers) and Lera Nibiru and a DJ set by Lena Popova.

The Museum will also open a branch of Garage Shop at Cosmoscow, where exhibition catalogues and books, gifts accompanying major Garage exhibitions, the GARAGE branded clothing line, and limited edition works by artists Zina Isupova and Anton Kushaev will be available for purchase.


Garage Archive Collection is the world’s largest archive on the postwar history of Russian art. It aims to provide an academic platform for the study of Russian contemporary art in an international context. In 2018, Garage began acquiring archives related to the history of underground and contemporary art in Leningrad and St. Petersburg. The Museum chose not to move those archives to Moscow but to leave them in the city where they were compiled.


Cosmoscow is an international contemporary art fair that aims to unite collectors, galleries and artists from Russia and around the world. The fair was founded in 2010 by collector and philanthropist Margarita Pushkina.

The ninth edition of Cosmoscow Fair will take place at Gostiny Dvor from 17–20 September, 2021. Eighty galleries, including sixteen international participants, will present a booth at the fair.

Cosmoscow Foundation for Contemporary Art was established in 2017 as a logical continuation of the fair’s non-profit initiatives. The foundation’s main objectives are the systematic support of contemporary art in Russia, its integration into the international cultural sphere, the promotion of young artists and the development of arts patronage in Russia.

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