Olya and The Secret Factory: Leisure Time


From 5 July 2018




West Gallery
Olya and The Secret Factory: Leisure TimeOlya and The Secret Factory: Leisure Time


The program Voice as a Strategy, devoted to young Russian artists who have made their voice a key part of their practice, continues with a concert by Olya and The Secret Factory.

Olya and The Secret Factory is an art and music project by two friends and non-musicians: artist and curator Olga Shirokostup and neurophysiologist Kirill Smirnov. The duo rarely plays in music venues, choosing less obvious but friendly spaces like museums and galleries instead. Their performances often turn into conversations with the audience and resemble singer songwriter nights or unfunny stand-up comedy. The duo explores topics like love, separation, jealousy, and look into their contemporary meaning. Describing the contemporary condition in a straightforward, at times clichéd language, they aim to convey its anxiety and uncertainty, while remaining ironic about themselves and what they do.

Leisure Time is addressed to culture and science professionals with schedules as busy as those of the performers, who work on many different projects: those who can get lost in a great number of interests, ideas and career ambitions and forget about the things that might matter the most.

The duo write their texts as a diary of Olya—an incarnation of one of the members, who can sincerely and openly sing about things that worry or hurt her. Fascinated with Russian pop-music and its ability to speak to the listener often despite the listener herself, Olya and The Secret Factory look for ways of reproducing it in their artistic practice in order to "get through to" the audience. 

The performance will be followed by a discussion with Yaroslavl Aleshin and Nikita Vasilenko. Participants will talk about the growing number of contemporary artists who launch their own music projects and discuss the possibility of voicing the political through the personal.


Olga Shirokostup (b. 1988, Severomorsk) is an artist, curator and art manager based in Moscow. She is a graduate of Moscow City Pedagogical University (2011) and Chto Delat School of Engaged Art (2014). She has organized and taken part in numerous exhibition projects, produced contemporary art works, and written critical articles. She coordinated the Field Research program at Garage from 2013 to 2017 and has curated the SKVT program for teenagers at the Polytechnic Museum since 2014. She is a participant of La Gol voice theatre (run by Natalya Pshenichnikova) and Voice Laboratory at the Theatre Institute (2016), as well as a member of creative and research cooperative Krasnaya shpana (since 2014). As a producer, she has collaborated with Keti Chukhrov on her films Love machines (2013) and Communion (2016). Her curatorial projects include Field Research: Liberating Knowledge. Progress Report II (together with Snejana Krasteva, Garage, 2017) and The Barbarians (with Alexey Korsi, PROYEKT_FABRIKA, 2012).

Kirill Smirnov (b. 1987, Moscow) is a neurophysiologist based in Moscow. He studies the role of sensory experiences in epilepsy in early ontogeny. He has a Psychology degree from Lomonosov Moscow State University and is currently working on his dissertation. He is a musician, member of Olya and The Secret Factory and eStrange, and has a solo music project odnk.


Free admission with advance registration.