Public talk with curators Kaspars Vanags and Sasha Obukhova


From 14 December 2019




Garage Auditorium
Public talk with curators Kaspars Vanags and Sasha ObukhovaPublic talk with curators Kaspars Vanags and Sasha Obukhova


To mark the opening of Sekretiki: Digging Up Soviet Underground Culture, 1966–1985, Garage will host a conversation between the curator of the exhibition, Kaspars Vanags, and Garage curator Sasha Obukhova.

Sekretiki is the latest in a series of exhibitions based on materials from Garage Archive Collection. The selection of exhibits in a small gallery, like the glass covering buried “treasure” in the Soviet children’s game Sekretiki (little secrets), conceals a plethora of stories about the everyday life of the intellectual and creative communities of the late Soviet period.

The processes of collecting, arranging, hiding, and confiding in this game are, in the curator’s opinion, inherently similar to the creative methods employed by Soviet unofficial art. The same gestures underlie the work of any archive. The exhibition invites visitors to enter a “circle of trust” and take a look at the sekretiki concealed there.

Kaspars Vanags and Sasha Obukhova will discuss their passion for digging up stories of late Soviet underground culture and how these stories relate to contemporary art practices.



Kaspars Vanags is a curator and art theorist with a master’s degree from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. He was a founding member of Riga’s Open creative collective (1994), which organized interdisciplinary festivals that were a platform for active interaction and synergy between visual art, electronic music, new media, and literature. His latest projects include Slash: in between the normativa and the fantasy at Kim? Contemporary Art Center, Riga (2015) and You’ve Got 1234 Unread Messages at the Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga (2018). Vanags also curated the Latvian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015). He lives and works in Riga.


Sasha Obukhova is the curator of Garage Archive Collection. She graduated in Art History and Theory from the History Faculty of Moscow State University (1992) and studied Art History at the Central European University, Prague, in 1993. From 1993 to 1996 she worked at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Moscow, and from 1999 to 2003 she was Senior Researcher at the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. In 2004, she became a founding member and director of the Art Projects Foundation, where she established the Archive of Contemporary Russian Art. In 2011–2012, she was Head of Education at the National Center for Contemporary Arts, Moscow. Since 2012, Obukhova has been Head of Research and then Garage Archive Collection curator at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. The author of numerous research papers on Russian contemporary art, she lives and works in Moscow.


Free admission with advance registration.

The event will be held in Russian with interpretation into Russian Sign Language.