Chto Delat?, Russia


The collective Chto Delat (What is to be done?) was founded in early 2003 in Petersburg by a workgroup of artists, critics, philosophers, and writers from St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Nizhny Novgorod with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism. The group was constituted in May 2003 in St. Petersburg in an action called The Refoundation of Petersburg. Shortly afterwards, the original, as yet nameless core group began publishing an international newspaper called Chto Delat?. The name of the group derives from a novel by the Russian 19th century writer Nikolai Chernyshevsky, and immediately brings to mind the first socialist worker’s self-organizations in Russia, which Lenin actualized in his own publication, What is to be done? (1902). Chto Delat sees itself as a self-organized platform for a variety of cultural activities intent on politicizing knowledge production through redefinitions of an engaged autonomy for cultural practice today.

With Public Delivery Exhibition Utopian Days, 2014

Angry Sandwich People or In Praise of Dialectics, 2006
Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea

Utopian Days – Freedom was an exhibition at the Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, one of South Korea’s leading art museums, and later was shown at the Nowon Culture and Arts Center, Seoul, South Korea.

Adel Abdessemed
Lida Abdul
Phil America
Ivan Argote
Minerva Cuevas
Chto Delat?
Cyprien Gaillard
Yang-Ah Ham
Andre Hemer
Tehching Hsieh
Zhang Huan
Jani Leinonen
Klara Liden
Armando Lulaj
Matt McCormick
Filippo Minelli
Wang Qingsong
Andres Serrano
Manit Sriwanichpoom
Clemens von Wedemeyer
Kacey Wong
Xijing Men
He Yunchang



Angry Sandwich People or In Praise of Dialectics, 2006
8 min
Realized by Olga Egorova (Tsaplya), Nikolay Oleynikov and Dmitry Vilensky
Courtesy of KOW, Berlin

Exhibited: Angry Sandwich People or In Praise of Dialectics, 2006

This slideshow and audio piece emerged from an inner group discussion on how it might be possible to make an artistic statement in memory of the centennial anniversary of the first Russian revolution of 1905. In 2004, the collective carried an extensive artistic study of the contemporary urban environment of a working class neighborhood in Petersburg. As the center of the worker’s uprising in 1905, this neighborhood later also became the site for one of the most ambitious and comprehensive constructivist projects in building a new, socialist Leningrad. A year later, they decided to return to this neighborhood to carry out an action and to shoot a video that might be capable of expressing our relationship to the history of this place.

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