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‘APTART: On the walls, en plein air and beyond the fence’: A personal account by Vadim Zakharov

23 may 2014
Public talk
Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, London.

Join us on Friday 23 May 2014 for ‘APTART: On the walls, en plein air and beyond the fence’, a personal account by Vadim Zakharov.

left, installation view, ‘APTART Beyond the Fence’, showing the work of S/Z, Brooklyn Bridge, 1983 (Photograph: Yuri Albert); right, installation view of the first APTART exhibition, 1982 (Photograph: Georgi Kiesewalter). Courtesy Vadim Zakharov

The APTART project first took form as a show in the Moscow apartment of artist Nikita Alekseev in 1982. Developing the Soviet tradition of clandestine apartment exhibitions of the 1970s, APTART shows presented multiple installations made by artists in situ from ephemeral materials. It had an energy that was redoubled by the intimate setting, later spilling out into exhibitions on the outskirts of Moscow for ‘APTART en Plein Air’ and ‘APTART Beyond the Fence’, before being forced to end its activities in 1984. Vadim Zakharov will discuss his experiences of participating in APTART, while sharing images from his personal archive. Offering insight into the artistic scene in Soviet Russia in the 1980s, his talk will also reflect on the issues around making art public at the time.

Margarita Tupitsyn writes in APTART: Moscow Vanguard in the 80s, 1985/2014: ‘Among those whose work was exhibited in the first APTART show were Victor Skersis and Vadim Zakharov (jointly known as S/Z), who have collaborated since 1980. Their grotesque double-self-portrait, repeated in various media, has become their trademark, used for a self-advertising campaign. All their works draw on mundane imagery decorated with blunt and infantile language. These emotionally and visually electric “products of S/Z were suspended in the middle of the room, involving bits and pieces of a sparkling colour film and frying pans with the inscription ‘objects to head-butt’.” S/Z’s artistic ‘rubbish’ must have been insulting for the many Moscow guardians of art’s creative temple. But that is precisely S/Z’s intention. Separately and in collaboration, S/Z are building a reputation as crusaders against the formal and theoretical canons of Moscow underground culture.’

Vadim Zakharov was born in Dushanbe in 1959, lives and works in Berlin and Moscow. He is an artist, editor, archivist of the Moscow Conceptual art scene and a collector. Since 1978 he has participated in exhibitions of unofficial art and worked in collaboration with many artists, including Victor Skersis, Sergei Anufriev, Andrei Monastyrsky, Yuri Leiderman and Niklas Nitschke, among others. In 1982–83 he was a participant in the APTART exhibitions in Moscow. Since 1992 he has been the publisher of the Pastor magazine and founder of Pastor Zond Edition. In 2008, he founded the website ‘Moscow Conceptualism presented by V. Zakharov’,, and in 2013 he represented Russia at the Venice Biennale with the project ‘Danaë’.

This event is a collaboration between Afterall Books: Exhibition Histories, John Hansard Gallery and the TrAIN research centre, University of the Arts London. It marks the opening of the ‘Paper Museums’ exhibition at John Hansard Gallery (27 May to 19 July 2014) and the conclusion of the third year of the MRes Art: Exhibition Studies course at Central Saint Martins.

‘APTART: On the walls, en plein air and beyond the fence’
A personal account by Vadim Zakharov

Friday 23 May 2014, 18:30

Central Saint Martins (Room KX C303)
University of the Arts London
Granary Building
1 Granary Square

Admission free.

Please note, as Central Saint Martins has relocated to a new campus in King’s Cross, this postcode may not yet appear in the correct location on some maps. It does, however, work properly when using Google Maps.