Moscow Conceptualism Chapter uri icon


  • Abstract The circle of artists, poets, and theorists that became known as Moscow Conceptualists united several aesthetic trends originating in the underground of the 1960s. Its main practitioners and theoristssuch as Eric Bulatov, Boris Groys, Ilya Kabakov, Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid, Andrei Monastyrsky, Viktor Pivovarov, Dmitry Prigov, and Lev Rubinshteinhad different artistic backgrounds and met when their individual manners had been already shaped. However, the distinction of this group from other nonconformist circles concerns not only their art, but also their lifestyle (conformist rather than bohemian) and, most importantly, their shared quasi-theoretical language of self-description. Thanks to this language, informal, friendly relations produced a whole set of cultural institutionsfrom domestic seminars, readings and shows, and trips out of town, which become performance art for the Collective Actions group, to an international journal representing the groups work to a broader audience. Using one of central categories in Conceptualists vocabularymertsanie, or shimmeringthe chapter shows how this principle of critique and deconstruction of ideological or authoritative discourses defined their approaches to the legacy of the avant-garde, shaped their work with Soviet discourses and led to the creation of Sots Art, produced new conceptualizations of the author as a character, and, eventually, defined the uniquely recognizable aesthetics of Moscow Conceptualism. The chapter analyzes Conceptualists visual art along with their literary texts and performances.

author list (cited authors)

  • Leiderman, D., & Lipovetsky, M.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Leiderman, Daniil||Lipovetsky, Mark

Book Title

  • The Oxford Handbook of Soviet Underground Culture

publication date

  • January 2022