Historical image of a Russian art exhibition.

Arseny Zhilyaev

Artist in Residence, 2016

Artist Statement

Using artistic, political, scientific, and museological histories to uncover and propose potential futures, I explore a productive space between fiction and non-fiction. My usual medium is the museum or exhibition itself, and they are mostly imaginary and operating in vague futures. In recent projects, I cast a revisionist lens on the heritage of Soviet, Marxist museology and the meaning of museums in Russian Cosmism.

While At Headlands

During my stay at the residence I would like to start preparing the project The Italian Strike. It will be an imaginary curatorial exhibition of works by imaginary art school students. The thing is that the pieces represented will be made in an all-too-proper fashion, too literally complying with the models of contemporary art taught at art schools nowadays. This will be a way for me to critically reevaluate the bureaucratization of educational initiatives within contemporary art, as well as all the things that fit into the definition of contemporary art “mainstream.” Ideally I’d prefer to visit local art schools or just make some studio visit to young artists in San Francisco. Also I think about possible involving of my colleagues from residency to participations. In this case my studio can become exhibition space for ongoing transformation of fictional students’ exhibition or exhibitions.