Archive of Sergey Borisov

Acquired by Garage in 2019, the archive of Sergey Borisov, chronicler and archivist of the Moscow and Leningrad art scenes, features video recordings made from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s.

Borisov’s camera captured iconic events in the art history of the perestroika period, such as the exhibition Art Against Commerce at Bitsevsky Park (1986), Sotheby’s first Soviet auction (1988), the premiere of Sergei Solovyov’s cult movie Assa (1988), and the legendary “action exhibition” in the Sanduny bathhouse organized by the Avant-Garde Club (1988). Borisov’s archive contains more comprehensive coverage of the latter event than any other archive in Garage Archive Collection.

Other video materials include interviews with key nonconformist artists Anatoly Zverev, Dmitry Plavinsky, and Vladimir Nemukhin; performances and evenings featuring Ilya Kabakov, Grisha Bruskin, and Anatoly Brusilovksy; the first exhibitions of Moscow’s unofficial creative collectives; the first alternative fashion shows and gigs organized by Borisov in his Moscow studio (Studio 50A) on Znamenka Street, which was a meeting place for late Soviet bohemia.

As well as Moscow-based personalities, Borisov’s archive reflects the history of the unofficial art scene in Leningrad through materials focusing on Timur Novikov, Sergei Bugaev (Afrika), Oleg Kotelnikov, and others.

Closely affiliated with musical circles, Borisov documented the life of the late Soviet musical underground, filming numerous concerts and performances by Pyotr Mamonov, the bands Kino, Vezhlivy Otkaz, Televizor, Nautilus Pompilius, and Master, as well as the iconic Podolsk rock festival (1986) and Bykovo punk festival (1988).

Sergey Borisov (b. 1947, Moscow) is a photographer and artist whose unique style was a photographic analogue of Sots Art and marked the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union’s official ideology. In the 1970s, Borisov began to work in advertising and later collaborated with the record company Melodiya to produce album covers. He took part in photography exhibitions organized by the City Committee of Graphic Artists on Malaya Gruzinskaya Street in Moscow and was a close friend of many nonconformist artists. In 1979, Borisov transformed his Moscow studio on Znamenka Street into a space called Studio 50A, where he hosted unofficial art exhibitions and underground music concerts. His photographs have been published in the Russian and international press, including Le Monde, Vogue Paris, and Interview. In 2007, a retrospective of his work was shown at the Manege Central Exhibition Hall in Moscow. He lives and works in Moscow.

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Archive of Sergey Borisov
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