Elena Kovylina archive

About the archive creator

Elena Kovylina (b. 1971) is a Russian performance and video art artist, curator, and pedagogue. She studied with Rebecca Horn and is a graduate of the Berlin University of the Arts.

The artist received recognition in Russia and internationally in the 2000s, with her most radical performances and video works dating back to that period. They include Waltz (2001), Kidnapping of the Assistant (2003), Live Concert (2004), Boxing (2005), and Would You Like a Cup of Coffee?, or Burn the World of the Bourgeoisie (2009). She has traveled extensively across Europe and has lived and worked in Moscow, Zurich, Berlin, Paris, and Los Angeles. Kovylina also initiated a number of social art projects, including Theater of Homeless Youth (2002–2003) and The “Red Abode” Committee (2002–2004). In the 2010s, she founded Moscow’s first performance school, PYRFYR, where, along with theoretical classes, she conducted workshops on performance and personality development. In 2020, she curated the archival exhibition Len, You Used to Paint Better! featuring artworks, documentation, and biographical records that formed the basis of her archive, which subsequently became part of Garage Archive Collection.

Kovylina participated in Manifesta 10 (2014), Cetinje Biennial (2002), The Biennale of Sydney (2006), and Sharjah Biennial (2009). She is a recipient of the Innovation Prize (New Generation, 2006) and the “Against the Current” State Prize of the Russian Academy of Arts (2014). She lives and works in Moscow.

About the archive

Elena Kovylina’s archive collection was acquired by the Museum in 2020.

The collection, comprising more than 8,000 items, covers almost thirty years of the artist's life and practice (from the late 1980s to 2017).

It provides an idea of Kovylina’s artistic practice, sources of inspiration, and interactions with the group Radek and people on the art scene in the 2000s and 2010s.

The media archive contains over 200 cassettes. It also includes video works, performance documentation (including early performances, beginning 1997), recordings of workshops, and videos from the family archive. These include video recordings made while studying at Berlin University of the Arts (2001–2003), Theater of Homeless Youth performances (2002–2003), and auditions for the film Love after the Cold War (2006).

Kovylina also donated to Garage Archive Collection a variety of publications (books, catalogues, magazines, and newspaper clippings) covering her artistic activities. She also handed over selected personal documents: family photos and videos, diary entries, extensive correspondence with Pyotr Bystrov, invitations to international events and residencies.

The archive contains studies for works (including early ones made while studying at Surikov Moscow State Academic Art Institute), drawings, and paintings. It also features artifacts and elements of costumes: the shiny red dress for the performance Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1998), a pack of cigarettes with bullet marks, and a Quran from the performance Shooting Range (2001); the dress and the model of a hut for the performance Caryatid (2012/2015); and the hat and the stool for the performance Equality (2014). A significant part of the archive (over 2,000 items) is composed of photographs portraying the artistic life of Moscow and Europe, the artist’s travels and meetings, and documenting her performances.

Search the collection
All collections

Tikhaya Studio, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

  • Tikhaya Studio Archive

Victoria Gallery, Samara, Russia

  • Victoria gallery archive

Yeltsin Center

  • Marina Sokolovskaya Archive

Centre for Culture CC19

  • Centre for Culture CC19 Archive

Nizhniy Tagil State Museum of Fine Arts

  • Nizhny Tagil Museum of Fine Arts Archive
  • Nizhny Tagil Artists’ Foundation

Togliatti Museum of Fine Art, Russia

  • Togliatti Museum of Fine Arts archive

Museum of contemporary art PERMM

  • Museum of contemporary art “PERMM” foundation

Archive of Contemporary Art in Krasnodar Krai

  • Archive of Contemporary Art in Krasnodar Krai
  • Sochi Art Scene Archive

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Russia

  • Alexei Shchusev archive (The Archive of the All‑Russia Agricultural and Artisanal Industrial Exhibition)
  • Andrei Erofeev archive
  • Margarita Masterkova‑Tupitsynа and Viktor Agamov‑Tupitsyn archive
  • Francisco Infante‑Arana Archive
  • Archive of the New Drama movement (1990–2010s)
  • Open Systems project
  • Garage Video Documentation
  • Garage Museum of Contemporary Art institutional archive
  • Garage Interviews
  • L Gallery archive
  • Art Projects Foundation archive
  • Andrei Khlobystin archive
  • Vadim Zakharov archive
  • Viktor Pivovarov archive
  • Vladislav Mamyshev‑Monroe archive
  • Vyacheslav Kuristyn library
  • George Kiesewalter archive
  • Igor Makarevich archive
  • Igor Palmin archive
  • Joseph Backstein archive
  • Irina Aktuganova and Sergey Busov archive
  • Leonid Talochkin archive
  • Mikhail Nazarov archive
  • Garage Museum of Contemporary Art archive
  • Nina Zaretskaya (TV Gallery) archive
  • Sergey Chubraev archive
  • Stanislav Savitski archive
  • Garage Center for Contemporary Culture
  • Moscow Pallete Gallery archive
  • Shkola Gallery archive
  • Street art archive
  • Trips Out of Town archive and MANI Buchgalterium Anthology
  • Moscow Art Magazine archive
  • The archive of Artem Loskutov and the action Monstration
  • Boris Sveshnikov Archive
  • Vasily Sitnikov archive
  • Vladimir Nemukhin Archive
  • Vladimir Supik Archive
  • Janos Mácza Archive
  • Ivan Sotnikov Archive
  • Igor Pyatkin archive
  • Lena Popova Archive
  • Lyalya Kuznetsova Archive
  • Muza Yegorova (Yegorova‑Troitskaya) archive
  • Olga Danilkina archive
  • Archive of Sergey Borisov
  • Serge Sédrac archive
  • Sofya Adlivankina Archive
  • Tatiana Volkova archive
  • Meyerhold Center Archive
  • Yakov Butovsky archive
  • Art Activism archive
  • ZIP Group Archive
  • Archive of Evgenii Garkusha’s project I Am Not An Artist
  • Andrei Monastyrski's video diary
  • Anthologies of the Moscow Archive of New Art (MANI)
  • XL Gallery archive
  • Galeev Gallery Archive
  • Articles on the subject of art from Russian newspapers, 1900s‑1920s
  • Vlad Chizhenkov archive
  • Galina Osetsimskaya archive
  • Galina Smirnskaya Archive
  • Gennady Prikhodko collection
  • Elena Kovylina archive
  • Institute of Contemporary Art and Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art Archive
  • Lyubov Gurevich Archive
  • Margarita Gromova archive
  • Natalia Kamenetskaya archive
  • Natalia Ovsyannikova Archive
  • Natalia Samkova archive
  • Navicula Artis Gallery Archive
  • Aidan Gallery archive
  • Factory of Found Clothes Group/FFC archive

The Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, USA

  • Moscow Archive of New Art

The Research Centre for East European Studies (Forschungsstelle Osteuropa), Germany

  • Boris Groys and Natalya Nikitina archive
  • Igor Golomshtok archive
  • Collections
  • Persons
  • Keywords
  • Type of entry
  • Place
  • Time span
Elena Kovylina archive
Clear all