Irina Aktuganova and Sergey Busov Archive

Archive of St. Petersburg’s interdisciplinary art 1990s–2000s. Irina Aktuganova and Sergey Busov Archive

The archive features three groups of materials documenting various projects that involved Irina Aktuganova and Sergey Busov, including Gallery 21, Cyber-Femin-Club, and Gallery of Experimental Sound GEZ (GEZ-21).

Gallery 21 (1994–2001), founded by Irina Aktuganova in 1994, was located in the space #21 on Pushkinskaya, 10 from where it received its name. From 1994 to 1997, the gallery operated as a unique experimental exhibition venue that worked with current art and the art of new technologies. Over the years of its existence, Gallery 21 ran over 300 events along with participation in some major Russian and international projects. Its subsidiary projects include Techno-Art Center (1994), Cyber-Femin-Club (1994), GEZ-21 (1999), Art-Buffet (2002), and Philosophical Café (2002). The main block of documents related to the activities of Gallery 21 contain a vast selection of photo and video records documenting events run by the gallery beginning from the mid-1990s. A separate section is composed of archival materials documenting particular projects, including business correspondence and internal documentation. The funds also include a narrow selection of booklets, catalogues, and periodicals.

Cyber-Femin-Club is St. Petersburg’s first feminist art organization, established by Irina Aktuganova and Alla Mitrofanova in 1995 as a Gallery 21 filial. Cyber-Femin-Club carried out Russia’s first international feminist conferences and round tables, thematic exhibitions, performances, concerts, media projects, and educational initiatives. The club’s activity was based on the intersection of artistic and social practices. It also was one of the pioneering organizations to realize participatory projects and engage various communities in its work. Archival documents dedicated to Cyber-Femin-Club include a selection of press materials covering the events run by the club, as well as booklets and thematic publications. Photo and video materials, including documentation of events and particular artworks, form a separate block of the archive.

Gallery of Experimental Sound GEZ (GEZ-21) is a cultural institution established in order to create, study, and promote experimental music, laboratory work with sound, original music instruments, and techniques of sound-production. GEZ-21 played host to regular concerts of Russian and foreign artists, performances, subcultural and thematic gigs and events. In 2015, the Museum of Sound was founded as a branch of GEZ-21 featuring a collection of musical instruments, a sound archive, and a map of St. Petersburg’s sounds. Materials related to the active years of GEZ-21 consist of archival records, including descriptions of projects, various reports and internal documentation, as well as a comprehensive section devoted to photo and video documentation preserved on different mediums and a selection of press.

Records related to Philosophical Café and Agency 21—an organization founded by Irina Aktuganova in the mid-2000s with the aim of realizing art&science projects—form a separate block of the archive and include documentation of projects, archival and printed materials.

Irina Aktuganova

(b. 1963, Novosibirsk) is an art historian, cultural promoter, museum designer, founder and director at Gallery 21 (St. Petersburg, 1994–2001) and Cyber-Femin-Club (together with Alla Mitrofanova; St. Petersburg, 1994–2007). Together with Sergey Busov and Nikolay Sudnikov, in 1999, she established GEZ-21 Gallery (St. Petersburg). Aktuganova is also a curator in the field of technology art, art&science, and science museum design. She curated projects developed by St. Petersburg-based artists working with technologies for exhibitions in Austria, Germany, Netherlands, USA, and Finland. Aktuganova reads the lecture course Curatorship at Science Museums and Centers of Science Popularization at ITMO University (St. Petersburg). Chief coordinator of the Museum Descent competition initiated by Vladimir Potanin Charity Foundation. She lives and works in St. Petersburg.

Sergey Busov

(b. 1946, Omsk) is a physicist, director of St. Petersburg’s Techno-Art Center (since 1999), editor of the journal Obschina (Community; together with Vladimir Poresh and Alexander Ogorodnikov), co-founder of Gallery 21 (1994–2001), co-founder of Gallery of Experimental Sound GEZ (GEZ-21; together with Irina Aktuganova, Nikolay Sudnikov and Alexander Lebedev-Frontov). He lives and works in St. Petersburg.

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