9 April 2020

1987 Sasha Obukhova and Yulia Ovchinnikova volunteer at the Hermitage Association of art enthusiasts. There they meet Leonid Talochkin and help him produce the hand-written catalogue for the exhibition Retrospection.

1990 Alexander (Alik) Sidorov invites Obukhova and Milena Orlova to work on the A-Ya archive, which will later grow into the reference book Who‘s Who in Contemporary Art in Moscow. In 1992, it will be published by Album publishing house founded by Sergei Khripun.

1990 Ovchinnikova works on the catalogue for the exhibition Other Art.

1992 Obukhova starts working at Joseph Backstein’s Institute of Contemporary Art in Moscow, where she continues to build an archive.

1993 Ovchinnikova starts working at the Soros Center for Contemporary Art. Her responsibilities include filming Moscow art events.

2001 Some of the key players on the Moscow art scene (including Joseph Backstein, Viktor Misiano, and Marat Guelman) create the Art Projects Foundation (APF), which takes on the projects of the Soros Center for Contemporary Art. The head of APF, Elena Elagina, invites Obukhova and Ovchinnikova to work on its archive. APF and its archive are located in a small room in the Graphic Arts Department of the Surikov Art Institute in Lavrushinsky Lane (previously known as Moscow Secondary Art School). In 2001, the APF archive consists of Obukhova’s personal archive and the archive of the Soros Center, which was transferred to APF as a non-monetary grant. In 2011 and 2012, the archive expands through the production and accumulation of new materials and thanks to donations from artists, gallerists, and art critics, including Elena Selina, Andrei Kovalev, Igor Makarevich, Milena Orlova, and Mikhail Fyodorov-Roshal.

2004 Art Projects Foundation is restructured with Obukhova as its head and focuses on maintaining the archive. First attempts are made at developing an electronic catalogue. A technical brief for the developer is written, but work on the program is postponed due to lack of funds.

2005 Art Projects Foundation and the archive have to leave the space in Lavrushinsky Lane. Most of the archive and library is put into storage, with part moving to Ekaterina Foundation, where APF organizes Informburo, a large-scale project for the 1st Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. The project will serve as a prototype for the future organization of the archive, which at the time cannot be implemented due to the lack of reliable funding.

2006 APF moves to a building at Winzavod Center for Contemporary Art.

2006 to 2008 APF receives regular support from Italian collector and arts patron Alberto Sandretti. 2007 Contemporary City Foundation holds a charity auction to support APF. With the proceeds, APF is able to pay rent for the two years and acquire new equipment to create better storage conditions for the documents.

2011 Garage Center for Contemporary Culture starts the negotiation process to acquire the APF archive.

September 1, 2012 An agreement is signed that transfers the archive to Garage Center for Contemporary Culture. A Research Department is created at Garage, where the initial team include Sasha Obukhova, Anastasia Tarasova, and Zoya Katashinskaya.

Sasha Obukhova in the Art Projects Foundation archive, 2011 Photo: Roman Mokrov

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