Apartment Exhibition №0

Olga Turchina, curator of “Remebering APTART” show at MMOMA, wrote down stories told by the participants of legendary apartment exhibitions in Moscow.

Yuri Albert

Why did all this happen at Nikita Alekseev’s? Because hardly anyone else had its own place. Most of artists lived with parents, even if they were quite adult. Some of them had children – so they can’t let the crowd in. And by the way one should have a sort of courage: apartment exhibitions was a dangerous matter (as it was proved later). So all these conditions coincided in Nikita – he lived alone and was a brave person.

I don’t remember what happened first – authorities’ raid at Nikita’s APTART, or the Mukhomors drafted to the army. Perhaps, the raid was earlier. At Nikita’s place, there was the first performance of Golden Disc by the Mukhomor group. Erik Bulatov and Oleg Vasilyev came. Also – and it’s quite comical – did come Salavat Scherbakov, a constructor of the present-day monstrous monuments. There were some other people. It was hilarious. Everybody rolled on floor laughing.

Then Golden Disc appeared at BBC and Seva Novgorodtsev broadcasted it, which turned on the state machine. It’s one thing when something happened in small circles and another when a million of people heard it on the radio. The Mukhomors, the unknown artists, at once transformed into the non-official rock band and got on certain ban lists. Approaching mass audience became a signal to start repressions against the group. Kostya Zvezdochetov, Sven Gundlakh and Volodya Mironenko were drafted to the army.

Nikita Alekseev

In 1970s, when I had just started my career new frontiers and possibilities were presented in art. As a result, we went so far that much, look beyond the edges where any criteria of what we were doing disappeared. And it’s absolutely normal that after this we entered an epoch of uncertainty and postmodernism, which, in turn, gave way to the era of extraordinary disheartenment and secondness. Today, when I come to young artists’ shows – no matter, in Russia or abroad – I have a feeling that I’m again in times of APTART visiting a typical exhibition of youth section at the Moscow Union of Artists opened in honor of a certain Komsomol congress. Now they have another materials and different topics but the boredom and nonessentialness are exactly the same.

April 3, 2020