Chto Delat

Art collective founded in 2003 in Sankt Peterburg, Russia


Becoming with the Museum, 2017

Video, 39’11”

Acquisition: Gift

Reference: 05197


The video donated by Chto Delat documents the process in which they worked with a group of young artists and created a performance, which shows the relationship of the participants with the selected works of art from the collection of MoCA Skopje. The work connects the macro-narrative of different works of art (when and how they are created, their social significance, etc.) with the micro-narrative of each performer, who through his body and lyrical text explains the relationship with the selected work. The work is a refreshing map of the museum and the history of the young generation that activates the transformative potential of the museum. 

The collective Chto Delat (What is to be done?) was founded in early 2003 in Petersburg by a workgroup of artists, critics, philosophers, and writers from St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Nizhny Novgorod with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism. The name of the group derives from a novel by the Russian 19th century writer Nikolai Chernyshevsky, and immediately brings to mind the first socialist worker’s self-organizations in Russia, which Lenin actualized in his own publication, “What is to be done?” (1902). Chto Delat sees itself as an artistic cell and also as a community organizer for a variety of cultural activities intent on politicizing “knowledge production”. They advocate for the equality of all people, fighting against various forms of patriarchy, homophobia and gender inequality. They convey their ideas through: film, theater performances, radio programs, murals, public campaigns and seminars. 

In their statement on the occasion of the performance and donation, they said:

“Ever since we got to know The Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje, we fell in love with its space, the relationship between the indoor and outdoor views, its different layers, and its unique collection. We used the chance to work with the space in a performative way, revealing these inspirations.

Museums are spaces where we encounter the accumulation of different art pieces combined in one display, offering the viewer a multiplicity of experiences. They are built in order to amplify it. The Contemporary Art Museum in Skopje is the best example with its vantage position over the city, with its elegant cement and glass surfaces which help us feel and engage with artworks in a decent and proper way.

We worked in this amazing space for 5 days with a group of young artists and we conceived a performance around the exhibition spaces which reflects the relation of the seminar’s participants to the selected pieces of artworks. We wanted to link the macro narrative of different art works (when and how they are created, their social meaning, etc.) with a micro-narrative of every performer who was challenged to explain with her body and lyrical text the relations to the work and thus create a transformative and refreshing mapping of the museum and history of young generation which activate the transformative potential of museum.”