Turning the Pushkin Museum into a ‘Russian Tate Modern’: Informal Creative Labour in a Hybrid Cultural Economy (The Case of Privately Funded Moscow Art Centres)
Lecture by Margarita Kuleva, hosted by the Department of Slavic & Russian Studies in cooperation with the Dutch consulate
In this talk, Kuleva – Chair of the Department of Design and Contemporary Art and Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Higher School of Economics St. Petersburg – investigates the creative work that is now taking place in newly established cultural institutions in Moscow. Her special interest have non-governmental museums of contemporary art (MoCAs). The exploration of creative work in Russian art centres merits closer attention, as it promises to record the transition of the contemporary art market from the Soviet-era cultural monopoly to the market economy, during the real-time formation of new, informal standards of cultural production. In her talk, Kuleva evaluates what informality means within these new standards of the organization of creative work: standing for culture ‘in a new and innovative way’; the new art centres preserve many residues of the ‘old system’, such as the practices of blat, favour-swapping and clientelism. The talk is based on an empirical study conducted in 2016 which included 25 in-depth interviews with cultural workers employed full-time and 20 live observations in offices and exhibition areas of art centres.
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