Works > A Gift to Birobidzhan, 2009

Dmitry Vilensky + Chto Delat?: Angry Sandwichpeople
Dmitry Vilensky + Chto Delat?: Angry Sandwichpeople

Angry Sandwichpeople. This slideshow and audio piece emerged from an inner group discussion on how it might be possible to make an artistic statement in memory of the centennial anniversary of the first Russian revolution of 1905. In 2004, we (i.e. the workgroup Chto delat/What is to be done?) carried an extensive artistic study of the contemporary urban environment of a working class neighborhood in Petersburg. As the center of the worker’s uprising in 1905, this neighborhood later also became the site for one of the most ambitious and comprehensive constructivist projects in building a new, socialist Leningrad. A year later, we decided to return to this neighborhood to carry out an action and to shoot a video that might be capable of expressing our relationship to the history of this place.

Chto delat/What is to be done? was founded in early 2003 in Petersburg by a workgroup of artists, critics, philosophers, and writers from Petersburg, Moscow, and Nizhny Novgorod (see full list of participants on their web site) with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism. Since then, Chto delat has been publishing an English-Russian newspaper on issues central to engaged culture, with a special focus on the relationship between a repoliticization of Russian intellectual culture and its broader international context. These newspapers are usually produced in the context of collective initiatives such as art projects or conferences.