CHTO DELAT: Activist Club | Plug In #51 [Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven]

Chto Delat (What is to be done) is a collective of artists, critics, philosophers and writers from St Petersburg and Moscow formed in 2003. The group is concerned with topics in the field of tension between art, political theory and activism. This collective engages in a variety of art projects, including video works, installations, and publishing free newspapers. The Van Abbemuseum invited them to present their work in the context of the museum collection. Their proposal was to present a video programme with three of their latest films in a small cinema.

Dates: 04.04 – 27.11.2009

These 3 films are ‘Builders’ from 2004-2005, ‘Angry Sandwichpeople or in a Praise of Dialectic’ from 2006 and ‘Perestroika Songspiel’ from 2008. The Van Abbemuseum has purchased these three films, as well as the small cinema named ‘Kino Club’.

Apart from the small cinema, this presentation is displaying several paintings from the museum collection that represent the twentieth-century realist tradition. The Chto Delat members explain their choice as follows: ‘Striving to be realists in the authentic, broad sense of the word, we once again repeat Lenin’s half-forgotten thesis: “You can become a communist only when you have enriched your memory with knowledge of all the riches that humanity has created”.

Especially for this presentation Chto Delat published a issue of its newspaper ‘What is the use of art?’. This paper is available at the Van Abbemuseum for free. It is the first color edition of this paper!