Culture & Art

ZIP group // Public Art

The summer of 2011 they found self-proclaimed Krasnodar Institute of Contemporary Art (KICA), the city’s first independent and experimental art space, and a new intellectual/art milieu for the younger generation has started forming around it.

- How and when did you start being an art group?We formed a group in 2009. We were looking for a room to rent. We needed a platform for co-creativity, exhibitions and communication. We wanted it to be independent and free.

As we did not want to leave Krasnodar, our city, we decided that we should create something interesting not only for ourselves but to create the environment and to start the process. So we decided to be together.

- What is the meaning of the acronym ZIP?

By chance we got to the Krasnodar factory of measuring devices. It was a great Soviet factory where previously worked about 14 thousand employees.

We can say that this was kind of a city in the city, with its own infrastructure, culture, exhibitions, sports. When we came to the factory - there where the ruins of a lost civilization, but the empty rooms were still filled with memory of the collective work.

We were inspired by the atmosphere and we felt a lot of power in collaborative labour experience. We decided to call our group after the factory. (ZIP is russian acronym for Factory of Measuring Devices)

- Which medium do you use in your work?

We work in almost all mediums, but mainly engaged in the installations. We like to create spaces where to arise an interaction with a spectator.

It is very important for us to create the environment that involves people in co-creation process. Sometimes we use performances and happenings.

As a group we can make collective actions to involve random casual people. We like to use simple materials for our installations and performances, close to the "life", basically wood. We hope that simple and familiar material can attract to communicate.

- Talking about inspirations and 'heroes', who and what has a strong impact on your creation?

We are inspired by the revolution of 1917 and the Russian avant-garde, we are interested in blurring the boundaries between art and life. Also Utopia is a very important theme for us, creating fictional autonomous worlds and projecting these ideas to reality.

- Which are the topics/issues you focus on and which are the goals?

For us art is freedom . We believe that creativity is an affordable tool for everyone's happiness, but often creativity is driven into certain market or stereotypes framework.

We want to struggle against that. Therefore we have founded a self-proclaimed Krasnodar Institute for Contemporary Art (KICA).There we are creating art together with adults and kids.

- Your performances are quite non-conformist, interactive and sometimes dissenting. What is the related political message?

Political Art in Russia - is quite risky. Instead of pure political actionism, we combine artistic and political forms - it is much more effective in our opinion. Example - our booth “B. I. P.” We believe that through the humor you can build a dialogue, and we are trying to do it in our actions.

- What comes next?

Now we are preparing for a big exhibition at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. There will be a new piece and the retrospective of our activities in the last 7 years as well. In 2017 we are engaged in many art-projects, but simultaneously we are going to continue our educational and exhibition activity in Krasnodar.

Selected group exhibitions:

2015 "BALAGAN", Kühlhaus am Gleisdreieck, Max Liebermann Haus, Berlin, Germany
2015 "The School of the Displaced", Kyiv Biennial 2015, Kyiv, Ukraine
2015 "BORDERLANDS", gallery GRAD, London
2014 "Russian performance: a cartography of its history". GARAGE museum of contemporary art, Moscow
2014 "To the Square 2", Helsinky, Finland
2014 "Not a Museum", art space "New Industry", parallel program of Manifesta 10, St. Petersburg
2013 "Museum of Contemporary Art: Department of Labor and Employment", the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
2012 "Apocalypse and Rebirth in a Chocolate House", a branch of the Kiev National Museum of Russian Art "Chocolate House", Kiev, Ukraine
2011 «Media Impact" International Festival of Activist Art, special project of IV Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Frt, ARTPLAY design center design center, Moscow
2010 «Glob (E) Scape», II Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, ARTPLAY design center, Moscow

Selected solo exhibitions:

2015 "Standby", XL Gallery, Moscow
2014 "Utopian Skeleton", XL Gallery, Moscow
2013 «Flags Washing Machine», Kurant Gallery, Tromso, Norway
2012 "This guild struggles to be named as an exemplary", XL Gallery, Moscow
2009 "The Living Nook", the ZIP factory, Krasnodar


Since 2010, Art residence "Pjatihatki", village Pjatihatki, Anapa, Black Sea (Every August)
Since 2010, The Festival of Public Art "CAN", Krasnodar
Since 2011, Krasnodar Institute of Contemporary Art (KICA)

Selected Scholarships and Awards:

2013 All-Russian Award "Innovation". Nomination "Regional Project of Contemporary Art”

Personal information:

Stepan Subbotin
Date of Birth: 19.09.1987
City: Krasnodar

Vasily Subbotin
Date of Birth: 18.02.1991
City: Krasnodar

Eldar Ganeev
Date of Birth: 30.03.1979
City: Krasnodar

Evgeny Rimkevich
Date of Birth: 28.11.1987
City: Armavir

Country of residence: Russia

About The Author

Author Photo

Veronica Posth

Veronica Posth studied History of Art at the University of Glasgow (UK) and Florence (IT) specializing in Contemporary Art and Modern Museology. After some years working in a contemporary art gallery in London and collaborating with a creative association promoting Contemporary-Urban Art and Electronic Music in Florence, she gained a Master in Exhibition Design and Curatorial Studies between Florence (IT) and Berlin (DE). She lives and works in Berlin as independent curator and art reviewer. Her main interests are related to contemporary art, dance and music.