"Place of Art" is a research project focused, on the one hand, on the study of the immediate places of art (exhibition spaces in Moscow) and, on the other, on the study of the place of art in the context of different social practices.

The title highlights two problematic issues. Firstly, the place of art is a place for art’s manifestation and, according to Nelson Goodman, “activation”, i.e. an exhibition space in all its current forms. Since we focus on studying the socio-cultural function of art, we intend to explore how social conditions determine artistic techniques and possibilities for new ways of expression. Secondly, the place of art can be understood as the positioning of art in the modern world and its ability to respond to pressing issues of our time

Topics of research

Discussions and events of the project are devoted to various issues of contemporary curatorial practices and analysis of exhibitions

Institutional criticism initially sets the task of studying one's own experience of art. Subsequently, it characterizes the transdisciplinary direction of contemporary art, where the line between artistic and life practices is blurred

Critical geography as a method allows us to analyze current processes in contemporary art, paying attention to the phenomena that have appeared on the periphery of research, and to search for new optics of looking at the history of art

The context of sustainable art involves attention to heritage, to history, and is also closely related to the search for new ways of looking at contemporary processes

Why 1986?

The research project "Place of Art" began with Moscow as one of the most important points on the map of contemporary art, and since 1986, when the XVII Youth exhibition was held. We believe that this is the year when contemporary art became an equal participant in artistic life for the first time. The exhibition showed art that had always been underground before, and its authors — young artists — who suddenly had the opportunity to come out of the underground and become active actors in the Moscow art community


Online Archive 

Our online archive is a collection of valuable documents and artifacts, photographs, texts, posters, and invitation cards for exhibitions held in Moscow since 1986

This section contains an interactive map of Moscow's art sites ad places, which will allow you to track how the city's art cartography has changed since 1986

The history of exhibitions can be represented not only by historical documents and documentation. The authors of the project present the views of curators, art historians, artists, and exhibition visitors in a series of interviews and dialogues


This section presents research and discussions of contemporary curatorial practices, publications of current texts, and translations on topics such as the relationship between art and the viewer, issues of public history, the sustainability of art, curatorial education, etc.

Issues of our journal include thematic interviews with curators and artists, theoretical essays, and transcripts of discussions from seminars and round tables

Interviews with curators, artists, theorists and art historians from Russia and abroad


The series of seminars is organized by the team of the "Place of Art" project at the HSE Graduate school of art and design. Participants raise questions about the current status of the place of art and try to expand the conversation about art practices in order to bring together representatives from different fields of knowledge and establish links between disparate research

Section "Place of Art" that was formed in the framework of the international scholar conference "Theories and practices of art and design: socio-cultural, economic and political contexts", organized together with the Graduate school of art and design based on Higher School of Economics

A series of meetings organized together with Electrotheatre Stanislavsky. Participants and speakers are invited to talk and consider a particular "place of art" — gallery, squat, exhibition space, or artist-run-spaces and the relationships that have formed in it, its exhibition policy. The purpose of these meetings is an open conversation between artists, curators, and organizers of exhibition venues about the geography of contemporary art and the dynamics of changes that occurred in Moscow in 1986