V–A–C Foundation and M HKA engage in a longer-term collaboration by supporting the work of contemporary Russian artists in a variety of way. V–A–C wants to enhance the presence of leading Russian artists, of different generations, in selected European museum collections. M HKA exhibits and collects works by artists from Russia and other countries of the former USSR. The museum focuses on ‘Eurasia’, thereby contributing to the geographic diversity of collecting and programming.

Ksenia Peretrukhina

Ksenia Peretrukhina is a video artist, a theatre designer and a scenographer. Peretrukhina explores the ways to disrupt perception and reforms acting space transposing the scene and the audience hall and mixing actors with spectators. In search of unconventional artistic solutions the artist turns to things and listens to their voices. In the early series of portraits “Joseph Beuys’ brides” (2007) the participants, well-known Moscow artists and theorists, were invited to “unpack” their inner world by choosing any space and surrounding themselves with their most significant belongings. In the theatre Peretrukhina systematically prefers ready-mades to stage-properties. According to the artist, it enables us to get infinitely closer to the thing, transforming everyday optics and revising stereotypes imposed by mass culture.

In 2016, Ksenia Peretrukhina, the artists Alexey Lobanov and Shifra Kazhdan along with a producer Aleksandra Mun created the open horizontal union “Mutual Actions Theatre” oriented towards equitable relationships between all the participants of the show. In its practice MAT uses the techniques of figurative theatre, documentary films and reenactment. At the exhibition dedicated to the tenth anniversary of the Garage Museum MAT modified open checkrooms placing there a bat, an empty doughnut box, plush toys, robots, a Chupa Chup and other items which talked to viewers by the aid of a short audio recording. The most renowned work of the union was the performance called “Alien Invasion Museum”, a mockumentary about a fictional alien landing near the town of Tomsk in 1989, based on the novel “The War of the Worlds” by Herbert Wells. The space imitated a local history museum with reconstructed clothes, details of Soviet daily life and small “findings” from the scene of the accident. The ufologic storyline served as an occasion for reflection on xenophobia and fear of others, as well as on the insignificance of the human role in Russian history, and the historiographic creation of meaning in general.

Peretrukhina theatre performances as “freedom exercisers”: disorientation of the viewer through experiments with space and objects leads to a revision of basic attitudes and dead interpretations, while the division of responsibility between participants and full mutual trust rehearse crucial but extremely rare negotiation skills rather than the ability to obey and dominate.