In recent years, the unofficial culture of the Soviet Union is becoming official and material hidden in official Soviet and unofficial private archives is now resurfacing; Russian modern cultural history is being (re-)written. In this process, the active preservation and revaluation of the past by the unofficial artists is important. As a member of the Moscow Conceptualist School (1970-90), Vadim Zacharov documented and collected material on this group of unofficial Moscow artists in a personal archive. Thus, the artist becomes an archivist, but the archive is also turned into art. In this article, the author shows how the early Russian utopian avant-garde is being re-valued and re-actualized in this process. While the early avant-garde's utopian goal was to create an ideal artwork out of life, Zacharov creates a (utopian) space between the official and the private archive, in which the spectator can actively participate in the co-writing of art history.
Nordisk Oestforum, 2006, Vol 20, Issue 3, p. 299-316