Chto Delat (What is to be done?) is a collective founded in early 2003 in Petersburg by a workgroup of artists, critics, philosophers, and writers with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism. The collective’s activities are coordinated by a core group including Tsaplya Olga Egorova (artist), Artiom Magun (philosopher), Nikolay Oleynikov (artist), Natalia Pershina / Glucklya (artist), Alexey Penzin (philosopher), Alexander Skidan (poet and critic), Oxana Timofeeva (philosopher), Dmitry Vilensky (artist) and Nina Gasteva (choreographer).
The artistic activity is realised across a range of media, from video and theatre plays, to radio programmes and murals. It includes art projects, seminars, and public campaigns. The works of the collective are characterised by the use of alienation effects, surreal scenery, typicality, and always case-by-case analyses of concrete social and political struggles. In 2013, Chto Delat initiated an educational platform called School of Engaged Art in Petersburg and also runs a space called Rosa’s House of Culture. From its inception, the collective has published an English-Russian newspaper focused on the politicisation of the Russian cultural situation in dialogue with the international context. The collective becomes part of Journal of Journal a project of documenta 12 in Kasel in 2007; the fellows of the 11th edition of Gwangju Biennale in 2016; Garage Museum Field Research Programm in 2017; and many other long terms collaborations with large scale institutions.
They exhibited worlwide, including at The 12th Shanghai Biennale 2018, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, MUAC – Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo Mexico City, San Paulo Biennale, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Madrid, Tate Liverpool, Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin, 10th Gwangju Biennale, Staatliche Kuntsthalle Baden-Baden, Kunstverein Cologne, New Museum New York, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, Centro Pecci Prato. Their works are part of the collections: The Museum of Modern Art , New York; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Museum Reina Sophia, Madrid; Le Centre Pompidou, Paris; MUDAM, Luxemburg; Tretyakov Art Gallery, Moscow; MUAC (The Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo) Mexico City; KIASMA, Museum for Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco; Museum of Conteporary Art, Belgrade; CAAC, Sevilia and many others.