Elena Strygina
Curator, exhibition manager
Winner of Global Talent Visa, UK
2010 - 2023
Work experience Linkedin
2009 - 2011
University of the Arts, London
Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art
2000 - 2007
St. Petersburg University of Technology and Design
BA, MA in Fashion Design
2017 - 2020
Anna Nova Gallery, St. Petersburg
Director, chief curator
    8 FEBRUARY - 7 MARCH 2020


    The interactive installation Laboratorium Suggerere mimics a medical laboratory interior, a walkable space where reality and fantasy come together. Attractive textures, smooth shapes, and colors of biomorphic objects may seem fascinating at first, but with a closer look delight might give place to discomfort. Here, 3D-printed body organs, bones, and veins neighbor abstract art objects made of synthetic materials like plastic, wax, and silicone. These sculptural objects resembling prostheses, body parts, and biological structures are free of identity. As if caught while mutating, they should be seen as a looming beginning of something that can't be fully captured and understood yet.

    The artist aims to create an impulse and to establish an awareness of the current development and transformation of health and life sciences. Visitors are invited to sensually capture this artificial clinical space with the sense of touch, sense of vision, and sense of smell.
    14 NOVEMBER 2019 - 25 JANUARY 2020


    The artist's new project continues the exploration that she started in the Urban Fauna Laboratory. Once again she turns to the plant kingdom and demonstrates the potential of a brave new non-anthropocentric world. In this project, the main characters are plants that have healing properties and function as communicators between different worlds in certain traditional cultures. The artist previously used the project Bad Seed Renaissance (performance, 2016) to talk about a new civilization where people exist in a state of mutually beneficial communication with wild flora. Her new exhibition likewise focuses on communication between species. The key to its understanding lies in visual meditation on the images of plants as modern icons.

    The title of the project refers to the moss Marchantia Polymorpha, the central image in a huge semi-abstract photo mural. The ornamentation of the image both endows the plant with psychedelic characteristics and reflects the complexity of its structure, making it clear that this creature might be different, but equal to a human being and capable of communicating with us. The exhibition also features engraved glasses and mirrors, that facilitate deep scrutiny of images of the agents of the plant kingdom, opening the way for possible synesthesia and understanding of their structure and mutual benefits during communication with them.
  • SUMMER CAMP 07/19
    27 JULY - 26 OCTOBER 2019

    air gunAll forms of leisure found at a summer camp are available here, though one might not be able to relax. At the entrance to the gallery, you can play ping-pong, while adding to the paintings which the members of the group had started before the opening. It doesn't look like you could be bored here, especially since one of the artists is firing an air-gun at pillows. The pillows bleed. In the summer camp, the naive and the uncanny, the touching and the teenage violent exist side by side. The SUMMER CAMP also speaks about Camp, where childish maximalism comes along with clueless aestheticism, and the refined artistic forms are covered with sickeningly pink yogurt and glitter.

    The North-7 summer camp takes us back to the beautiful and terrible Communist past. Many years have passed since the breakup of the Soviet Union, yet we are still burdened with the memories of that lost civilization. The old Soviet goods, no matter how hard you try to get rid of them, will chase you at your parents' dacha or in a second-hand shop anyway. It even seems like the Little Octobries with butterfly nets still march around the outskirts of Zelenogorsk, like it were yesterday. This nostalgic mood is unlikely to threaten us with discomfort. In one case, the nostalgia for the placid years of the Brezhnev era people will be shared. In another, the carelessness of the past will evoke mixed feelings.

    One only has to feel the difference, savoring the post-Soviet melancholy. Unexpectedly, the summer vacation bring us up against the weighty, rough, visible reality that goes unnoticed in the hustle and bustle of the usual working life. You were just about to play some basketball (there is a hoop and a ball upstairs), when the tattoos on the skin of a creature sprawled in a beach chair catch your eyes. The world of modern tattoos is intricate and naive: someone fancies a cartoon character from the '80s, and someone prefers a logo of their favorite beer brand. Secret attachments and dreams are presented in their primeval beauty. The campers are creepy like the bowels emerging from old jackets and raincoats nailed to the wall.
    10 NOVEMBER 2018 - 23 FEBRUARY 2019

    ÁKKTA, Egor Kraft's largest-ever presented solo show, brings together the artist's key projects of recent years, previously shown at various international art institutions. Kraft's ongoing research "Content Aware Studies" is the central focus of the exhibition. Egor Kraft's multidisciplinary practice has incorporated AI, video art, and interventions, as well as traditional media. He explores the blurred boundaries between the real and the virtual, creating narratives to question how human irrational subconscious reasoning will co-exist with a ubiquitous impartial and quantitative machinic agency rendered by the technologies of today and tomorrow.

    For his latest project "Content Aware Studies", Kraft produced a series of marble copies of ancient Greek and Roman masterpieces combined with 3D-printed outputs of neural nets. He used machine learning to reconstruct lost fragments of sculptures and friezes. By mixing classical aesthetics with uncanny computer-generated elements, Kraft invites speculation on machine perception of human culture, examining the possibility of collaboration with AI in the creation of meta-archaeological objects. The project offers an opportunity to step back from the machine learning hype and contemplate the broader anthropological perspectives of AI as a speculative tool for history and knowledge production and examine the ethical and aesthetic implications of such actions.

    The word "Ákkta" comes from a made-up glossary for the project "AirKiss", which was produced in collaboration with Alina Kvirkveliya, Karina Golubenko, and Pekka Airaxin during The New Normal program (2017) at Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture, and Design. "Air Kiss" is being presented at Anna Nova as a five-channel video installation.

    "Air Kiss visually and poetically narrates an endpoint of governance through artificial intelligence; a hypothetical in which there is no longer any distinction between a citizen's subjectivity and Plasma, the adaptive system which continually modulates and re-calibrates collective rule, morphing into the citizen's inner voice and personal psychotherapist", Daniel van der Velden (Metahaven).

    In addition to new projects earlier works by the artists are presented: "Kick Back Intervention" (2014), on­go­ing on­line in­ter­ven­tion "New Color", started in 2011, and documentation of kinetic sculpture "I Print Therefore I Am" (2014).

  • Museum of Poisons

    Ilya Fedotov-Fedorov
  • Our Coming Was Expected on Earth
    Haim Sokol
  • Voice Cooling Tests

    Alice Kern
2012 - 2013
Red October Gallery (Moscow)
Exhibition manager, assistant curator
  • Homemade Russia
    Vladimir Arkhipov
    Continuing the tradition of conceptualism, Arkhipov makes up texts, documenting the story of these objects. Kandinsky Prize nominee (2013). Participated in the Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art (2017).

    In the context of the interdisciplinary project 'Homemade Russia', the artist collects handmade objects of utility (from 1994). It's important for Arkhipov that these objects are unique and were made from available materials which weren't for sale.

    Thie exhibition presented highlights from Vladimir Arkhipov's collection of unique artifacts. Objects made by ordinary Russians inspired by a lack of immediate access to manufactured goods during the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    The archive includes hundreds of objects created with often idiosyncratic functional qualities made for both inside and outside the home, such as a tiny bathtub plug carefully fashioned from a boot heel; a back massager made from an old wooden abacus; a road sign used as a street cleaner's shovel; and a doormat made from beer bottle tops.

  • Сhapiteau Moscow
    Sergey Bratkov
    Sergey Bratkov is a Ukrainian artist and one of the founders of Fast Reaction Group (Quick Response Group) together with Boris Mikhailov and Sergey Solonsky. In Moscow, his first exhibitions "Kids", "My Moscow" and "Seven", shown at Regina Gallery, aroused the keen interest of the public and critics.

    Made in Bratkov's signature style, the portraits of ordinary citizens offer the viewer a kind of "section of society", a kind of collective image without embellishment. In addition to collages, the exhibition will feature Sergey Bratkov's video "Full Moon".

    "People of less than sober appearance stumblingly balance on a rope stretched out in their heads. Further away, you can see the magicians – oriental merchants at the market. Having built their pyramids of vegetables and fruit, they conduct dazzling price manipulations from their summits. Trained animals – stray dogs of menacing proportions meditate in front of a
    store with a sign saying "Meat". Over there, a man is dragging a metal bathtub on his back. Hard to see right away what that moving thing is. A ninja turtle perhaps? A woman in a green dress has bought five watermelons at once. She looks like a bunch of grapes.
    Someone's gotten drunk early and now lays on the lawn, like a fallen trapeze artist smashed on the stage."
    - Almine Rech
  • Monument to a Lost Civilization
    Ilya & Emilia Kabakov
    World-renowned artist Ilya Kabakov is regarded as a living classic of contemporary art which was confirmed by countless exhibitions in Europe and the United States. His famous "total" installations are well-known around the world; they have been exhibited at leading art institutions like Pompidou center in Paris, the MOMA and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and at the Venice Biennale and Documenta in Kassel. Since 1989 his wife Emilia has joined him as they started working in collaboration.

    'Monument to a Lost Civilization' was first displayed in 1999 in Palermo and includes 37 installations, consisting of 140 individual pieces, collages, and artists' texts and documents. Ilya Kabakov: "This has been my principal dream over the last ten years – to set up a monument to the civilization where I was born, where I studied, and where I lived: the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that no longer exists. I'd like to create an image of that place, not an objective one, of course, but the way I saw it and felt it, which is highly subjective. My longing got even more imperious after this civilization that was meant to last for ages fell apart and vanished so abruptly and promptly for its inhabitants". 'Monument To A Lost Civilization' was intended by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov to be exhibited underground in a windowless space. Viewers' confusion was supposed to impart the sense of the Soviet Union.

  • Erz-General Red Parsifal

    Jonathan Meese
    One of the most expressive and spontaneous European artists has changed the Red October Gallery interior drastically in just three days. Meese is famous for the fact that most of his projects are site-specific. The artist kept the idea secret. The only thing certain about the exhibition was its title: Erz General Red Parsifal.

    Meese lives and works in Germany, He works in almost every genre of art: painting, sculpture, video, installation, and performance. He participated in Berlin biennale in 1998, his personal exhibitions were hosted on every continent. Works of the artist are in the collections of the Pompidou Centre, Saatchi Gallery, and other institutions. Meese designed the sets for Wolfgang Rihm's Salzburg Festival Dionysus and he was also chosen to direct the opera "Parsifal", for the Bayreuth Festival 2016.

    The German artist could be called an extremist in art. In his work and numerous manifestos, Meese is promoting the cult of art and predicts its dictatorship on the Earth in the nearest future. The large-scale installation at Red October reveals all sides of Meese's personality. Behind the meters of bubble wrap, one finds a great charisma and insane energy inherent in all Jonathan's art.

    The title of the exhibition is meaningful. The Erzgeneral is the Evolution leader, the Metabolism-Soldier of Art. The Word "Red" stands for Total Alert, being totally fit for Art duty, for (R)evolution, red is always the color of Love, Fight(red, white, black are the three colors of precision), and power. There is of course also the reference to Red October, the Space of Total Art, the Room of Laws of Art… Parsifal shows the future: Dictatorship of Art.

  • Dogs' Life
    Olga Chernysheva, Semyon Faibisovich, Alexander Brodsky
    "Dogs' Life" is a project by Alexander Brodsky, Semyon Faibisovich and Olga Chernyshova.

    In the early 90-s, many Russians used to leave their children in orphanages and beloved thoroughbred dogs in the streets. Those dogs' offspring that survived formed a steadily specific and motley community of homeless creatures.

    The idea of creating a series of works about their life – a kind of hymn to the dogs' freedom – came to Semyon Faibisovich in the early 2000s. While the artist was gathering the material and creating paintings, dogs vanished from the Moscow landscape. Dog hunters were the main reason for that. Thus the hymn of freedom turned into the requiem for victims of cruelty towards animals.

    In the philosophical and allegorical installation by Alexander Brodsky, the same theme of requiem is original, as the installation's concept came to the artist after the dogs had already disappeared. It is a representation of an abandoned canine concentration camp.

    The video installation by Olga Chernysheva is full of optimism. Several screens are broadcasting how thoroughbred well-groomed dogs with buckets in their mouths are performing in order to raise funds for their unfortunate brethren in shelters.

    One of the main ideas of this three-part project is to provoke a discussion about the lack of kindness and animals' deprivation of normal life, or even just a life, because of human cruelty.
  • Reload

    Group exhibition
    The idea to create an Ark belongs to Sergey Bratkov, who created both a sketch and a plan. The role of Noah, who chose the set of artists and their works was played by Mikhail Ovcharenko. There are different styles of contemporary art exhibited.

    The artists participating: Evgeniy Antufyev, Oleg Dou, Ivan Gorshkov, Arseniy Zhilyaev, art duo EliKuka, Egor Koshelev, Olga Kroytor, Vlad Kulkov, Taus Mahacheva, Misha Most, Valeria Nibiru, Anna Parkina, Tatyana Peniker, Alexander Povzner, Anastasia Potemkina, Sergey Sapozhnikov, Emir Emir.

    The air is filled with talks about the end of the world on December 21, 2012. On the eve of the Apocalypse everybody inevitably draws conclusions. Who will be saved, and what will be saved? "Not everyone will be taken into the future", – Ilya Kabakov once said. Whose works, of which artists of contemporary Russia will survive any catastrophe? This is what "Reload" is about, a group exhibition of young Russian artists, which opened on December 18 in the Red October gallery.

    Time eliminates everything which is superfluous. It's the best filter for art as well. It determines the artist's contribution to the world of art and his influence on our future. Some Russian contemporary artists have already gained the status of living classics and have been internationally recognized. However, among the young generation of artists, there are those, whose works are worthy to become a part of cultural heritage.

No One Goes Into Space From Restaurants
Sergey Bratkov
Installation. Moscow, Red October
2013 - 2015

2019 - 2021
Nova Art Contest
A competition of projects by emerging artists
2017 - 2019
BOOKLET Magazine
Director of publication
2015 - 2017
My Street. Moscow Renovation Program
Project leader, responsible for international architectural firms involved
Moscow Urban Forum
Exhibition curator
2013 - 2014
Andy Warhol: Ten Famous Jews of the 20s Century
Exhibition Manager, assistant curator

A Joyful Archipelago Magazine
Gallery liaison
  • Cosmoscow Art Fair
    International galleries liaison

    In December 2010 the first edition of Cosmoscow Art Fair took place at the site of the former Red October Chocolate Factory in Moscow.

    Among the prominent foreign galleries that participated in the Fair were:

    Christine Koenig
    Gebr. Lehmann
    Leo Koenig Inc.
    Sprueth Magers
    Simon Lee
  • A Joyful Archipelago, publication

    A limited-edition 100-page publication was published on the occasion of the exhibition that took place in London in 2012 and featured artists' special projects alongside the essays by the new generation of Russian writers and poets.

    The contributors include Dmitri Prigov, PUSSY RIOT, Ivan Gololobov, Katya Kazbek, and Elena Strygina. Edited by Olga Grotova, co-edited by Oleksiy Osnach and Alina Dolgin.

  • Andy Warhol: Ten Famous Jews of the 20s Century
    Exhibition manager, assistant curator

    The exhibition is a comprehensive study of the lives of the ten Jewish luminaries selected by Warhol for his portrait series: Sarah Bernhardt, Louis Brandeis, Martin Buber, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, George Gershwin, Franz Kafka, the Marx Brothers, Golda Meir, and Gertrude Stein.

    Through Warhol's portraits, archival material, photographs, videos and interviews, each life story unveils a broader examination of the eras in which the subjects lived.
  • Nova Art Contest

    Nova Art Contest is a competition for projects by emerging artists, who get a chance to implement their ideas and be supported by the professional community, and are offered other tools for further development.

    The contest is held every two years. Initiated by Anna Nova gallery in 2006, it has become one of the most exciting opportunities for young artists. 12 finalists of the contest get a chance to present their projects to internationally acclaimed professionals, receive funding for the realization of their ideas, participate in the large-scale final show, get residences, and have solo shows in major galleries.
  • Booklet 9
    Director of Publication

    Booklet is a magazine about contemporary art, published by Anna Nova gallery twice a year. The topic of the 9th issue is INNOVATION, and this issue was created in collaboration with interdisciplinary artist Egor Kraft.

    In this issue, we talk about innovation in art and about art in innovation. Among the contributors are the founder of the DSL collection and the first VR Museum Sylvain Levy, and Steven Sacks - the founder of bitforms gallery (NY), the first gallery in the world, dedicated to digital art.

  • Booklet 10
    Director of Publication

    Booklet is a magazine about contemporary art, published by Anna Nova gallery twice a year. The topic of the 10th issue is JOKES, and this issue was created in collaboration with artist Alexnder Dashevsky.

    In this issue, we talk about humor in art, highlight the most important art events, and interview famous curators and collectors. We are showing examples of how artists, such as Erwin Wurm and John Baldessari use irony in their art practice and publish funny stories told by gallerists, curators, and other art professionals.