Zed Books is to release first anthology of Russian contemporary art writing to be published outside of Russia, on 5th October 2017.
Cosmic Shift: Russian Contemporary Art Writing will feature many of Russia’s "most prominent" voices within the art world, including artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, e-flux founder Anton Vidokle, critic and theorist Boris Groys, members of Chto Delat? group and avant-garde artist and writer Dmitri Prigov. Together they examine the region’s various movements of contemporary art, culture, and theory, from communism, cosmism and conceptualism to past and future futures.
This "landmark" anthology represents the first time that a book of contemporary art writing from Russia will be published to an English-speaking audience, the publisher has said. The book’s content and its translation were supported by a grant from the Kosmos Foundation. Belgian curator Bart De Baere, the artistic director for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp, provides a foreword.
Cosmic Shift was acquired by Zed’s editorial director Kika Sroka-Miller, who says of the project: "These essays and articles paint a compelling portrait of a vast and complex nation, one built on a contradicting dialectic between the material and the ideal. And it shows a culture battling its own histories and ideologies. With so much retrospective attention on the Centenary, we’re very pleased to be publishing this contemporary and explicitly forward-looking book."
World rights to the book were acquired directly from the collection’s editors Elena Zaytseva and Alex Anikina. They said: "Writing has always been a strong point in Russian art that helped to establish the ethical grounds of art within society. We are very happy to present to the international public this vibrant collection of texts by artists and theorists who play an important role in Russian culture. We are hugely enjoying our work with Zed Books for their collective ethics and their attentive inquiry into the world’s diversity in philosophy, aesthetics and politics."
Cosmic Shift: Russian Contemporary Art Writing will be published on 5th October, coinciding with the Kabakov exhibition at the Tate Modern, as well as with the centenary month of the October Revolution. There will be a series of high-profile events involving the contributors around the book’s launch.