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Alexander Petlura.

Is born in 1955 in Ukraine.

1969-1972 - studied in high art school the fresco restore in Vladimir.

1988 – studied in high art school design and interior in Moscow.

1985-1988 – organized first rock-festivals and took an active part in Untraditional arts.

1988 – took part in opening first Free Academy of Art in Moscow.

1989 – became the president of Free Academy of Art.

1990-1995 – for first time made art-squat in the center of Moscow, which was the center and generator of ideas (Moscow events in Untraditional art) for 5 years.

1995 – governments refused the artists to keep that place, so Petlura opened a new art fund called “Zapovednik of Art” and became its president.

1995-2000 – Fund “ZA” organized alternative exhibitions, festivals and took part as well.



Alexander Petlura is a Moscow artist. In the history of Russian alternative art he will remain, first and foremost, a collector of rubbish. He has been accumulating his phenomenal collection for the last 30 years and now it’s one of the unique alternative private collections of rare stuff. Today the collection numbers more than 20,000 pieces: costumes, shoes, hats, accessories etc. Its major part is second-hand clothes, footwear and utensils found in city dumps, attics and cellars of abandoned houses. "I'm a collector", - says Petlura about himself, - "I collect objects which were made by subjects, not myself. After the rubbish stage, the objects go through three other stages. The first is scientific investigation. Here I am investigating whether an object could be useful. The second stage is stationary exposition, the third is theatrical action".

The artistic movement that Petlura works in, is described as "New symbolism". The "New symbolism" method consists of the former object owner transforming energy by the circumstances under which that object was found combining it with the artist's own added energy and fantasy. That is why Petlura's stylistical compositions belong to Russia's real history as much as they express Petlura's subjective view on that history. He organized exhibitions, ballets, and operas, produced films using his collections. For the last 10 years things from collection took part in different exhibitions in Russia and others countries and took part in theater stagings and movies of the natives and beyond the frontiers authors.


Exhibitions & Performances 

1988 – exhibition “New Symbolism”, Moscow.

1988 – Performance “Russian tanks are the hardest in the world, because they

 are iron maiden”, in Prague.

1989 – Action “Face to face with capitalism”, Berlin, Germany. It was dedicated

 Berlin’s Wall crash.

1990 – Action “Red Cross” Hamburg-Moscow.

1991 – Action “Russian Mozart” in International Exhibition “Body to body”, Graz, Austria.

1991 – Personal exhibition “Clothes Impair”, Graz, City Museum, Austria.

1992 – International festival “Coulomb found America”, Berlin, Germany. "Paternoster 3” festival.

1992 – “East-West” festival, Potsdam, Germany. Performance “Snowgirls don’t die”, Potsdam fabric.

1993 – Action “Bangladesh”, Moscow.

1994 – Ballet “White cloud”, “Gold autumn” festival, Graz, Austria.

1996 – Film festival in Lubljana, Slovenia with film “Davay, davay, moya horoshaya”(“Come on, come on, my sweetie”).

1996 – Action “I am champion in garbage”, Graz, Austria. He made a performance “Tirol melody” using stuff collected in 15 days in garbage places in Graz. Festival “Steirischer Herbst”,

1998 – Festival “Arts adventure”, Amsterdam, Netherlands with a band “Dogtroupe”.

1998 – Got the first place in festival “Alternative Miss of the World”, London, England. He made his performance with 75 years old women: Pany Bronya.

2000 – Performance “Second Hand Dreams” in festival “Polovodie” in Magnitogorsk, Russia.

2000 – “Public Art in Lower Austria” festival, Kremps, Austria. Performance “17 moments before  spring” and anti-fascists action.

2000 – Took part in exhibition “Bal des Excentriques”, Paris, France.

2000-2001 – Every month Petlura showed one of performances named “ The Empire of Things”  (12 stories), in  Cultural Center “Dom” in Moscow.

2001 – Exhibition “Body memory” Russia-Germany.

2001 – Exhibition “Russian Madness” on Bienale de Valensia,Spain, with curators: Robert Wilson, Peter Greenaway, Emir Kusturica.

2001 – International Festival of the Street Theaters, Moscow, Russia

2001 – Exhibition in Schloss Grafeneg, Austria

2001 – Master class in Robert Wilson’s Water Mill Center, New York, USA Performance “Writer’s dream” made of N.V.Gogol’s work “Gamblers”.

2001 – Performance “Gogol’s dream” in festival “Polovodie” in Magnitogorsk, Russia.

2001 – International Festival of Contemporary Theatre “Homo Novus”, in Riga, Latvia. Performance “Friendship of nations”.

2002 – Performance “Jack the Ripper never dies” on the “Ball of the bad taste”, Rabenhof Theater, Vienna, Austria.

2002 – 20.04 – 16.06 Exhibition “De Moscou”, gallery “le Quartier”, Quimper, France.

2002 – 01.05 – Theater show  “The first of May” together with S. Bugaev (Afrika), Paris, France.

2002 – 24.05 – 22.06 – Exhibition “ANTI-Fashion”, White Space Gallery, London, UK.

2002 – 10 performances at festival “Theater der Welt” Duesseldorf, Germany

2002 -  Installation “X-Apartment” Duesburg, Germany

2002 – 05.07 – 07.07 – Performance “Friendship of the nations” and happening in the city tram at the “Tollwood” festival, Munchen, Germany.

2002 – 07.09 – Performance “Seduction” at the “FrindG” festival, Lucerne, Switzerland.

2002 – 12.12 – Performance “Petlura’s World”, Fondation Cartier, Paris, France.

2003 – 18.01 – Performance “Train #1 “Red Arrow” Leningrad – Moscow” in project “Ñïá. bildende. diskurs. film. rock” in festival “Graz – the culture capital of the Europe 2003”, Graz, Austria.

2003 – 22.04 – 27.04 – Installation “The symbols of the times” in the project “Consequence” by  Center for Contemporary Art le Quartier, France, with support of the National Centre for Contemporary Art Moscow, Russia, in the  exhibition Art Moscow 2003, Moscow, Russia.

2003 – Performance “Golden Moscow” in festival “Polovodie” in Magnitogorsk, Russia.

2004 – 30.01 – 02.05 - Installation in exhibition “Faster than history”, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland

2004 – August – November – photosession and performance “17 moments before spring” in project “Erinnerungen an die russen in niederosterreich”, Wien, Austria.

2004 – 09,10,11 September – performance “Observing the Observers” in “la Batie – festival de geneve”, Geneva, Swiss.

2004 – 28,29 September – performance “Observing the Observers” in Kaai Theater, Brussels, Belgium.

2004 – 29.11-12.01.2005 – Installation on exhibition “Beyond the red horizon”, Centre for Contemporary Art “Ujazdowski Castle”, Warsaw, Poland.

2005 – 24.03-08.05 – Installation on exhibition “Postscriptum”, National Centre for ContemporaryArts, Moscow, Russia.

2005 – 03.03-20.03 – Installation on exhibition “Graz-Moskau. Zwischen Perestrojka und Terminator-Denkmal. Und danach.” National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow,  Russia.

2005 – 08.06 – Performance “ Observing the observers” on the International Festival for Contemporary Theaters, Bologna, Italy.

2005 – 29.11, 31.11 – Performance “Street of the Truth” on the International Festival “Europalia. Russia”, Brussels, Belgium.

2005 – 03.12 – Performance “Street of the Truth” on the festival in Gent, Belgium.

2006 – 28.01 – Performance “Show of the winter collection clothes “Cheburashka’70”, Art-Strelka, Moscow, Russia.

2006 – 23,25.05 – Performance “Russian Mozart” , and photo exhibition at the festival “Feldkirch
Festival”, Feldkirch, Austria.
2007 – 16.05 – Performance and photo exhibition “Peace for Peace”, Gaz Gallery,
Moscow, Russia.
2007 – 20.05-31.05 – Installation, performance and work shop at exhibition “Cactus from Tajmyr”,
in the project “Museum Night”, Norilsk, Russia.
2007 – 9.08 – Performance “Peace for Peace” at the festival “Polovodie”, Magnitogorsk, Russia.
2007 – 30.08 – 30.09 – Photo exhibition “The Empire of Things”, Ernst Higer Gallery, Vienna,
2007 – 23-23.09 – Work shop in Academy of Textile and Design, Geneva, Swiss.
2007 – 29.11-20.12 – Performance and installations at exhibition “Off the Wall. Dialogs”, Geneva, Swiss.