About the event

Pleshkas of Russian Art/ Queering Russian Art History is an art historical research project consisting of workshops and symposia that will result in a publication to challenge the commonly-accepted heteronormative narrative of Russian art history. Pleshkas of Russian Art/Queering Russian Art History provides a platform for new scholarship on the connections between Russian art history to date and LGBTQ studies.

In Russian gay argot, "pleshka" is a cruising ground. If Russian art history can be seen as "closeted," where the only queer presence is clandestine, how do we transform this into a site for visibility and voice? This project conceives of Russian art history as a gay cruising ground – pleshkas of Russian art history – and suggests a need for a rigorous project of re-reading Russian art history in order to write a more inclusive narrative. This publication project grows out of Yevgeniy Fiks’ artistic intervention “Pleshkas of Russian Art” in catalogs of the Guggenheim Museum's RUSSIA! exhibition. Fiks inserted special pages with text narrating gay Russian history between the pages of the catalogue and then placed them back on the shelves of the Guggenheim Museum gift shop in New York City. This project is an ongoing exploration of these themes which began with the exhibition The Lenin Museum by Yevgeniy Fiks in November of 2014.

Pleshkas of Russian Art /Queering Russian Art History is organized by artist Yevgeniy Fiks and Katherine Carl, The Graduate Center, CUNY.

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