Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




Prigov at 80

This event was held virtually as a Zoom webinar and streamed via YouTube Live.

Please join us for a panel discussion on the legacy of writer and artist Dmitri Prigov (1940-2007). This event is part of our Contemporary Culture Series.


Keti Chukhrov

Ilya Kukulin

Ainsley Morse

Irina Prokhorova

Simon Schuchat

Natasha Sharymova

Aleksandr Skidan

Matvei Yankelevich

Moderator: Mark Lipovetsky (Columbia University)


Keti Chukhrov is an associate professor at the Department of Сultural Studies at the Higher School of Economics (Moscow). In 2017-2019 she was a Marie Sklodowska Curie fellow in UK, Wolverhampton University. She has authored numerous texts on art theory and philosophy. Her full-length books include: To Be—To Perform. ‘Theatre’ in Philosophic Critique of Art (European Un-ty, 2011), and Pound &£ (Logos, 1999), and a volume of dramatic writing: Merely Humans (2010). Her latest book Practicing the Good. Desire and Boredom in Soviet Socialism (University of Minnesota Press, 2020) deals with the impact of socialist political economy on the epistemes of historical socialism. Her research interests and publications deal with 1. Philosophy of performativity, 2. Soviet Marxist philosophy and communist epistemologies 3. Art as the Institute of global Contemporaneity. She authored the video plays Afghan-Kuzminki (2013), Love-machines (2013), Communion (2016), which were featured at the Bergen Assembly (2013), the Specters of Communism (James Gallery, NY, 2015), the Ljubljana Triennial U-3 (2016, cur. B. Groys), etc. Her latest play Global Congress of Post-Prostitution premiered at the Steirischer Herbst festival, (Graz, 2019).

Ilya Kukulin is an associate professor of cultural studies at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow. He has published widely on Russian literature, poetry, the history of education in the USSR, cultural practices of internal colonization in Russia, unofficial social thought in twentieth-century Russia, and political discourses of Russian social media. In 2015, he was awarded the Andrei Bely Prize for his monograph Machines of Noisy Time: How Soviet Montage Became an Aesthetic Method of Unofficial Culture (Mashiny zashumevshego vremeni. Kak sovetskii montazh stal metodom neofitsial’noi kul’tury), and in 2017, the Bella Prize for the year’s best article on contemporary poetry. In 2019, he published a collection of articles and essays about modern and contemporary Russian poetry, Breakthrough to an Impossible Connection (Proryv k nevozmozhnoi svyazi).

Ainsley Morse teaches at Dartmouth College and translates Russian and former Yugoslav literatures. Her research focuses on the literature and culture of the post-war Soviet period, particularly unofficial or “underground” poetry, as well as the avant-garde and children’s literature. In addition to Permanent Evolution, recent publications include F-Letter: New Russian Feminist Poetry (edited with Galina Rymbu and Eugene Ostashevsky), Andrei Egunov-Nikolev’s “Soviet pastoral” Beyond Tula (ASP), and, with Bela Shayevich, Kholin 66: Diaries and Poems by Igor Kholin (UDP) and Vsevolod Nekrasov’s I Live I See (UDP 2013).

Irina Prokhorova is a cultural historian, literary critic, editor and political activist. In 1992, she founded a first independent journal in humanities, then a publishing house New Literary Observer, which under her leadership publishes three journals and more than eighty books per year on literary studies, philosophy, history, cultural studies, contemporary prose and poetry. She hosts two live radio and TV shows on pressing social and political issues. She is the co-founder of the Mikhail Prokhorov Charitable Fund, which supports the development of new Russian culture. Prokhorova received the independent American award Liberty for her contribution to the development of Russo-American cultural relations (2003) and the Andrey Bely prize for her contribution to Russian literature (2006). In 2005, Prokhorova became Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France) and in 2012 received the Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur for her contribution to cultural relations between France and Russia.  Prokhorova founded the NOS Literary Prize in 2009 as a unique award for innovations in Russian literature. She lives in Moscow.

A retired American diplomat with over twenty-five years of service, Simon Schuchat has worked in Beijing, Tokyo, Moscow, Hong Kong, and elsewhere. Famous long ago, his poetry can be found in several rare books, including Svelte (published by Richard Hell when Schuchat was 16), Blue Skies (Some Of Us Press), Light and Shadow (Vehicle Editions), All Shook Up (Fido Productions), and At Baoshan (Coffee House Press); also active in small press publishing, Schuchat co-edited Buffalo Stamps, edited the 432 Review and founded Caveman. Originally trained as a sinologist, he has been to all the finest schools, and taught at Fudan University in Shanghai in the late 1970s. In 2016, his translation of Chinese poet Hai Zi’s lyric drama Regicide was published in Hong Kong. In 2020, Ugly Duckling Presse published SOVIET TEXTS, his translations of Dmitri Prigov.

Natasha Sharymova is a journalist, photographer, artist and producer. She was born in Leningrad, USSR (now St. Petersburg, Russia). In the 1970s she was a member of the editorial board of the samizdat independent journal «37» under the pseudonym Kononova. Sharymova studied the history of theater at the Saint Petersburg State Theater Arts Academy and attended the Department of Performance Studies at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In 1977 Sharymova emigrated to New York, where she contributed to numerous publications of the Russian language press, including Novoe Russkoe Slovo (The New Russian Word), Novyi Amerikanets (New American), Radio Svoboda (Radio Liberty) and published the journal Tochka Zreniia (Viewpoint). In the 1980s she taught at St. Sergius Gymnasium in Manhattan. Her art and photo exhibits have taken place in New York, Moscow, and St. Petersburg. Her works have been featured in monographs illustrating nonconformist art events and have been published both in Russia and the United States.

Aleksandr Skidan, born in Leningrad in 1965, has published five poetry collections in Russian, one of which was awarded the 2006 Andrei Bely Prize. An award-winning essayist, Skidan has published five books of essays, as well as a novel. He translates American and European literary theory and American poetry. He is a member of the art and activist collective Chto Delat? and a co-editor of the New Literary Observer. His first book in English translation, Red Shifting, was published in 2008 by Ugly Duckling Presse. In 2018, he was awarded the Joseph Brodsky Memorial Fellowship in poetry and spent the fall in Rome and Venice. He lives in St. Petersburg. Golem Soveticus, an essay on Dmitri Alexandrovich Prigov, was published in an English translation by Kevin M. F. Platt as part of the UDP’s 2020 Pamphlet Series.

Matvei Yankelevich edited and translated Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings of Daniil Kharms (Ardis/Overlook), and is the co-translator (with Eugene Ostashevsky) of Alexander Vvedensky’s An Invitation for Me to Think (NYRB Poets), which received a National Translation Award. His most recent book of poetry is Some Worlds for Dr. Vogt (Black Square). He has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts for translation and the New York Foundation for the Arts for poetry, as well as a National Endowment for Humanities fellowship for a forthcoming translation of Osip Mandelstam’s Voronezh Notebooks. He is a founding member of the Ugly Duckling Presse editorial collective and has curated UDP’s Eastern European Poets Series since 2002. He teaches translation and book arts at Columbia University’s School of the Arts and is a member of the Writing Faculty at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College.

Event Video