Art Without Death: Russian Cosmism

Art Without Death: Russian Cosmism

Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW)

Ivan Kliun, Red Light. Spherical Composition, 1923. Greek State Museum of Contemporary Art – Costakis Collection, Thessaloniki.

August 4, 2017
Art Without Death: Russian Cosmism
September 1–2, 2017
Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW)
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin

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Russian Cosmism called for physical immortality for the living, material resurrection of the dead, and travel to outer space. Its tenets—combining Western Enlightenment and Eastern philosophy, Russian Orthodox traditions, and Marxism, with the enthusiasm for science and technology—inspired many key Soviet thinkers until they fell victim to Stalinist repression and the movement became largely forgotten.

Art Without Death looks at this daring utopia and its echoes in art, science, and politics. An exhibition links works by the Russian avant-garde from the Costakis Collection—selected by Boris Groys—with contemporary contributions: the film trilogy Immortality for All! (2014–17) by Anton Vidokle, of which the last film will premiere at the exhibition, and a new installation by Arseny Zhilyaev.

The conference, curated by Boris Groys, focuses on the key concepts, continuities, and impact of Russian Cosmism: from Nikolai Fedorov’s philosophy of the Common Task—the prime stimulus for the rise of Russian Cosmism—to the significance of Cosmist ideas for the philosophy, literature, and art of the Soviet era; from authors and artists of the Russian avant-garde who envisioned modern technology as the pathway to a society of universal happiness, to contemporary artistic positions indebted to Cosmism and Universalism.

The program of the conference:

Friday, September 1

Russian Cosmism: Technology of Immortality
Boris Groys

Nikolai Fedorov and his Project of the Common Task
Angeliki Charistou, Anastasia Gacheva, Michael Hagemeister


Saturday, September 2

Cosmic Themes in the Early Soviet Culture
Robert Bird, Maria Chehonadskih, Svetlana Cheloukhina

Cosmism and Social Progress
Keti Chukhrov, Alexei Penzin, Marina Simakova

Cosmism, Universalism, Contemporary Art
Trevor Paglen, Hito Steyerl, Anton Vidokle, Arseny Zhilyaev

Free admission, registration appreciated: cosmism [​at​]



Exhibition: Art Without Death: Russian Cosmism
September 1–October 3, 2017
Opening: Thursday, August 31, 7pm

Further information:


Art Without Death: Russian Cosmism is Part of 100 Years of Now. Haus der Kulturen der Welt is supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as well as by the Federal Foreign Office.


Press contact:
Anne Maier, Haus der Kulturen der Welt
anne.maier [​at​] / T +49 (0)30 39787 153

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Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW)
August 4, 2017

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