Art After Hours on May 1: Russian Rock and Film

April 17, 2013

Russian Rock and Film: Events in May at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers

New Brunswick, NJ – Explore recent history through the eyes of Soviet underground artists at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University. On May 1, from 5 to 9 p.m., Art After Hours offers a sequence of three interconnected events: an opening reception for “Leningrad's Perestroika: Crosscurrents in Photography, Video, and Music,” with a guided exhibition tour, a screening of “Chronicles of Perestroika” with filmmaker Dmitry Vilensky, and a performance by Russian punk rock band Kooperativ Zvezda (Star Cooperation). Admission is $6 for adults; $5 for 65 and over; and free for museum members, children under 18, and Rutgers students, faculty, and staff (with ID).

Art After Hours is the eclectic evening series held on the first Wednesday of the month at the Zimmerli. The May program begins with a 5:30 p.m. tour of “Leningrad's Perestroika: Crosscurrents in Photography, Video, and Music,” led by Corina L. Apostol, a Dodge Fellow at the Zimmerli and Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art History at Rutgers, who organized this new exhibition. With more than 60 photographs and videos, the exhibition presents – for the first time – photographers, musicians, and video artists working in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia, as active members of groups, rather than individuals, to underscore their collective goals. Most of the works in the exhibition, which were created between 1985 and 1993, have not been seen in the United States.

The Zimmerli welcomes artist, writer, and activist Dmitry Vilensky to screen and discuss his short documentary “Chronicles of Perestroika,” beginning at 6:15 p.m. This compilation of archive footage of demonstrations in Leningrad from 1987 to 1991 captures unique moments in contemporary history, creating a context for the eventual dissolution of the Soviet Union in August of 1991. Vilensky’s early photography also is featured in the exhibition “Leningrad's Perestroika.” He was a proponent of the St. Petersburg School of Photography in the 1980s, experimenting with new techniques. Vilensky lives and works in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The Zimmerli welcomes New York-based Russian punk rock band Kooperativ Zvezda (Star Cooperation), taking the stage at 7:30 p.m. With electronic, psychedelic, and avant-garde roots, the band has developed distinctive punk and rock styles, resulting from their dynamic live performances. The musicians also cite the influence of Soviet-era underground bands: DDT, Alisa, Kino, and Grazhdanskaya Oborona. Star Cooperation appears regularly in the New York area and performed at several summer festivals in the 2012. Their videos are available on The band is politically active, supporting such Russian protest artists as the collective Voina and the band Pussy Riot.

Star Cooperation’s members are prominent cultural figures in the United States and Russia. Co-founder Pike has been playing guitar, singing, and songwriting since he started his first band at age 15 in Soviet Russia. Now a Coney Island resident, Pike is a professional radio DJ and sound operator, as well as founder of the Russian Independent Art Movement (RIAM) in New York. Bassist Serge "Burzhuy" has played in several popular New York bands since the 1990s. Drummer Ed “Big Beat” Pitt is a songwriter, guitar repair specialist, and co-founder of Russian Rock Club, which promotes the musical heritage and culture of Russian-speaking youth in North America. Backing vocalist Katja Krueger was a member of (and remains friends with) Voina; she also lectures about political and art-related issues in Russia at American universities.

On May 1, the Museum Store features 30% off all purchases and Z Café remains open late.

The exhibition and the May Art After Hours program are supported by the Avenir Foundation Endowment Fund.


Dmitry Vilensky returns to Rutgers on Thursday, May 2, from 10 a.m. to noon, to discuss strategies of political narration in contemporary photography and film. Vilensky is a founding member of Chto Delat? (What is to be done?), a platform initiated in 2003 by a collective of artists, critics, philosophers, and writers who share the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism. Presented by the Developing Room at Rutgers, with assistance from the Zimmerli, the event is free and open to public. It takes place at the Plangere Writing Center in Murray Hall, Room 302, on the College Avenue campus.


The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum houses more than 60,000 works of art, ranging from ancient to contemporary art. The permanent collection features particularly rich holdings in 19th-century French art; Russian art from icons to the avant-garde; Soviet nonconformist art from the Dodge Collection; and American art with notable holdings of prints. In addition, small groups of antiquities, old master paintings, as well as art inspired by Japan and original illustrations for children’s books, provide representative examples of the museum’s research and teaching message at Rutgers. One of the largest and most distinguished university-based art museums in the nation, the Zimmerli is located on the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Established in 1766, Rutgers is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and a premier public research university.


The Zimmerli Art Museum is supported by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, as well as the income from the Avenir Foundation Endowment Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Endowment Fund, and the Voorhees Family Endowment Fund, among others. Additional support comes from the Estate of Victoria J. Mastrobuono and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Contributions from other corporations, foundations, and individuals, as well as earned income, also provide vital annual support for the Zimmerli’s operations and programs.


The Zimmerli Art Museum is located at 71 Hamilton Street at George Street on the College Avenue campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The Zimmerli is a short walk from the NJ Transit train station in New Brunswick, midway between New York City and Philadelphia.

Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and the first Wednesday of each month (except August), 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays, major holidays, and the month of August.

Admission is $6 for adults; $5 for 65 and over; and free for museum members, children under 18, and Rutgers students, faculty, and staff (with ID). Admission is free on the first Sunday of every month. For more information, call 848.932.7237 or visit the museum’s website:


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