Speaker Series (April-May 2023)

Domestic Art Galleries: A Transnational and Post-Socialist Network

This Speaker Series brings together artists, art historians, gallery owners, and cultural workers from Russia, China, Cuba, and Canada to discuss the past and current phenomenon of “domestic apartment galleries” in these countries. They will share their experience in or with these venues in cross-context dialogues. 
“Domestic art gallery” is an umbrella expression that describes houses and apartments in (post-)socialist countries hosting solo and group shows, artist and curator’s residencies, talks, workshops, etc., that have kept their primary domestic function. Since the 1960s and for decades, domestic art galleries have been instrumental in developing contemporary art in socialist countries such as the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba and constituted thus legitimate loci for generations of artists. Today, they are an appealing alternative for emerging artists and cultural activists under the pressure of modern authoritarian regimes and the increasingly globalized capitalist art market. 


April 21, 2023, 9-11am ET

Cristina Figueroa Vives (Cuba) & Leonid Tsoy (Russia)

English only, with the Zoom option Translated captions

Register here

Cristina Figueroa Vives is a curator at Estudio Figueroa-Vives <>, in Havana. She holds an MA in Art History from the Universidad de La Habana, and another MA in Art and New Media Curatorship, as the MAEC/AECID scholarship holder, from the Universitat Ramon Llull, in Barcelona. She has organized several independent curatorial projects in national and international art venues and as part of the Estudio Figueroa-Vives team. She has published in specialized magazines, catalogues, and blogs and has given courses, talks, and lectures on contemporary art and new media. Cristina has been the recipient of multiple grants and residencies. For instance, she has held the International Visitors Program Mondrian Fonds (Amsterdam), the International Research Programme Danish Arts Foundation (Copenhagen) and the RCAAQ’ Research Programme for Curators (Montreal). She has participated in different editions of the annual LASA congress (New York, Barcelona) and the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM) (Stockholm). She is also a member of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC), the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM) and the International Association of Art Critics (AICA, Paris).

CLICK on the image below to play Figueroa Vives’s recorded presentation

Leonid Tsoi <> is a psychologist, sociologist, and artist coming from St. Petersburg, on the road from September 2022 and currently staying in Tbilisi. From 2015 together with fellow artists Anna Isidis and Natalya Petukhova, he has been curating apartment galleries, changing their titles as the artists moved to cheaper apartments. As a curators’ collective, they were interested in making inclusive exhibitions on different topics, such as “poverty” and “the end of the world” involving people from different social strata, including the residents of psychoneurological asylums. Tsoi’s alter egos you can find in {rodina}, {bobo} and {ooo ip} performance art groups.

CLICK on the image below to play Leonid Tsoi’s recorded presentation

April 28, 2023, 9-11am ET

Egorka Gallery (Russia) & Jasagala (China)

English only, with the Zoom option Translated captions

Register here  

Anastasia Makarenko. Born in 1990. Lived in Kazakhstan, Siberia, and St. Petersburg. Currently based in Warsaw, Poland. Activist, photographer, artist, independent curator. Member of the Nadenka Art Group, Curator of the Egorka Communal Gallery. Anna Tereshkina. Born 1986 in Omsk, Siberia. Lived in St.Petersburg. Currently based in Tbilisi, Georgia. Artist, musician. Worked as an illustrator for Nasreddin in Russia newspaper and for the non-governmental human rights organization Citisens’ Watch at Trial Monitoring project. Participant of Krasnye Zori (Red Dawn’s) band. of Shvemy Sewing Cooperative, Curator of Egorka gallery. The Egorka Communal Gallery was located in a communal apartment in St. Petersburg. We lived in this apartment from 2016 till 2022 and from time to time it turned into a public space for cultural events. We practice caring, anti-institutionalism, spontaneity, running in place, and walking along the edge of borders. Website:

Founded by Chen Yifei, Fang Zheng, and Sun Yifei, Jasagala is an art collective that takes its name from a Henan construction vernacular, signifying the merging of two rooms into one larger space. This metaphor encapsulates the group’s aspirations to cultivate collaboration across diverse disciplines. Embodying a state of constant evolution and grounded in a vibrant, unpretentious approach, Jasagala brings together artists from near and far to create temporary alliances for various events. Engaging in exhibitions, art festivals, seminars, and collaborative projects with individuals and organizations, Jasagala fosters a dynamic creative ecosystem. Leveraging their online platform, Jasagala champions open-source sharing of diverse artistic methodologies and provides a space for artists to disseminate information and sell their work, fostering a supportive community for creative exploration and growth.

CLICK on the image below to play Jasagala’s recorded presentation

May 5, 2023, 9-11am ET

BOLOHO (China) & Solveig Font (Cuba)

English & Chinese & Spanish, with the Zoom option Translated captions

Register here 

When eating jackfruit, people often throw away its core, not knowing that it can also be enjoyed as its own special delicacy. The name BOLOHO is a Cantonese romanization of the Chinese word for “jackfruit core,” which was initiated by BUBU (LIU Jiawen) and CAT (HUANG Wanshan) in 2019, with ZHU Jianlin, LI Zhiyong, and FONG Waiking joining later as full members. In the beginning, BOLOHO was more like a business venture between BUBU and CAT, two family women working away from home, and a place to get some fresh air where we could sort out our lives and work. After more than four years, the project has gradually developed into a “company” platform based on the principles of self-discipline, equality, and mutual aid, providing work for collaborators as well as friends like us who cannot make a living from art alone. BOLOHO also allows us to better understand how to live and work communally when taking jobs together and provides the opportunity to think about, discern and solve some of the real issues that we are all faced with.

CLICK on the image below to play Boloho’s recorded presentation

Solveig Font Martínez (Havana, 1976) is an independent curator and activist. She holds a BA degree in Sociocultural Studies from the Universidad de La Habana. In 2014, she created an alternative venue for independent art, Avecez art space, offering thus her house as a den to talk and show the work of artists not interested in cultural institutions. There she held more than 20 exhibitions, workshops, conferences, and talks until 2021, when she emigrated to Spain. She recently collaborated with INSTAR to organize the Public Event for documenta 15 (2022). She is the curator of the collective show OBSESSION, which toured Vienna, Barcelona and Bilbao. She is also the curator of Resist Art Gallery for whom she put together the exhibition Las Mieles within the FORO Intemperie II: Art, Politics and Obsession. Her shows have been presented in the United States, Canada, Spain, Austria, Mexico and Cuba. In 2014, she was the curator in residency at the RCAAQ in Montreal. Solveig has most notably conducted the the workshop “Artistic Freedom” in the  M.A Program in Applied Human Rights at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, in 2021.

CLICK on the image below to play Font’s recorded presentation

This Speaker Series draws on research supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)


Analays Alvarez Hernandez, Yi Gu, and Maria Silina, “‘Domestic Art Galleries’ in Cuba, Russia, and China after 1989: A(n) (Imagined) Trans-Socialist Network,” Interdisciplinary Conference (Post)Socialism as a Global Resource, University of California, Berkeley, August 11, 2021. 


Analays Alvarez Hernandez and Maria Silina, « Curating Contemporary Art at Home for the World : (Post)-Socialist Domestic Art Galleries », AAUC Annual Congress, 15-17 October 2020, Online.