One of the most active collectives to emerge from Krasnodar, ZIP group is a multi-faceted think-tank and production house drawing inspiration from its immediate environment, the histories of its local communities, communal living and the creative process, as well as the myriad ways art can infiltrate reality. The collective organizes exhibitions, artist residencies, workshops, and discussions, an approach which is closely reflected in its often interactive and DIY aesthetic. ZIP group’s prolific output has become emblematic for a new generation of self-organized initiatives which has emerged in Russia in recent years. Continuing a series of projects such as Protest Aerobics (2015)–an ironic performance where specially trained fitness coaches taught audiences how to protect themselves in case of conflict with the police–or Civil Resistance District (2012–2015), where they designed objects and temporary structures to facilitate the development of a simple protest into an organized civil uprising, ZIP group organized the project 1.5 ×1.5 School, which was shown in Krasnodar in 2016. It functions as a compact series of schools where visitors can learn about art history through guided tours and workshops on movements, with unexpected titles such as Ancient Humor and Realism, Futurism and Martial Arts, Pop-Conceptualism etc.
ZIP group was founded in 2009 in Krasnodar by four artists, all of who were born in the city: Eldar Ganeev (b. 1977), Evgeny Rimkevich (b. 1987), and brothers Stepan (b. 1987) and Vasily Subbotin (b. 1991). They founded the Krasnodar Institute of Contemporary Art (KICA). Solo exhibitions include: Black Market Environment, XL Gallery, Moscow (2016); Standby, XL Gallery, Moscow (2015); Utopian Skeleton, XL Gallery, Moscow (2015); Flag Washing Machine, Kurant Gallery, Tromsø, Norway (2013); and This Guild Struggles to be Named as Exemplary, XL Gallery, Moscow (2012). Group exhibitions include: Balagan, Kuelhaus, Berlin (2015); The School of the Displaced, Kiev Biennial 2015, Kiev (2015); Russian Performance: A Cartography of its History, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2014); Not a Museum* Laboratory of Aesthetic Suspicion, New Industry Art Space, St. Petersburg (2014); Museum of Contemporary Art: Department of Labor and Employment, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow (2013). ZIP group has been awarded the Innovation Prize (Russia, 2013).