Olga Kopenkina is an independent curator and art critic based in New York City since 1999.
In 2017, she co-curated, with artist Yevgeniy Fiks, exhibition “The Work of Love, The Queer of Labor” for Franklin Street Works in Stamford, CT. In 2016, she organized exhibition ”Feminism is Politics! at Pratt Manhattan gallery. She also co-curated, with Yevgeniy Fiks, exhibition Future Queer Perfect at the gallery Station Independent Project. In 2014-2015, Olga was a curator of Lenin: Icebreaker Revisited, at Austrian Cultural Forum in New York, the third exhibition from the series “Lenin: Icebreaker” initiated by Simon Mraz, a director of Austrian Cultural Forum in Russia. In 2012, on support of Polish Cultural Institute NY and Austrian Cultural Forum NY, she organized exhibition Sound of Silence: Art during Dictatorship at EFA Project Space, NY, showcasing artists’ works that address political climate in post-2010-election Belarus. In 2008, she was a recipient of grant from BRIC Rotunda gallery’s Emerging Curator Program, which resulted in curating the exhibition Properly Past. On support from Trust for Mutual Understanding Olga organized exhibitions Russia: Significant Other at Anna Akhmatova Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia (2006) and Post-Diasporas: Voyages and Missions at the First Moscow Biennale (2005).
Kopenkina organized a number of film programs, such as “Emergency Turned Upside Down”, films by Oliver Ressler (May 2017) and “Becoming Zoya”, films by Natalia Pershina-Yakimanskaya (aka Gluklya, 2016) for UnionDocs, Brooklyn; Feminism is Politics! for Beursschouwburg (Brussels, Belgium, 2013); Terror Tactics at gallery apex art (New York, 2007) and It’s not paranoia when they are really after you, for the National Institute of Contemporary art, Pro Arte gallery (St. Petersburg, Russia, 2003.)
Writing: Olga wrote extensively on contemporary art issues, focusing on Eastern European art in a broader context of political histories.
She is a contributor to the online project Parallel Chronologies, An Archive of Eastern European Exhibitions.
Kopenkina’s publications regularly appeared in Moscow Art Journal (in Russian and English). Her publication “Solitude of Collectivism,” a discussion with Martha Rosler, Pablo Helguera and Yevgeniy Fiks, commissioned by Moscow Art Journal, was published by Documenta 12 Magazines project (2007). Olga has written reviews for Art Journal, Hyperallergic, ArtMargins, Rethinking Marxism, Manifesta Journal, Modern Painters, Afterimage, and others. She is an author of catalog essays for “Feminism is Politics!”, “The Work of Love, the Queer of Labor,” “Lenin: Icebreaker Revisited” and others. Her essays on Yevgeniy Fiks’ projects are published in books Lenin for your Library? (Ante Projects, 2007) and Communist Guide to New York City (New York: Common room, 2008).
From 1990 to 1998, Kopenkina worked as a museum educator and lecturer at Belarusian National Art Museum in Minsk, Belarus. Simultaneously, she served as a curator at the gallery 6th Line organizing exhibitions of contemporary Belarusian and international artists.
Education: Kopenkina received her M.A. in curating from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, in 2001. She also holds a diploma from the State Belarusian University, major in Russian and Slavic Philology (1990).
Occupation: Olga Kopenkina serves as an adjunct professor at New York University, Department of Media, Culture and Communication at Steinhardt School, and currently adjunct professor at LIM College - where Fashion Meets Business.