Elena Kovylina, Still from the Video of her Performance "Equality," 2008. Courtesy of the Artist.
Born 1971 in Moscow, USSR
Lives and works in Moscow, Russia
Elena Kovylina uses a range of media including video, film, installation, and performance. Her first performances took place in the late 1990s, when she was testing the strength of her body—as well as the emotions of her audience. Kovylina does not shy away from confrontation. Indeed, many of her actions emphasize social critique in harsh or satirical ways. Her targets are conceptions of identity and Russia’s political and social structures. Kovylina studied at the Surikov Art Institute in Moscow (1993–95), the F+F School for Art and Media Design in Zurich (1996–98), and the Universität der Künste Berlin, where she studied with Rebecca Horn (2001–03). Her work has been shown in international exhibitions and screenings, including such venues as the Miami Dade College Museum of Art and Design, Miami (2010), Tirana Art Biennial, Albania (2009), Sharjah Biennial in the United Arab Emirates (2009), Lulea Art Biennale, Sweden (2009), Moscow Biennial (2013, 2009, 2007), FAFA gallery at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki (2008), the Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2008), Sydney Biennial (2006), and Prague Biennial (2005).