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SZ cronicles

compled by A. Obuchova





Summer. Victor Skersis and Vadim Zakharov create SZ Group.

SZ designed a group logo and worked out a seal.


The first SZ work – Porno Series, photos that display a couple of matches, imitating in a sense porno photos, which in those days deaf and dumb street traders were selling in the trains. The series was included into the M.A.N.A. File N˚1 (1981), envelope N˚18.


The series of objects SZ Production: headbutts (bodalki) (pans with the curved handles and coloured spots on the bottom; boxes with  bottles inside them; a decorative transparent film with a sponge glued to it; a wooden labelled board decorated by the spangles) the series of drawings (Indian ink on paper, pen. 20 lists, 21 x 15 cm each); Plastic rake Khoroshie (Good); Ceramic tiles For Nose, 3 pieces; The series of match-boxes, covered by golden paint and multicoloured off-prints of different colours (red, blue, green). The series was included into the M.A.N.A. File N˚1 (1981), envelope N˚18. About 50 copies (in the edition): Diggers Your Delight; Snappers Dream; Stabbers Intimate


The Military Applications of Art project: The idea and drafts for the tank Parthenon; the military aircraft Backfire and the submarine Venus was first published in SZ Bulletin. The models of the tank and the bomber were displayed at the 1st SZ group exhibition.


The SZ Bulletin. 5 copies in the (whole) edition. The text is typed on both sides of the squared notebook page. One copy  is include` into the M.A.N.A. File N˚1 (1981), envelope N˚18.


December. The Tags project. The photo of a word “There!” written on the pole was included into the M.A.N.A. File N˚1 (1981), envelope N˚18.


December. The Logical Organization of the Urination of Dogs.

The text with the description of the project, dated December, 21st, 1980 was included into the M.A.N.A. File N˚1 (1981), envelope N˚18.


The project Filling the Voids was launched: the information depositories were dispersed at different Moscow locations.

See the description of the objects in the SZ Bulletin.




January, 17. The article “Some Words Concerning SZ Activity” (included into the M.A.N.A. File N˚1 (1981), text N˚12.


The project Self-Defense Against Things.

SZ wrote special magical spells for a chair and lavatory.

Vadim Zakharov: the series of photos as the “guidelines” for Playing    off a Chair and a Lavatory, Intimidation of a Table and a Door, etc.  The photos were made in Yuri Albert and Natalia Stolpovskaya’s apartment on Novatorov street, Moscow.

Mid-June: SZ’ performance Playing off a Chair and a Lavatory.

The flat of Natalia Abalakova and Anatoly Zhigalov on Kashirskoye shosse, Moscow.

Mid-June. Skersis conducts two classes on Self-Defense Against Things. The park in Orekhovo-Borisovo (Moscow), not far from the house where N.Abalakova and A.Zhigalov lived. Natalya Abalakova, Anatoly Zhigalov, Simona Sohranskaya, Vitas Stasunas, Sven Gundlah, Vladimir Mironenko, Sergey Mironenko, Grigory Bakshtein, Alik Ryabsky with his daughter and the others attented the abovementioned classes.

The new period in the art of the group was connected with the speculations on the overall SZ activity and found it’s realization in the SZ Heralds. In the Heraldic series (the name came later) a Minotaur symbolizes Skersis  and a Centaur goes for Zakharov. Having embraced all the “show-gestures”, the expositional trends and exhibition principles of the group the SZ Heralds serves a key for the whole SZ activity in general (a myth, a mask, etc). The SZ Heralds has interlaced and incorporated the main ideas of the “functioning in culture”. The Heraldic series uses a baroque ornamentation just to present the growing complexity of the SZ structure. As a certain inner Role Play Game the Heralds has been further developed and has incorporated new aesthetic elements and new object lines.


April, 20. The CSKA – Spartak project. Each member of the group has made a choice between the two opposing football teams. First SZ planned to mark real street graffiti (like “Spartak is a champion” or “CSKA  are horses”) with their heraldic emblems. According to their idea Zakharov was to put his signature (a Minotaur silhouette) under the Spartak lines, while Skersis had to mark the Army Club fans’ graffiti with his Centaur silhouette. At the 1st personal SZ exhibition one wall of the APTART gallery was covered by the graffiti from the CSKA – Spartak transferred to a yellow paper. An interpreter Tod Bludo has taken out this “fresco” thing from USSR to USA where he passed it on to an art collector Norton Dodge. Now a fragment of  the 1st personal SZ exhibition could be found in the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA.


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