Chto Delat The Excluded. In a Moment of Danger 2014

  • Not on view

The collective Chto Delat (“What is to be done?” in Russian) is named after the revolutionary novel by Nikolai Chernyshevsky. Made after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, this twelve-episode video installation finds the artists, who were based in Saint Petersburg at the time, contending with the rapid disappearance of public space, democracy, and dissent in their society. In response to the intertitles that precede each episode, performers stage forms of collectivity inspired by a variety of precedents, from political theater to online networks. An intertitle that reads “unlucky heroes in history” prompts participants to construct a pile with their bodies, creating a monument to dissident figures throughout Soviet and Russian history. “We lost,” Chto Delat declares in a text accompanying the work. “But we are prepared to learn from our mistakes.”

Gallery label from Signals: How Video Transformed the World, March 5–July 8, 2023
Four-channel high-definition video (color, sound)
56:46 min.
Fund for the Twenty-First Century
Object number
© 2024 Chto Delat (What is to be done?). Courtesy the Artists
Media and Performance

Installation views

We have identified these works in the following photos from our exhibition history.

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].