Ilya Shipilovskikh, the director of the Yeltsin Center art gallery, moved to Yekaterinburg from Perm almost seven years ago. Since then, he has fallen head over heels in love with the city and talked to The Moscow Times about his life before and after the move.
I moved to Yekaterinburg in 2011 to work at the Urals branch of the National Center for Contemporary Art (NCCA). I worked there for five years and took part in organizing two Ural Industrial Biennials of Contemporary Art.
When I lived in Perm, I used to play in a rock band called 8 Tripping Horses. 8 Tripping Horses can be described as stoner rock or post-grunge. Our frontman, who goes by the name Anton the 8th, is still playing; he’s a solo artist now. (He’ll be performing at the Yeltsin Center on Music Night on June 24, by the way.) In 2010, a producer brought us to Moscow and we were quite successful; we had a concert almost every week, and even performed at Solyanka [a cult Moscow club, now closed].
I kept my interest in music and that’s how I met the band Gorodok Chekistov, named after the constructivist masterpiece building. I became friends with the band members and I even play with them occasionally. I went with them to a festival in Vladivostok a few years back.
I realized that I had fallen in love with this city while doing research for a project about that same constructivist building, which was a residential complex for NKVD (Soviet secret police) staff. It was part of the 2015 Ural Industrial Biennial. The exhibition took place at Hotel Iset, the centerpiece of Gorodok. Eight floors were filled with works of art, while the ninth floor was dedicated to the history of the place.