Born in Leningrad, Natalya Pershina-Yakimanskaya (also known as Gluklya) lives and works in St Petersburg and Amsterdam. Shortly after graduating from the Mukhina Academy of Art and Design, she co-founded the artist collective The Factory of Found Clothes (FFC) which uses installation, performance, video, text and “social research” to develop the concept of “fragility” – relationships between internal and external and private and public. In 2002, they wrote in their manifesto: “The place of the artist is by the side of the weak.” This manifesto shows an important transformation of the artists’ understanding of the сhanging social and political context in Putin’s Russia. FFC worked together for more than 10 years and in 2012 Gluklya took over the responsibility of the group. Since 2003 Gluklya is co -creator and member of Chto Delat group.
In her projects, Gluklya uses conceptualised clothes as a tool to build a connection between art and everyday life. Addressing the personal stories of her characters, she analyzes the conflict between the inner world of a person and the political system .The artist’s method of using “clothes” in her project is comparable with using the subject of “meals” in participatory projects, as a tool for developing new methods of communication with communities outside the art world .
In her project “Unemployment Utopian Union” (2012) Gluklya discovers frontiers between inner world and social structure, making visible the conflict between the two. She constructs situations that allow encounters to take place among people from different social groups – illegal migrants and ballet dancers, pensioners and students, unemployed young men and women, who would not have the opportunity to meet in everyday life. In “Unemployment Utopian Union” she encourages processes of self-organization using Art making to support different minorities and marginal communities to cope with difficult life situations.
Gluklya’s work has been exhibited in Russia and abroad, including at the MUMOK, Vienna (2012); Shedhalle, Zurich (2011); SMART Project Space, Amsterdam (2011); Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid (2011); Kunsthalle, Vienna (2011); ICA, London (2010); National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow (2006); Solo show “Wings of migrants,” Gallery Akinci, Amsterdam (2012); Solo show “Utopian Unions,” MMOMA , Moscow (2013), “Debates on Division: When the Private Becomes Public,” Manifesta 10, Public Program, St Petersburg (2014), “Clothes for Demonstration Against False Election of Vladimir Putin,” 56th Venice Biennale of Art, main project “All the World’s Futures,” curated by Okwui Enwezor (2015).
In 2014 Gluklya was the recipient of a fellowship in visual art awarded by The Joseph Brodsky Memorial Fund.
In 2019 she received the Mondrian grant on the topic of Comparative Research of Two Colonialisms: European and Russian.
In 2021 the research was supported by GARAGE/Moscow.