Elena Ishchenko / League of Tenders

Elena Ishchenko is a curator, researcher, activist, and member of the imaginary organization and curatorial duo League of Tenders.

Established in 2018 by Elena Ishchenko and fellow curator, researcher, and educator Maria Sarycheva, the League of Tenders aims to cultivate collectivities and foster the affective dynamics within them. Over time, the League of Tenders has focused on disability representation, overcoming the alienation of everyday labour, practices of care, and support and friendship in the age of disasters. Their projects disrupt traditional forms, seeking to place concepts, people, and artworks in unexpected contexts and inviting them to engage in dialogue. The duo has been appointed as Vleeshal's nomadic curators for Vleeshal's Nomadic Program 2024-2025.

In her practice, Elena Ishchenko is nurturing a decolonial approach to curating and knowledge production, while addressing power relations inherited from colonial policies, particularly within the russian context. She has worked as a curator at the Typography Center for Contemporary Art (Krasnodar, Russia), a researcher at the Garage Museum (Moscow, Russia), and has developed exhibitions, educational initiatives, workshops, and other projects in russia, Germany, Armenia, Switzerland, and other countries. Her recent projects include "Өмә" (nGbK, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin, 2023), an exhibition that represented the complexity of russia as a colonial realm through stories of artists of Indigenous, migrant, and racialized backgrounds, and "Translocal Dialogues" (online, 2022), which sought to weave solidarity networks by inviting cultural workers from various contexts to share their experiences, thoughts and feelings on wars, decolonial possibilities, forced migration, and state violence.