Yelena Vorobyeva was born 1959 in Balkanabat (former Nebit Dag), Turkmenistan. Viktor Vorobyev was born 1959 in Pavlodar, Kazakhstan. They live and work in Almaty.
Yelena and Viktor Vorobyev have been working together since 1990s. Their usage of different genres and techniques results in multi-layered, often ironic, works focusing on post-Soviet realities of constant change, disorientation and their effects on everyday life. The artists have been compiling a precise record of the ephemeral and quotidian details of daily life, local particulars, subjects that have been often overlooked and are not exactly photogenic. They do so in series, sorting images according to their typology. While seemingly insignificant, these details (of objects, colours and customs) are integral to the creation of the new symbols of power, and serve as poignant social metaphors. The pair engages deeply with the environment they live in, examining its socio-cultural underlining, using a light and humorous approach.
In 2015 Aspan Gallery has staged Vorobyevs' mid-career retrospective The Artist Is Asleep at the A. Kasteev Museum of Arts, Almaty, curated by Viktor Misiano. Notable recent group shows include: Human Condition Session V. Teleology of the Human. Biography, Destiny, Hope, Faith. Biography: a Model Kit, MMOMA, Moscow (2019), The Missing Planet, Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato (2019), Eurasian Utopia: Post Scriptum, Suwon I’Park Museum of Art, Suwon (2018), Phantom Stories: Leitmotifs of Post-Soviet Asia, Lunds Konsthall, Lund (2018), Human Condition. Session IV. Searching for a Place. Home, Homeless, Travel, Refugeeness, Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre, Moscow (2018), Viva Arte Viva, 57th Venice Biennale (2017), 8th Asia-Pacific Triennale, Brisbane (2015), BALAGAN!!!, Berlin (2015), The Beast and the Sovereign, MACBA, Barcelona and Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart (2015), 1st Kyiv Biennale (2012), 14th Sculpture Biennale of Carrara (2010) and Central Asia Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2009, 2007, 2005).
Centre Pompidou, Paris
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah
Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato
Nevzorovs Art Museum, Semey
Novosibirsk State Art Museum, Novosibirsk
Pavlodar Regional Art Museum
National Center for Contemporary Arts, Moscow
A. Kasteev Museum of Arts, Almaty