Pavel Arsenev (born 1986 in Leningrad) is an artist, poet and theorist.

As an artist, he works with the graphic aspects and materialisation of (poetic) text. Participant of several international venues including Manifesta10, Matadero (Madrid), «Disobedient objects» (Victoria and Albert Museum), Büro für kulturelle Übersetzungen (Leipzig), Kunstraum Dreiviertel (Bern), Nova Synagoga (Zilina), III Moscow Biennale of Young Artists, Subvision kunst festival (Hamburg).

Poems have been translated into English, German, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Czech, Polish, Bulgarian and Romanian. Books of poems include: “Things that won’t fit inside your head” published by AnnaNova (St.-Petersburg), 2005, “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously” by Kraft (Moscow, St.Petersburg), 2011, “Spasm of Accomodation” by CommuneEditions (Berkeley), 2017, «Reported speech» by Cicada Press (New York), 2018, «Lo spasmo di alloggio» by Arcipelago Itaca Edizioni (Italy), 2021, «Le russe comme non-maternelle» by Editions Vanloo (Aix-en-Provence), 2024, and «Russo come non nativo» by Seri Edizioni (Macerata), 2024. Poems were also published by ARCADE project (Stanford University).

Articles and theoretical essays have been published in the Russian LiteratureNew Literary Observer, the Moscow Art Magazine, Logos, Political critique, and the newspaper of the Chto Delat collective.

Editor-in-chief of the literary-theoretical magazine [Translit].
Recipient of the Andrei Bely Prize (2012).

Docteur ès lettres of University of Geneva (2021).
Post-doctoral researcher at the University of Grenoble (UMR “Litt&Arts”) and within the framework of the PAUSE program at the Collège de France.

EDUCATION & Professional experience

  • 2022-2023 Researcher of UMR “Litt&Arts” at the University of Grenoble and within the framework of the PAUSE program at the Collège de France
  • 2021 Docteur ès lettres de l’Université de Genève (La thèse «La littérature du fait et un projet de positivisme littéraire en Union soviétique dans les années 1920»). Personal page at University of Geneva site
  • 2017-2021 Departments of arts (Faculté des Lettres) University of Geneva (Switzerland). Doctorant and assistant researcher at the Department of slavic languages and literatures under the guidance of Jean-Philippe Jaccard.
  • 2013-2014 Departments of arts (Faculté des Lettres) University of Lausanne (Switzerland). Fellowship researcher at the Center of research of comparative epistemology of linguistics of Central and Eastern Europe under the guidance of Patrick Seriot.
  • 2008-2010: Department of philology and arts of St. Petersburg State University Received a master’s degree in literary theory („A final attempt call a spade a spade: Literature of fact (as a part of productionist movement of 1920s in Soviet Russia)”).

PUBLICATIONS (in all languages except Russian)

  • «Le parole dei miei amici» (Bologna: Poesia Minima, 2024)
  • «Russo come non nativo» (Macerata: Seri Edizioni, Macerata, 2024),
  • «Le russe comme non-maternelle» (Aix-en-Provence: Editions Vanloo, 2024)
  • Book of essays and fragments «Out of range / Passé simple» is peing prepared in Commonn Era Books
  • Bilingual edition of poems «Lo spasmo di alloggio» is published by Arcipelago Itaca Edizioni (Bologna, 2021).
  • Bilingual edition of poems «Reported speech» is published by Cicada Publishing (NYC, 2018).
  • Book of poems «Spasm of Accomodation» in English is published by CommuneEditions (Berkeley, 2017)
  • Poems in German have been published in Schreibheft 90 (trans. and ed. by Sabine Haensgen, Berlin)
  • Poems and essay in English have been published at ARCADE project (Stanford University).
  • Poems and interview in slovak in Kloaka magazine (Slovakia)
  • Poems in Czech and graphics have been published in «Třídit slova. Literatura a konceptuální tendence 1949–29015» (Tranzit, Prague)
  • Poems in English have been published in Broadsheet Anthology (ed. by Mark Pirie, New Zeland).
  • Poems in Italian have been published in «Tutta la pienezza nel mio petto» antology (ed. by Paolo Galvani, Bologna)
  • Poems in Dutch have been published in Nieuwe poëzie uit Rusland #4 (Perdu / Read Warehouse, Amsterdam)
  • Poem Russia’s day in English in Circling the Square: Maidan & Cultural Insurgency in Ukraine. Ed. by N. Osipova & M. Whittley
  • Articles and essays in english have been published at, Absent magazine, etc.

EXHIBITIONS Personal Projects

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2022-2017 — «Poetry & Performance. The Eastern European Perspective», Nova synagoga, Zilina / Kulturni centar, Belgrad / Shedhalle, Zürich / Motorenhalle, Dresden / Contemporary Museum, Wroclaw / Regional Art Gallery, Liberec / Centre for Contemporary Culture, Dnipro.
  • 2017 / «Enter your text», Berthold Centre, Petersburg (project «Texts found beneath the wallpaper»)
  • 2016 / «Souvenirs from nowhere», Matadero, Madrid (project «Poésie objectif»)
  • 2016 / «.txt», Gogol’s House, Moscow, (project «Writing machne «Gogol»», «Diary of a Mad Precarious Worker»)
  • 2015 / «House of the voices: on the borders of language». Lendoc, Petersburg (prject «Material poetry»)
  • 2015 / «Form festival», Moscow (project «Fragments of ideological surfing»)
  • 2014 / «Disobidient objects». Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  • 2014 / «The other capital». Museum of Moscow, Moscow.
  • 2014 / «Map of poetical actions». Public Programm of Manifesta10, Saint-Petersburg (project «If a poem was to be thrown out of the window…»)
  • 2013 / [Textologies]. Chetvert loft, Saint-Petersburg,  Krasnoyarsk. (project «Translator’s notes»).
  • 2013 / «Life as form (nomadic version)». «Fabrique», Moscow.
  • 2012 / III Moscow International Biennale for Young Art 2012 – NCCA / Central House of Artists (CHA) / Gorky Park, Moscow, Russia
  • 2012 / «You don’t even imagine/represent us» – ArtPlay gallery/OpenSpace, Moscow, Russia
  • 2011 / «MediaStrike» (at 4th Moscow Biennial) – Galley «Zhir», Moscow, Russia
  • 2011 / «Fathers and sons» (media-festival) – Akhmatova ArtCentre, Saint-Petersburg, Russia
  • 2010 / «Arteria» – FreeSpace foundation, Zelenogorsk, Russia
  • 2009 / Subvision kunst festival – Hamburg, Germany


  • 2012 / Andrey Bely Prize, laureat in the nomination ‘literary projects’ (Saint-Petersburg, Russia)
  • 2013-2014 / Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships (Switzerland)
  • 2015 / Anna Nova gallery prize for young artists (S-Petersburg, Russia)


  • Curator of the Poetry Festival on the Island (2009-2012)
  • Editor-in-chief of the literary-theoretical magazine [Translit] (2006 – till now)