The Heroine’s Journey of Alena Alekseeva

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

For me, as a curator, it is important to find a balance between my idea of ​​an exhibition and the idea of ​​an artist. I like to receive gratitude from the artists for the work done on the exhibition, to see the passion in their eyes. I love it when the viewer has new ideas or even questions after seeing my exhibition. Creating an exhibition is like creating a story, and when my story resonates with the audience, it inspires me.

What is my idea of happiness?

For me, happiness is the combination of personal and professional life. The time I spend with my family and my pets is important to me. I have two dogs and a cat. I try to spend enough time with every of them. Nevertheless, I couldn’t be happy without my work with artists. I get an incredible energy from the time I spend creating exhibitions with artists. 

What is my greatest fear?

It seems to me that the fear of being forgotten, unclaimed in the profession scares me the most.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

I often get in the way of my self-doubt. This feeling, born in me as a child, haunts me even in my adulthood.

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?

Great contemporary curators: Victor Misiano, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Catherine Morris.

What is my greatest extravagance?

I love animals, and I am ready to adopt a lot of dogs and cats at my home. Not many people understand me, because they perceive pets as dirty, burdens. And yet, I consider animals more honest than people.

On what occasion would I lie?

Sometimes I can lie if I don’t want to offend the person. Or if lying helps me do good, and if it doesn’t hurt anyone.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

The profession of an independent curator involves uncertainty. You are not always sure about the future, each project depends only on you. It brings a certain anxiety into my life and I don’t like it.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

Last summer, 2022, I was invited to give a few lectures to artists in an art residence. Their reaction, their gratitude and involvement made me feel happy.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

I would like to make myself more confident. I would like not to depend so much on criticism and on what other people think of me.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

My biggest achievement for today is my online course for artists. I did a great job, wrote a textbook for the course. Hundreds of artists have already completed my program and it changed their lives and careers.

Where would I most like to live?

I would like to live in Manhattan. But it is also important for me to be able to travel to Russia to see my family.

What is my most treasured possession?

I have been collecting art for two years now. There are several works in my collection that are very valuable to me. This is a painting by Marta Surzhikova and a work by Maxim Trulov and Ksyusha the Swallow.

What is my most marked characteristic?

People often think that I work a lot, even too much, that I am a workaholic. But actually I am not. I like my job, but I spend enough time with my family.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

As cliché as it sounds, it is my home. But I would advise tourists to visit the Gorky Park in Moscow.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city?

There are many restaurants in Moscow, and it is very difficult to choose one. But here in my hometown, Belgorod, I’d advise Pizza da Salvatore.

What books influenced my life and how?

The Magus of John Fowles made a big impression on me when I first read it. This is a story about human delusions. The book changed my attitude towards love and romantic relationships.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

“Heaven Is a Place on Earth” by an American singer Belinda Carlisle.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

The little prince, I guess. 

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

They are all dead though, but Gertrude Stein and Peggy Guggenheim.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime?

Interstellar by Christopher Nolan.

What role play stories in my life and work?

My profession is to tell stories through art created by artists. So yes, stories are important to me like nothing else.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me?

Not everything in our life is 100 percent dependent on us. But it is in our hands to bring our life closer to our dream. Do everything in our power to achieve our goals.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

My husband.

Which people or companies would I like to work with? 

My dream is to curate an exhibition at the Pompadour Center in Paris and at the Tate Modern in London.

What project am I looking forward to work on?

I want to tell a story about women, how diverse their life is. I want to rally women, to make them stronger.

Where can you see me or my work?

You can follow my Instagram for updates on my exhibitions. 

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

No matter what they say, it’s never too late to start from the scratch. Even if you are 80 years old, you can start all over again if you have the passion.

Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story? 

Christina Shevzhova (

Alena Shapar (

Olga Stein (

Lubov Remizova (

How can you contact me?

Follow me on Instagram @art.fanatka, I reply to all the messenger there. 

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