Institute of Philosophy
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

  Helen Petrovsky
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Helen Petrovsky

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Head of the Department of Aesthetics, Institute of Philosophy, RAS (2012 – to the present).


PhD – “The Problem of War and Peace in Contemporary American Political Thinking (A Philosophical Inquiry into the Political Imaginary)”, Institute of Philosophy, USSR Academy of Sciences (1988)



Researcher ID

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Major fields of interest

 contemporary philosophy, aesthetics, visual studies




  • Petrovsky H. Las comunidades anónimas, trad. por C. Cámara. Madrid: Brumaria, 2020. – 308 p. (ISBN 978-84-121107-4-6).
  • Petrovsky H. Disturbance of the Sign: Culture Against Transcendence. Moscow: Common Place, 2019. – 288 p. + 32 p. plates. (ISBN 978-999999-1-00-1).

Discarding linguistic models but also the very idea of transcendence, the author introduces the concept of dynamic sign. A sign thus understood is nothing other than the agent of physical forces shaping cultural and political phenomena alike. The book offers radically materialist readings.

  • Petrovsky H. Anti-Photography 2. 2nd augm. ed. Moscow: Tri kvadrata, 2015. – 184 p.: 48 p. inset (“Artes and media” collection, Vol. 7). (ISBN 978-5-94607-196-3).

The book treats photography as neither aesthetic object nor a system of signs calling for decipherment. Instead emphasis is laid on that which indirectly manifests itself through “recognition” based on an affective community with others, as well as “documentariness” that asserts collective memory in place of a lost or failed individual reminiscence.

  • Petrovsky H. What Remains of Art (co-authored with Oleg Aronson). Moscow: ICA, 2015. – 344 p. (ICA Records, Vol. II). (ISBN 978-5-9906243-0-6).
  • Petrovsky H. Anonymous Communities. Moscow: Falanster, 2012. – 384 p. (ISBN 978-5-9903732-1-1).
  • Petrovsky H. Theory of the Image. Moscow: RGGU Press, 2010. – 284 p. (ISBN 978-5-7281-1173-3). 


  • Glossary of a Time of Pandemic. Sinii Divan. Philosophical and Theoretical Journal. Ed. by Helen Petrovsky. [Vol. 24]. Moscow: Tri kvadrata, 2020. – 328 p. (ISBN 978-5-94607-183-3).



  • Petrovsky H. Art of the Passing Moment: The Anti-Projective Nature of Prigov’s Utopia // Actographe. Revue de sciences humaines, sociales et politiques: Arts, Langages et Frontières. 2017. № 1. P. 11–28. URL
  • Petrovsky H. Maidan: Challenge of the Common. Guest Editor’s Introduction // Russian Studies in Philosophy. 2016. Vol. 54. № 3. P. 177–184.
  • Petrovsky H. The Future – Mediator or Participant? // Russian Studies in Philosophy. 2016. Vol. 54. № 3. P. 233–238.
  • Petrovsky H. Verloren in der Zeit. Boris Mikhailovs Studien des Sowjetischen // Boris Mikhailov. Bücher / Books / I.Schube (Hg.). Köln, 2013. S. 143–156. (ISBN 978-3-86335-303-2,
  • Petrovsky H. Boris Mikhailov: Towards a New Universality // Everything Was Moving: Photography from the 60s and 70s / Ed.: K. Bush. London: Barbican Art Gallery, 2012. P. 184–185.
  • Petrovsky H. Matter and Memory in Photography // The Archive as Project / Archiwum jako projekt / Ed. / red.: K. Pijarski. Warszawa: Archeologia Fotografii, 2011. P. 92–105 
  • Petrovsky H. Das Unübersetzbare in der Übersetzung // Kultur und/als Übersetzung. Russisch-deutsche Beziehungen im 20. und 21. Jahrhundert / Ch. Engel, B. Menzel (Hg.). Berlin: Frank & Timme, 2011. S. 319–338.