We are honored to host multidisciplinary artist Mikhail (Misha) Ilyin from October 2021 through January 2022 as he researches the art of social instructions and agreements. Originally from Moscow, Ilyin divides his time between New York and DC. He is our third Artist-Organizer-in-Residence. 

Ilyin plans to turn our space on 8th Street NW into a seamlessly interwoven working and exhibition environment, where his collaborative research process will find form in performative installation. He says to expect a "mise-en-scène for the performance and documentation of instructions shared by the audience and me."

Follow him on Instagram @ilyin.mike for updates and ways to participate in his process.

About the Artist

Mikhail (Misha) Ilyin moved from Russia to the United States in 2016 to study fine arts. Through his art practice, Ilyin locates cultural contact points at the juncture of politics, aesthetics, and between public and private spheres. Ilyin seeks to contextualize private life experiences within established social rules to comment on common human needs of being understood, recognized, and accepted.

Ilyin received his MFA in interdisciplinary studies from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2019 and has received numerous awards for his thesis research on matters of memory politics. Ilyin’s recent work relies on the idea of instruction-based practice responding to the experience of confinement following practical training at Glenstone Museum. Through the use of mundane materials from the domestic environment as well as a visual vocabulary of situation-based practices, Ilyin explores the everyday exchanges that structure our social lives. Ilyin's installations, instructions, and social sculptures render an existing regimented environment and comment on the matters of mundane labor, the value of exchange, social roles, shame, and inequality. Over the last two years, Ilyin has presented his works in Baltimore, Washington, and New York including their most recent exhibition at Inadequate Lighting in Baltimore, MD.

About this Residency Program

WPA decided to use our gallery space as a residency to support artist-organized exchange and research during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is not WPA's first residence program—in the 1980s we had a designated apartment and studio space designed by David Ireland. More recently, following our conversion to an artist-driven program model, we shared our space with three artist mothers and their children for Artist Mother Studio, which was organized by Amy Hughes Braden in 2018. In 2021, we hosted three Artist-Organizers-in-Residence: Brittney Washington, Bilphena Yahwon, and Mikhail Ilyin.


October 2021–January 2022


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