Culture House DC Mark Kelner Solaris: Shelter For The Next Cold War

By Editorial Team on July 16, 2019
Mark Kelner, Militarized Self Portrait, 2014. Courtesy fo Culture House.
Currently on view through July 28.

Artist Mark Kelner’s Solaris: Shelter For The Next Cold War exhibit launched at Culture House on May 22nd and has since garnered local, regional, national and international press attention, thousands of visitors, as well as played host to 300+ attendees for a Cold War-themed dance party as part of Halcyon’s By The People Festival.

Originally set to close on July 7th, the exhibit dates have been extended and will run through July 28th with regular gallery hours Wednesdays 5-8pm and Saturday and Sundays 12-5pm. The exhibit includes Study for Harm To An Ongoing Matter, created specially for the installation at Culture House boasting pieced together redactions from the Mueller Report.

A special Culture House tote bag has been created to mark the exhibit, in collaboration with Kelner, and will be on sale at the location or online. This is the first release tote bag from Culture House, who plans to create limited merchandise in collaboration with its artists moving forward.

For tickets please visit


Solaris – Shelter for the Next Cold War comes from the universe of Mark Kelner, the acclaimed DC artist whose roots in Russian and American cultures form the basis of his artistic creations – from sneakily subversive advertising and corporate branding to symbols of Russian and Soviet visual culture and art history. Solaris was conceived, curated and designed by veteran curator Zachary Paul Levine after visiting Kelner’s studio bathroom in early 2017. A crowd-drawing highlight Solaris – Shelter for the Next Cold War features a free-standing bunker complete with entertainment center, dining area, library and a chapel — all in 96 square feet.


Currently living and working in Washington, DC, Mark Kelner was born in 1974 to parents who fled the Soviet Union. The artist has exhibited in the DC area and, most recently in Paris, France. He is a visual artist, filmmaker and writer. As a graduate of George Mason University, he studied with famed novelist Vasily Aksyonov. Kelner’s work has appeared in Artenol, The Atlantic, and The Times, which published his humorist essay “How to Sell Art to Oligarchs.” His visual works have been showcased in various media platforms and his short performance film; “So We Beat On…” was highlighted recently by The Washington Post. Visit for more information.


Zachary Levine is the Curator and Project Director for Solaris. He is a museum professional and historian in Washington, DC., and is currently Director of Exhibitions and Collections at the National Building Museum where he provides strategic and administrative support for exhibition development and the museum’s collections. Levine has worked as a curator, writer and advisor for museums across the U.S. on subjects on the intersection of history, technology and art. He trained as a historian of  eastern and central Europe with a specialization in the Cold War and Jewish philanthropy. He has written and regularly speaks on a range of topics related to Jewish history and culture, and the built environment. Visit for more information.

Culture House is located at 700 Delaware Ave. SW.