Rea Nikonova and Serge Segay

by Carla Bertola e Alberto Vitacchio

Rea Nikonova (pseudonym of Anna Aleksandrovna Tarshis, Yeysk, Russia, 1942 – Kiel, Germany, 2014) and Serge Segay (pseudonym of Sergej Vsevolodovich Sigov, Murmansk, Russia, 1947 – Kiel, Germany, 2014) were married in 1966. She had graduated from Yekaterinburg Music College and she had been expelled from Saint Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy because of her paintings non-conformant to the communist standards of that day. He was an anarcho-futurist who was writing zaum and abstract poetry since 1962. In 1974 they moved to Yeysk, where they started publishing samizdat journal “Transponans ”(1979) and “Double” (1991). Samizdat - that is to say literature secretly written, copied, and circulated – was a key form of dissident activity across the USSR. Their home became the cultural centre for Russian art and literature underground in Yeysk. They were linear, visual and sound poets and painters experimenting avant-garde poetry and art (“Transfurism”).They joined Mail art movement in 1985. In 1989 Serge Segay organized the first international Mail art exhibition in the USSR. In 1998 they moved to Kiel where they died in 2014.

Rea Nikonova & Serge Segay by Carla Bertola & Alberto Vitacchio   

See: “Sight and Sound Entwined: studies of the New Russian Poetry” by Gerald Janecek, Berghahn Books , Oxford, New York, 2000; “A Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes” by Richard Kostelanetz , Schirmer Books, New York, 2000.