Daily Archives: April 6, 2013

Ragpickers Assembly (open call)

http://ragpickers.tumblr.com/

Open Call

RAGPICKERS GANG invites current interns, volunteers and casual workers to participate in RAGPICKERS ASSEMBLY, a collective project that is dedicated to the problems of unpaid labour and exploitation in the contemporary art field.

RAGPICKERS ASSEMBLY aims to blur the difference between the artistic and forensic by taking the format of a quasi-exhibition. As such it is meant to display ‘artefacts’—be it material traces, residues or recorded testimonies—supplied by unpaid interns that testify to the tasks they have to undertake within art organisations. All the materials in the exhibition will be shown in a manner similar to a typical gallery display and are ‘curated’ by the participants.

Employing the strategy ‘fight-enemy-with-its-own-weapon’, the project aims to raise a wider public awareness and draw media attention to the exploitation and discrepancies that lie at the core of the current state of the art system. Simultaneously, it would become a space of exchange of personal experience, ideas, and knowledge between art world participants united by a desire to fight for their own rights and to dissent from what has become a modus operandi.

We look forward to receiving your submissions that may include both physical items and information, which are intended to be shown under traditional categories such as art objects, video/sound art, installation, artistic research, documentary, etc.:

1. Forensic evidence:  anything left from (de)installation of a gallery show or a private view: crumbled walls, empty bottles, etc.

2. Testimonies of immaterial labour: photocopies, shredded papers, files, CVs, schedules press-releases, artists files, databases, invoices, etc.

3. Audio, visual, photo or written documentation of day-to-day assistance in running a gallery space.

4. Art ‘gossip’: anything ‘important’ that you might hear at an opening or in the office.

5. You can also fill our mock application forms where you can state your real qualification, experience and goals.

Please send us an email indicating what material you would like to show and we would arrange a meeting to collect it or record your testimony. If you have any ideas or questions, please, do not hesitate to contact Ragpickers at this e-mail: 
ragpickersgroup@gmail.com

Ragpickers Gang is a London-based collective platform that unites people who share a strong feeling of dissent and dissatisfaction with the exploitation, hypocrisy and corruption in the contemporary art sector. We name ourselves ‘ragpickers’ because it represents our social and professional position: a multitude of recent unemployed graduates. We are ‘drop-outs’ and ‘outcasts’ of the art world who have to do some unpaid though ungrateful job during our free time and find money to sustain our living.

We are a unanimous group and we are open to new participants who sympathize with our ideas.

_____

Mark Knopfler, “Ragpicker’s Dream”

Leave a comment

Filed under activism, contemporary art, open letters, manifestos, appeals

Mark Knopfler Is a True Friend of the Russian People

This is what everyone who is in Mark Knopfler’s position should do. Not “try and talk some sense” into fascist homophobes like Vitaly Milonov, as the otherwise admirable Stephen Fry recently did. Or “stand in solidarity” with political prisoners Pussy Riot on a Moscow concert stage, as Madonna did, all the while raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in concert fees. The first tack violates the old anti-fascist “no platform” rule, while the second does that, too, while also generating tons of buzz for the Milonovites. More important, it rewards the relatively well-off strata of the Russian urban populace, the people who can afford tickets to Madonna and Knopfler concerts and the like, who are in fact the real bulwark of Putinism (rather than some imaginary post-Soviet “conservative” provincial “grassroots” post-proletariat), at least (but only at least) insofar as these people have been mostly absent from the fight against Putinism or any of its manifestations. In fact, if nothing else, Knopfler’s one-man boycott of their cities might alert otherwise “blissfully” unaware Petersburgers and Muscovites to the recent prosecutorial raids against NGOs in the country, which have included not only (as Knopfler mentions in his statement) Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, but hundreds of lesser organizations like the Finnish Institute in St. Petersburg, the Caritas Catholic charity’s support center for disabled children in the city, the Petersburg rights organizations Citizens Watch and Coming Out (Vykhod), as well as the NGO Development Center, the German-Russian Exchange, the Centre for Independent Social Research, the Institute for Information Freedom Development and the offices of the LGBT film festival Side by Side (to mention only a few), as well as branches of Alliance Française in several other major Russian cities.

We recently reflected, so to speak, on the odd news that Manifesta, the ultra-progressive European biennial of contemporary art, had chosen Petersburg—once the “cradle of three revolutions,” now a depressive semi-fascist dump ruled over by dreary officially titled bandits in bad suits who think that legislative homophobia and “Cossacks” are a terrific way of preventing their subject population from noticing the really obvious drawbacks in their continuing “governance” of the city—for its super-serious high-brow art hootenanny next year. Upon hearing this same news, Russian contemporary art curatorial doyenne Olga Sviblova commented, “[T]here’s no reason to get all stirred up about it being in St Petersburg. We have already spent 20 years living in a normal, free country, just the same as any others.” This is manifestly not the case, and it is only by pulling (temporarily, we hope) the plug on their supply of entertainment and cultural labor that people outside Russia who are in a position to do so can show real solidarity with Russian political prisoners, local NGOs, and other people and groups targeted by the Putinist police state.

arts-graphics-2008_1186108a

_____

www.markknopfler.com

Russia dates cancelled

Thursday – Apr 04, 2013

Mark’s June 7 show in Moscow and June 8 date in St. Petersburg have been cancelled. Ticket holders should contact their point of purchase for refunds.

Please see Mark’s official statement below:

Given the crackdown by Russian authorities on groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, I have regretfully decided to cancel my upcoming concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg in June. I have always loved playing in Russia and have great affection for the country and the people. I hope the current climate will change soon.

MK

2 Comments

Filed under activism, critical thought, international affairs, political repression, protests, Russian society