Tag Archives: Babi Badalov

From Below, as a Neighbour (Rijeka, Croatia)

www.electra-productions.com

From Below, as a Neighbour

Babi Badalov, BADco., Bibliothek der Sachgeschichten, Kajsa Dahlberg, Öyvind Fahlström, Mark Leckey, Jennie Livingston, Carlos Motta, Pil and Galia Kollectiv, Želimir Žilnik

25 October—6 November 2012
‘Mine, Yours, Ours’, Drugo More, Rijeka, Croatia

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From Below, as a Neighbour turns to the fragile institution: strategic detachments practiced within temporary spaces of agency and relief. The exhibition forms the latest chapter in an ongoing exploration of utopistic thought and practice extending from the first ‘Summit of Micronations’, a congress for new country projects held in Helsinki in 2003.

Taking this model as a point of departure, From Below, as a Neighbour seeks to radically expand on the micronation as a form of self-organisation, to explore alternative approaches that subvert and destabilize normative structures. In the works, the desire to produce forms of knowledge that also displace the knowledge itself, is present both as a practice and fantasy of shared autonomy. It is a take on utopia that emphasises the role of tenderness in collective politics, as a politics based not on the possibility that we might be reconciled, but on a continuous and nervous tension between self-determination and solidarity.

From Below, as a Neighbour, brings together a site-specific installation by Zagreb-based performance collective BADco., an Armin Maiwald film realised as part of his long-running series Bibliothek der Sachgeschichten or ‘Library of Factual Stories’, alongside Öyvind Fahlström’s choreographed street parade, Mao-Hope March and Kajsa Dahlberg’s exploration of the potentiality of representational invisibility. Included in the exhibition is also visual poetry and collages by Babi Badalov, We Who Feel Differently, a series of prints by Carlos Motta, Mark Leckey’s Fiorucci Made me Hardcore, as well as work by pioneering Black Wave filmmaker and activist Želimir Žilnik.

Accompanying the exhibition is also a cinema-based screening of Jennie Livingston’s 1990 documentary film Paris is Burning, followed by the performance of a new work by Pil and Galia Kollectiv. Pil and Galia’s part film, part performance Terminal takes the form of a future morality play, one which turns to dystopia as a ritual and excercise.

From Below as a Neighbour is curated by Fatima Hellberg (Electra) and realised as part of Practical Utopias, an ongoing collaboration between YKON (Finland), Electra (UK) and Drugo More (Croatia).

The exhibition and performance programme takes place as part of the ‘Mine, Yours, Ours’ festival, Drugo More, with the support of the British Council, Croatia; Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia; and the City of Rijeka.

Funders

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Image credit: Achterbahn, Bibliothek der Sachgeschichten, 1992, courtesy of WDR mediagroup dialog GmbH

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Babi Badalov: “I doubt that I will live to see my country join the modern world”


Our comrade and friend, the fantastic artist Babi Badalov, talks about the lives of gays in Azerbaijan, and his struggles to win asylum in the west.

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Precarious Life (Moscow)

Organized by: Maria Chekhonadskikh

September 24—October 22, 2011
Daily, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Arthouse Residential Complex, Moscow

Participating Artists: Nikolay Oleinikov (Russia), Learning Film Group (Russia), KPd (Kleines Postfordistisches Drama) (Germany), Molleindustria (Italy), R.E.P. (Ukraine), Babi Badalov (France)

Curator: Maria Chehonadskih

Anxiety, uncertainty in the coming day, and the instability of social and economic situations have become the existential foundations of contemporary society. Before our very eyes, the institutions of permanent housing, pensions and social security are being destroyed, and in their place, we find a world of rented apartments with permanently increasing prices, fixed-term contracts, atypical employment, and a 14-hour workday that stretches across weekends. Today, the lives of millions of people depend on the fluctuations of stock exchanges and the decisions of international summits. This “precarious life” has no future and no elderly; it’s racing to fully consume the present, day after day. And in this sense, post-Soviet society is at the forefront of this trend, of its production.

But how we explain this social vulnerability? Under what conditions does our life become “precarious”? In the contemporary world the idea of “vitalism” is usually advanced in justification of the endless series of catastrophes and social upheavals. The human body and its survival can be reduced to simple biology: only the strongest survive. Instability, vulnerability and inequality are ingrained in the essence of nature itself. And thus, the state of emergency becomes the legitimate and “natural” norm. As such, the human body is cast out into a situation of extremity and nakedness – “bare life”; the person is then left alone with nature, his objective only to survive.

However, ever since the age of Aristotle, there has been a tradition of understanding human life politically. As social subjects, we are always dependent on our outside environment, but the outside environment is not some chaos of nature; it is an entire complex of institutions, civil laws, ecology and the physical surroundings. Vulnerability arises from the social life of our constituted bodies; it depends on the political structures that make us either confident or exposed (Judith Butler). Not every body has a significance, and not every body will be protected. And as such, these bodies are prone to disease, hunger, poverty and outside threats. What bodies does nowadays society protect? For whose bodies does it now build fences around houses, elite hospitals, restaurants, and highways? Which bodies remain unprotected and bare? “Traditionally,” it was the bodies of the excluded in many ways — women, migrant workers, students, intellectuals and artists.

The critical anthropology of instability has always been connected to the constitution of an alternative form of life; above all, exodus, resistance or rejection of social discipline characterize the lives of migrants, bohemians, and the inner city. Today we live in a society where one out of every three people – from pensioners to factory workers – have been forced into a “bohemia.” Neoliberalism puts society into this kind of precarious state, and in recent years, these processes are only growing stronger; even now, their formulation becomes increasingly relevant the Russian situation.

The exhibition “Precarious Life” demonstrates ways and forms of working with the problem of precarity, which comprises an entire range of aesthetic, activist and discursive methods of work. Each piece in the exhibition draws from the experience of self-organization and collective work, social and political movements, intellectual debates that have continued to this day. This exhibition endeavors to show the social face of “Precarious Life.” And as its curator and the artists who have agreed to participate in it all understand life politically, then it means that we refuse to see our existence as, once and for all, predetermined by nature or fate. We feel at home everywhere, while we are actually everywhere homeless; our place in the world has been questioned, and now we need to reestablish it, only in the type of world where we would want to live.

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January 19 Committee: Art Against Nazism (Call for Artworks)

http://19jan.ru/

Emory Douglas, one of the greatest political graphic artists of the twentieth century, minister of culture of the Black Panther Party (1967-1980), and illustrator of the party’s weekly newspaper, will take part in the graphic art marathon initiated by the January 19 Committee. Emory Douglas entered the annals of art history as an uncompromising leftist activist by fighting for the rights of African-Americans. Retrospectives of this living classic’s work took place in Los Angeles and Manchester in 2007–2009. The street art exhibition Art Against Nazism will mark the first showing of Douglas’s work in Russia. Douglas has officially confirmed that he will be participating and has given the January 19 Committee, the event’s organizers, the right to reprint his his famous poster Afro-American solidarity with the oppressed people of the world (1969).

Douglas will be joined by other internationally renowned artists who have sent the January 19 Committee their street art pieces with a clear antifascist message, which will be reproduced in the form of stickers and posters.

These stickers and posters will be appearing in the cars, passageways, and escalators of the Moscow metro right up until January 19, 2011. The goal of the exhibition is to show that artists are in solidarity with the antifascist agenda of the January 19 Committee, to show that they also feel the urgent necessity to fight neo-Nazism here and now. The Committee also hopes that the appearance of these works in the Moscow metro will provoke people who are not yet involved in this struggle to become active.

The artworks will be posted on the Committee’s official web site  www.19jan.ru, where they can be downloaded for further distribution. The Committee calls on artists and activists to join this action by producing their own artworks encouraging people to join the antifascist demonstration on January 19.

The January 19 Committee hopes that this exhibition will spur Muscovites to take part in a peaceful march against neo-Nazi terror and that other Russian cities will join in this protest action.

The following artists have confirmed that they will be participating in the street art exhibition:

Affinity Group (Russia)
Etcétera (Argentina)
Société Réaliste (France)
Rosella Biscotti (Italy; Netherlands)
Babi Badalov (Azerbaijan; USA; Great Britain; France)
Alexandra Galkina (Russia)
Zampa di Leone (Serbia)
Rigo 23 (Madeira; USA)
Nikolay Oleynikov (Russia)
Darinka Pop-Mitić (Serbia)
Nikita Kadan, R.E.P. Group (Ukraine)
Ivan Brazhkin (Russia)
David Ter-Oganyan (Russia)

The Committee calls on artists, activists, and concerned citizens to produce and distribute works on the struggle against neo-Nazism and to join the antifascist march in Moscow on January 19, 2011, at the Timiryazev Monument on Tverskaya Boulevard.

More information: 19jan.ru
Send your works in .jpeg format to the Committee’s e-mail address: collaboration@19jan.ru

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Babi Badalov: My Life Report in Paris (Prague)

BABI BADALOV: MY LIFE REPORT IN PARIS

11.11. 2010 – 16.01. 2011 • opening Thursday, November 11, 8 p.m.

tranzitdisplay • Dittrichova 9/337, 120 00 Prague 2 CZ

curated by Zbyněk Baladrán

Babi Badalov is an artist and poet. His visual poetry very often takes the form of a diary, created every day through a combination of his own linguistic research of manipulated pictorial material, mainly with political content. He uses drawing to complete various collages on pages, often organized into books. In writing, Badalov uses a combination of Cyrillic and Latin characters and those of all languages that he knows – from Persian to Russian to English and French.

A record is very often maintained through a phonetic logic, then creating unexpected combinations and word play that are possible owing only to such radical means. The drawing often blends with the writing creating a collage, sometimes as though it overflows and fills the format in an unexpected horror vacuum. Very often this consists of ironic political commentary, ridiculing policies and social events, integration processes and mainly the EU asylum policy with which the artist has sufficient experience.


Babi Badalov was born near the Iranian border in Azerbaijan, but has lived the life of a nomad in recent years, partially forced, when through various reversals in fortune he ended up in France, where he is now requesting asylum as a political refugee, and partially from the longing to live in an open society without prejudices where he can be a poet without having to worry.

Babi Badalov decided to exhibit at tranzitdisplay his visual diary from asylum homes and from his current home – the streets of Paris. Unfortunately, due to the very strict terms for granting asylum in France he cannot attend the exhibition personally. The linearly installed double-sided A4 pages guide us through the latest extremely depressing eight months of the life of a person who awaits in fear and frustration for “redemption“ in the form of civic identity mediated by the authorities. On the one hand, we see the endlessly long communication with the bureaucratic system that endeavours to encumber as much as possible the granting of asylum and, on the other hand, we see a schematic collage from pieces of printed and signed papers, transportation tickets and product packaging that are traces of human existence on the edge of society.

Babi Badalov (*1959, Lerik, Azerbaijan), is an artist and poet living in Paris. He has exhibited in Thessaloniki, Tallinn, Athens, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Istanbul, St Petersburg, Dresden, Cardiff, and Milan. His works have been collected in museums and private collections such as the Russian Museum, St Petersburg; Azerbaijan State Museum of Art, Baku; Museum of Art, Emden, Germany; and Martigny Art Museum, Switzerland, and Museum of Modern Art in Antwerp, previously MuHKA.

tranzitdisplay
opening hours Tue-Sun 12:00 noon – 6.00 p.m.
Dittrichova 9/337, Prague 2, CZ
www.tranzitdisplay.cz info@tranzitdisplay.cz
main partner: ERSTE Foundation
support: Česká spořitelna a.s., Ministry of Culture, City of Prague, Prague 2 Municipality
media partner: A2 cultural bi-weekly, Radio 1

 

http://babibadalov.wordpress.com/
http://babibadalov.livejournal.com/
http://babibadalovvisualpoetry.wordpress.com/


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The Watchmen, the Liars, the Dreams (Paris)

THE WATCHMEN, THE LIARS, THE DREAMERS  / LES VIGILES, LES MENTEURS, LES REVEURS
(Concrete Erudition 3)

curated by Guillaume Désanges

Works by Agence, Mathieu K. Abonnenc, Jean Amblard, Éric Baudelaire, Luis Camnitzer, Julius Eastman, Mario Garcia Torres, Jean-Luc Godard, Les Groupes Medvedkine, Tamar Guimaraes, Chris Moukarbel, Boris Taslitzky, Walid Raad & Monument to Transformation (Vit Havránek, Zbynek Baladrán + Vyacheslav Akhunov, Babi Badalov, Chto Delat, Hafiz, Lise Harlev, Ivan Moudov, Boris Ondreicka, Anatoly Osmolovsky, Haegue Yang)

This exhibition will take place at Le Plateau Art Center in Paris from september 16 to november 14 2010

opening : 15 September 2010

The Watchmen, the Liars, the Dreamers is the third part of the “Concrete Erudition” programme devised by curator Guillaume Désanges, who has been invited to come up with a cycle of exhibitions at Le Plateau. As part and parcel of the continuity created by “The Planet of Signs” and “Prisoners of the Sun”, this exhibition in its turn questions the way in which certain contemporary artists are renewing the relationship between art and knowledge, by showing, this time around, the work of artists who are observers— watchmen of the present and of the past. Even if their activities are, on the face of it, very diversified, they all appear to derive from a documentary principle, in the broad sense of the term. While the classic relationship between the document and reality must generally be gauged by criteria of objectivity, exhaustiveness, caution and rigour, these artists shatter these references. They thus develop alternative methods of reproduction which may use the paths of translation, reconstruction, transfer and fiction. It is not a matter of playing with and deceiving, but of affecting the other by sharing awareness and knowledge and accepting, if this is necessary, to contradict the ethical and formal rules of the scientist, the historian, and the chronicler. Be they artists, researchers, middlemen, or jurists, their forms are subject to the necessity and urgency of a message to be got across rather than any stylistic determination. Nor is it a matter of denying the effectiveness of the form ; what is involved on the contrary is the assertion of “functions” not to say missions. Echoing the idea of profound erudition, turning into hybrid forms, the exhibition thus unfolds different strategies for writing facts, which, based on practical reason and a political and militant will, sometimes end up tending towards the poetic and the lyrical. All these artists, who are extremely diverse in terms of subjects broached, share the outcome of their research, not shrinking from creating their own documents when this is necessary, and sometimes playing on ambiguities between fiction and reality, historical objectivity and creation, archive and personal collection. These artists, who are subject to obligatory means rather than results, operate in the end of the day like inventors and middlemen, contesting the stance of the author as demiurge. By using information sharing, inventories and intelligence as weapons, these watchmen propose indirect ways of criticizing specific situations, which they have elected to investigate. A moveable knowledge, to do with surfaces and connections, which contrasts the quality of the relationship between facts with blind expertise.


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When One Has to Say “We” (Saint Petersburg)

The Critical Art Laboratory at the European University at Saint Petersburg presents:

When One Has to Say “We”: Art as the Practice of Solidarity

Participating Artists: Factory of Found Clothes (Gluklya and Tsaplya); Nikolay Oleynikov (Moscow); Street University; R.E.P. Group (Kiev); Alexander Veryovkin (Samara); Arseny Zhilyaev (Moscow); Babi Badalov and Jacques Crenn (Paris); Marina Narushkina (Minsk/Berlin); Darya Irincheeva; Sergey Chernov (Saint Petersburg); Nina Gasteva (Saint Petersburg); Anton Litvin (Moscow); Right to the City Movement (Moscow); Affinity Group (Saint Petersburg); Extra-governmental Control Commission (Moscow); Radek Community; Chto Delat Collective

along with the many other artists who will participate in a three-month program of seminars, screenings, and workshops that runs until late June 2010.

Curator: Dmitry Vilensky (Critical Art Laboratory at the European University; Chto Delat Collective)

Opening: 7:00 p.m., April 8, 2010

Gym of the European University at Saint Petersburg

Gagarinskaya, 3, Saint Petersburg, Russia

This project is realized as part of the international conference The Politics of the One: The Limits of Fragmentation and the Chances for Consolidation, organized by Smolny Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences, The European University at Saint Petersburg, and Centre d’amitié franco-russe.

The exhibition is organized with financial support from the Chto Delat Foundation.

We gratefully acknowledge all the artists, volunteers, and friends who have made this project possible through their hard work and trust.

Premises

Many people are familiar with moments in life when it becomes clear that they have to unite with other people to accomplish simple and urgent tasks:

We, the residents of house no. X, demand that the illegal construction next to our house be stopped…

We, the workers of factory X, demand payment of back wages…

We demand an end to neo-Nazi terror…

What do these things have to do with art?

Even people who believe that artists are starry-eyed creatures living in an ivory tower sometimes catch sight of the fact that this tower has long ago been transformed from the tidy space of art for art’s sake into a factory where the majority are relegated (in the best case) to work on the conveyor belt. It thus becomes clear that change is necessary. Otherwise, without the possibility to realize ourselves with dignity, we will suffocate.To make this change happen we have to unite with other comrades, with people who also sense that things are going wrong.

The art system is not situated within the abstract realm of daydreams or the private world of the studio and the gallery. On the contrary, it is part of public life. To change this system we need to be sensitive to the general processes at work in society, and we need to take part in them.

Context

The exhibition is part of the international multidisciplinary conference The Politics of the One: The Limits of Fragmentation and the Chances for Consolidation. The conference is dedicated to forms of solidarity and multiplicity in the contemporary world. The speakers will address issues of contemporary philosophy, as well as collective political practices for transforming the world.

Social connectivity – in particular, sociopolitical solidarity – is in a state of crisis today. Social atomization enables globalization processes, the collapse of collectivist ideologies, and the technologization of state power. The available alternatives include nationalist or fundamentalist authoritarian movements, or bureaucratic attempts to manufacture solidarity on the basis of “constitutional patriotism” or around the figure of a “national leader.” For Russian society, which underwent a massive sociopolitical revolution during the eighties and nineties, social atomization and political apathy are particularly characteristic. People have a hard time cooperating with their next-door neighbors, not to mention finding solidarity with those more distant from them. At the same time, a multitude of small-scale collective initiatives have emerged in Russia. They differ both from traditional Soviet forms and established western practices. Analysis of these initiatives is one of the focuses of both the conference and the exhibition.

Concept

We want to create a public exhibition space that takes the form of a process in which all utterances – graphic works, seminars, film screenings or discussions – produce a context of cooperative co-existence and enter into dialogue with each other, thus accumulating new meanings and generating their own common history.

By relying on its acknowledged autonomous status in contemporary society, art has the capacity for continuous innovation, inquiry, and critique of the forms in which people organize their lives together, and it is these functions that define art’s role in social life. While preserving such generic features as freedom of expression and the constant overcoming of the aesthetic status quo, art is capable of questioning not only the consensus about what it can and should be, but also the basis of this consensus, which is contained in established forms of political agreement and unity.

The logic of this project is bound up with an expanded notion of art and the artist in today’s world. For us, art is not a narrowly specialized activity engaged in by professionals, but one of the principal elements of creative public speech, something that can be practiced by any engaged, passionate human being.

At the same time, we do not advocate an amateur, non-obligatory attitude to art. On the contrary, we believe that if they are willing to take seriously the issue of self-presentation and find unique ways of inscribing themselves into the artistic context, a multitude of creative and activist practices can acquire a completely different but no less important dimension in the process of interacting with a broad spectrum of contemporary art.

Image by R.E.P. Group

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