Tag Archives: Elena Sorokina

Nikolay Oleynikov: Zero Gravity Revolt (Brussels)

NIKOLAY OLEYNIKOV
(Chto Delat and more)
ZERO GRAVITY REVOLT

A learning mural

Curated by Elena Sorokina; choreographed by Ula Sickle

in collaboration with young artists, dancers and students from Académie Royale des Beaux Arts de Bruexelles, La Cambre, Ecole de Recherche Graphique, HISK, Sint-Lukas Brussel, Sint-Lucas Gent, PHL Limburg (M.A.D. Faculty)

and with a programme of talks, cooking, and nightwatch film screenings performed by Rossella Biscotti (Amsterdam), Adela Jusic and Lana Čmajčanin (Sarajevo) and others (TBA).

December 16, 2011—February 11, 2012
Opening: December 15, 6-9 p.m.

Artists’ talk with guests Oxana Timofeeva (Jan van Eyck Academy) and Ils Huygens (curator at Z33) on Sunday, December 4th, at 3pm; open to the public.

Komplot
295 Avenue Van Volxemlaan
B-1190 Brussels
info(at)kmplt.be
+32 484 713 175

First Project Narrative
In early Soviet science fiction, revolutions happened all over the solar system – on Mars, on the moon, and of course on Earth. Full of vivid social imagination, its authors described cosmic class struggles and social upheavals booming in space – forceful and impetuous. The labor of revolution was, however, supposed to create the new future conditions of labor as the building blocks. And here the revolutionary dynamics often got stuck on a single question: How will future humanity work? Should it work at all?

The visionary writer Andrei Platonov proposed several contradictory options. In his novel Foundation Pit, the protagonists work to point of total exhaustion. In Chevengur, on the contrary, they stop working altogether as a programmatic and radical gesture. Finally, in Juvenile Sea, they become ceaselessly inventive, displaying an exuberant working creativity.

Many writers of the 1920-30s hesitated between the abolition of labor, its extreme technologization, and its hyper-acceleration or total creativisation. The text “In one thousand years,” written in 1927, opts for a creative non-labor and describes the inhabitants of the future as dancing, singing, painting creatures, who also regularly engage in unassisted flight. Like art, levitation and flight are considered a creative pastime that keeps the new humanity busy. All these activities – more or less virtuosic but decidedly unalienated – can be read as pure self-expression or cultural dissemination. What they don’t accommodate – and the author is absolutely certain about it – is labor. Neither painting, nor dance, nor levitation contain any “work”.

This opinion was disputed by some: levitation as labor was most prominently theorized by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, a great scientist but also a sci-fi writer. In his novels, people enjoy the low gravity on the moon while working on their research assignments. For Tsiolkovsky, the occupation of space by means of levitation is result of engineering labor and scientific work.

All these observations bring us to the central question of our project: How can we see the relation between work and levitation today, in the times of our precarious present and the prevailing conditions of groundlessness? Analyzing different types of labor as they were depicted in early Soviet sci-fi, we will investigate possible links between the levitating proletariat and today’s groundless precariat, which is trying to gain some leverage in occupying space and spaces. Keeping in mind Google Earth and surveillance technologies, we will try to imagine ourselves levitating while working. Finally, we will take this opportunity to look back to at the role models of the “working artist”, “managing artist” and the “artist trying not to work” and ultimately, we will ask how artistic labor today resonates with these ideas.

Method
About three years ago Oleynikov initiated a series of projects grounded in collective creative living. Since then, bringing together practitioners from different fields and organizing temporary communities in constant dialogue has become one of the essential elements of his artistic practice. This initiative was immediately taken up by several collectives, and was adopted as experimental non-stop seminars, congresses-communes or learning plays which have been recently presented at the ICA in London, Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, and at SMART and SCOR in Amsterdam, among other venues.

For Zero Gravity Revolt the artist and curator will conceive a specific temporality for the upcoming learning mural. The process will take 15 days, from the first brainstorming sessions to its actual “visible” result. This period of time will be filled with testing the ground, enacting the characters to be featured (flying proletariat as much as levitating bankers), training in levitation, screenings, talks, and informal exchanges. All this will result in the collective writing of a program for the mural, which might take a fictional form, and its ultimate completion.

Expected Results of the Project
On December 15, 2011, at the opening of the show, the spectator can discover the following. There is a high degree of probability that a mural, executed by all the participants of the project, will stand. It is not impossible that a performative action will be presented. A curatorial opening speech has serious potential to take place. And depending on the outcome of discussions, there might be a screening of a film, introduced by an artist. Finally, it is almost certain that a guided tour will be given by the artists and/or curator and the final press release written for the occasion.

Artist
Nikolay Oleynikov (born 1976) is a Moscow-based artist and activist, member of Chto Delat, editor for Chto Delat newspaper, member of the editorial board of Moscow Art Magazine, co-founder of the Learning Film Group, and the May Congress of Creative Workers. Known for his didactic murals and graphic works in the tradition of the Soviet monumental school, comics, surrealism, and punk culture. Represented worldwide by his solo projects as well as by a number of collective activities, Oleynikov has had numerous international shows at such venues as Mala Galerija, Ljubljana; ICA, London; Welling School, London; State Tretyakov Gallery and Paperworks Gallery, Moscow. His work has also been shown at Fargfabriken, Stockholm; New Museum, New York; Musée d´Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (MAM/ARC), Paris; Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella; and the X Baltic Triennale in Vilnius.

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Etats de l’Artifice (Paris)

Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris / ARC

ETATS DE L’ARTIFICE

Victor Alimpiev, Olga Chernysheva, Chto Delat, FFC, Nikolay Oleynikov

Press preview:  October 7th, 11am – 2pm.

Preview:  October 7th, 6pm9pm. Entrance upon presentation of this announcement.

Salle 18

8 October 2010 – 2 January 2011

Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris presents Etats de l’Artifice, curated by Elena Sorokina, running from October 8th 2010 through January 2nd 2011. This exhibition is organized in the framework of the l’Année France-Russie 2010.

This exhibition presents four artists and collectives who regularly employ theatrical situations in their videos and films. Some works explicitly revive filmed theater or dance, while others utilize the technique of “performance trouvé” —  scenes discovered by the camera in a documentary situation and used as a constitutive element of the film. A blend of theatrical devices and formal reflexivity carried out in diverse ways characterizes the work of the show, all produced from mid 2000 on. If the 90s celebrated violent self-expression in radical performances reacting to new freedoms and their illusions, today many artists employ reflective strategies marked by formal experimentation, often incorporating references to the styles or events of the Soviet past.

Rather then following a specific theme, this exhibition unfolds along two broadly defined leitmotifs. One focuses on the artists’ self-conscious engagement with the specific elements — stories, films, imagery — from the Soviet realist canon, exploring its conflicts and correspondences and making the spectator experience old debates and events as new encounters. The other takes up art’s current fascination with theater’s transformative power and its ability to speak about the present, sometimes described as “the present as fiction” or l’artifice du present.

The exhibition will change over time following a specific timeline and involves the projection of different groupings of films selected.

The videos by Chto Delat, founded in 2003, are realized by: Tsaplya (Olga Egorova); Nikolay Oleynikov, Gluklya (Natalya Pershina-Yakimanskaya), Nina Gasteva, Dmitry Vilensky. Composer: Mikhail Krutik.

FFC (Factory of Found Clothes), founded in 1995, consists of Tsaplya (Olga Egorova) and Gluklya (Natalya Pershina-Yakimanskaya)

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Communism’s Afterlives (Brussels/Paris)

COMMUNISM’S AFTERLIVES

The seminar will take place in Brussels and Paris, in both cases at The Public School.

Brussels, April 23rd, 3-6pm
Participants: Agency, Dessislava Dimova, Albert Heta, Olga Kisseleva
For more information: http://brussels.thepublicschool.org/class/2336

Paris, April 24th, 3-6pm
Participants: Pietro Bianchi, Renata Poljak, Société Réaliste, Oxana Timofeeva
For more information: http://paris.thepublicschool.org/class/1773

Organized by Elena Sorokina and Natasa Petresin-Bachelez

After the collapse of the Soviet bloc, communism as idea, image or problem has been regarded as “outmoded, absurd, deplorable or criminal, depending on the case.” Today, it is often presented by the mainstream media as a parenthesis of history, an aberration of the 20th century, as “a completely forgotten word, only to be identified with a lost experience.” Although the communist hypotheses of previous eras may no longer be valid, their histories, narratives and key notions have never ceased to spark attention and inform recent discussions such as the communal versus the common, and material versus immaterial property, to name just a few. Perceived from a greater distance today, communism has re-emerged as a topic for investigation in artistic and exhibition production, that reflects it in diverse ways, addressing the relevance of the term today or inviting provocative comparisons with the present.

This seminar aims at presenting various works that recast ideas related to communism and revisit it as a complex and diverse arena of political and aesthetic attitudes, which varied between nations, communities and historical periods. By no means does the seminar intend to take a nostalgic tour through the past decades, but rather seeks to address the topic through concrete art and exhibition projects realized recently. All of them are trying to deconstruct the idea of monolith, still very present in today’s reception, and to recuperate various episodes, stories and notably, the “communist apocrypha” – texts, music, visual production – which have never been part of the established ideological canon, and whose intellectual patterns shed new light on what the contemporary uses of the notion of communism might be. Instead of treating communism as pure political abstraction, the projects presented by the seminar deal with concepts, events and/or particular personalities related to communism and its history which have survived the Bildersturm of the recent past and can be artistically reactivated.

Facebook event:

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=532787364#!/event.php?eid=101896426520537&ref=mf

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Communisms’ Afterlives (Brussels)

COMMUNISMS’ AFTERLIVES
Saturday, 13 February 2010, 15:00 – 18:00
WIELS
Av. Van Volxemlaan 354, Brussels

http://www.wiels.org/site2/event.php?event_id=345

Yevgeniy Fiks, Song of Russia no. 17, 2005-2007. Oil on canvas, 36 x 48″

A conference curated by Elena Sorokina and Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez for The Public School. With contributions from Adrian Rifkin, Marko Stamenkovic, Oxana Timofeeva, Grant Watson.

Through a series of polemic dialogues, we would like to trace different generations of intellectuals (artists, curators, philosophers, art historians) from the former East and West of Europe that deal with “shades of red,” the afterlives of Communism and its (un)expected turning points in its most recent philosophical and artistic reception following the financial and, more generally, post-Fordist crisis.

After the collapse of the Soviet bloc, communism as idea, image or problem has been regarded as “outmoded, absurd, deplorable or criminal, depending on the case.” Today, it is often presented by the mainstream media as a parenthesis of history, an aberration of the 20th century, as “a completely forgotten word, only to be identified with a lost experience.” Although the communist hypotheses of previous eras may no longer be valid, their histories, narratives and key notions have never ceased to spark attention and inform recent discussions such as the communal versus the common, and material versus immaterial property, to name just a few. Perceived from a greater distance today, communism has re-emerged as a topic for investigation in artistic and exhibition production, that reflects it in diverse ways, addressing the relevance of the term today or inviting provocative comparisons with the present.

This seminar aims at presenting various works that recast ideas related to communism and revisit it as a complex and diverse arena of political and aesthetic attitudes, which varied between nations, communities and historical periods. By no means does the seminar intends to take a nostalgic tour through the past decades, but rather seeks to address the topic through concrete art and exhibition projects realized recently. All of them are trying to deconstruct the idea of monolith, still very present in today’s reception, and to recuperate various episodes, stories and notably, the “communist apocrypha” — texts, music, visual production — which have never been part of the established ideological canon, and whose intellectual patterns shed new light on what the contemporary uses of the notion of communism might be. Instead of treating communism as pure political abstraction, the projects presented by the seminar deal with concepts, events and/or particular personalities related to communism and its history which have survived the Bildersturm of the recent past and can be artistically reactivated.

The conference is part of The Public School Brussels, a permanent project by the curatorial collective Komplot.

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Scénes Centrales (TriPostal, Lille, France)

Scénes Centrales
TriPostal, Lille, France
March 14– June 12, 2009

Abilsait Atabekov, Chto Delat Group, Danica Dakic, Igor Eskinja, Igor Grubic, Sejla Kameric, Jamshed Kholikov, Elena Kovylina, Gulnara Kasmalieva/Muratbek Djumaliev, David Maljkovic, Erbossyn Meldibekov, Marjetica Potrc, Stealth. UNLIMITED, Sophia Tabatadze, Milica Tomic, Alexander Ugay, Christoph Weber

Curated by Elena Sorokina

 The multiple meanings of the notion scene provide a pattern for this exhibition. “Scene” spans from a general view—something seen—to more a formal theatrical sense, whereby a scene is a structural unit of a play or a film.  The term can become altogether dramatic when used in real life, as in “the scene of a crime” or “scene of an accident.” But first and foremost, “scene” relates to a constructed experience; it is essentially incomplete, partial, unfinished. The works of the exhibition can be considered scenes related to different stories or plays, which may be part of larger narratives, yet explicitly tied to specific geographical or historical contexts.

The exhibition gathers projects which insist on their own constructedness and artifice, playing with and abundantly using theatrical and cinematic conventions.  All the projects featured mobilize devices of artifice as critical and deconstructive tools. The exhibition further analyzes several different degrees of distancing introduced by the artists in their videos, which pay close attention to both the actors’ performances and to camera work. Although using theatrical and cinematic conventions, the works selected are far from such traditional theatrical concerns as crisis or climax, intrigue or character development, and the actual narrations are more interested in politics than in magic. For some projects of Scénes Centrales, the connection between the works’ narratives and historically charged architecture, sometimes used as a stage or a set, is particularly important.

Scénes Centrales is accompanied by a catalog as part of the entire presentation entitled “Frontières Invisibles” at the TriPostal exhibition space. Essays included in the section of Scénes Centrales relate to the exhibition’s concerns on two different levels. The essay by Rastko Mocnik, “Will the East’s Past be the West’s Future?”, provides crucial insights into recent European history. Challenging the traditional insistence upon “immanent features of historical socialisms,” he analyzes the dramas of the social state, setting aside standard assumptions about the differences of East and West and creating an integrated historical account.  In “Politics of Theatre,” Keti Chukhrov discusses the difference between theatre and performance art, ascribing the former a political potential often used as a model by the latter.

Tri Postal
Avenue Willy Brandt
Tel: + 33 (0)3.20.49.52.81 (Direction de la Culture de la Ville de Lille)
Access: Metro Gare Lille Flandres & Lille Europe

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