Tag Archives: Radek Community

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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Filed under activism, art exhibitions, contemporary art, protests, Russian society, urban movements (right to the city)

on the eastern front: video art from central and eastern europe 1989-2009 (Budapest)

…on the eastern front │video art from central and eastern europe 1989–2009
January 22 – March 7, 2010

Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art
Palace of Arts
Komor Marcell u. 1, Budapest

Gordana Andjelić-Galić, Apsolutno, Azorro, Yael Bartana, Pavel Braila, Egon Bunne, Chto Delat, Kaspars Goba, Gusztáv Hámos, Ana Hušman, Kai Kaljo, Šejla Kamerić, Szabolcs KissPál, Damir Nikšić, Adrian Paci, Radek Community + Dmitry Gutov, Józef Robakowski, Anri Sala, András Sólyom, Milica Tomić, Artur Żmijewski

Curators: Rita Kálmán, Tijana Stepanović

The exhibition examines the effects of the changes taking place in the region of the former Soviet Bloc on the individual and on various groups of society from the aspect of socio-psychology. It focuses on the human dimensions of the transition beginning from the end of the eighties and on, micro-processes involved.

The period since the demolition of the Berlin Wall is characterised by democratisation throughout the region. However, the rate, timing, technique and extent of this transition vary from country to country. Consequently, the challenges of transition are addressed in a multiplicity of ways by individuals, groups and by society as a whole. The exhibition uses a psychological viewpoint to examine the relations and dynamics of the various groups of society and the individuals.

Video art proved to be a perfect tool for documentation and analysis of the radical political, social and economic changes, and it began to develop and become widespread in the region during the same period of changes. The exhibition takes advantage of this coincidence, when using this medium to introduce the processes dominating the recent past of the region.

As opposed to the conventions of film production, which required complex technical apparatus, video art appearing during the 60s represented a novel alternative. With to the mass appearance of easy-to-handle, so-called portable video cameras and VHS, from the 80s increasingly wider groups of amateurs and professionals were able to record motion pictures. After photography and film, the genre of video art also offered novel possibilities of extending – and manipulating – private and historic remembrance. The methods of forming public opinion and influencing the public have changed irreversibly, and the commencement of an information society was not simply an accompanying event of the political changes taking place in the region, but the promoter of such changes.

The exhibited works addressing society with severe criticism, document, analyse and contextualise this complex region and period. But rather than offering definite answers, they probe issues that were typically avoided or swept under the carpet in the public common discourse of the countries in the region.

What is our attitude to our historical past? What are the consequences of the changes in national identity and national stereotypes? How can individual lives be carried on amidst all these rearrangements in society? What intergroup relations and conflicts have played a defining role in the last twenty years?

The artists convey numerous individual viewpoints, which provide a personal tone to the aesthetic and critical discourse concerning the political changes and the period of transition.
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No More Reality [Crowd and Performance] (Istanbul)

No More Reality
CROWD AND PERFORMANCE   

DEPO, Istanbul
Tütün Deposu Lüleci Hendek Cad. No.12, Tophane 34425/ İstanbul
January 31–March 5

Artists: Fia Backstrom [Sweeden/U.S.], Johanna Billing [Sweden], Susanne Burner [Germany], Chto Delat [Russia], Marcelo Exposito [Spain], Claire Fontaine [France], Igor Grubic [Croatia], Sharon Hayes [U.S.], Inventory[UK], Olga Kisseleva [France/Russia], Ligna [Germany], Ciprian Muresan [Romania], Marta Popivoda/Illegal Cinema [Serbia], Radek Community [Russia], R.E.P group [Ukraine], Revolution Will Not Be Televised [Brazil]. 

Lecture by Brian Holmes: Ecstasy, Fear & Number: From the “Man in the Crowd” to the Self-Organizing Multitude.

 

http://fmk15008.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/nmr_istanbul_depo_31_1_2009.jpg

From the popular settings of art history we can recall two faces of the crowd: the first, recognized as the holder of political will (demonstrations or revolutionary masses), appearing in many historical or allegorical paintings, and the second one—more neutral and more dispersed, usually connected to the representation of the city, modernity and urban life. Of course, the crowd is never neutral…  Apparently nameless bodies, anonymous minds and ordinary settings are always producing narratives and images related to the dominant politics of public spaces.

The No More Reality [Crowd and Performance] exhibition examines the different models of collective acting. It is a theoretical-practical platform, which gathers a group of artists, activists, theorists, curators, magazines and radio broadcasters, investigating performative aspects of the crowd in the streets and the political implications of body practices in the public space.
No More Reality [Crowd and Performance] develops in stages starting from 2005. Exhibitions, publications and discussions accompanying this process are conceptualized as fragmentary situations and steps in the research, rather than the final projects with the fixed and definite conclusions.
For more details, please see attached .pdf file.

Curators: Claire Staebler and Jelena Ves
Exhibition Producer: Vladimir Jerić Vlidi
Production: Depo-Istanbul and Anadolu Kültür
Exhibition Managers: Asena Günal and Balca Ergener


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