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Living Politically: A 48-Hour Communal Life Seminar (Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht)

Living Politically: A 48-Hour Communal Life Seminar
Friday 2 July, 10:00 – Sunday 4 July, 10:00
Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, the Netherlands

The Jan van Eyck Academie is hosting Living Politically: A 48-Hour Communal Life Seminar. The Communal Life Seminar is an initiative of the Chto Delat collective and the Vpered Socialist Movement (Russia) as a response to the acute need to establish alternate forms of collectivity. The fundamental principle of this seminar is that its participants constitute a temporary community for the duration of the event. By combining research, creative work and daily living, they are transformed into a commune.

Living Politically will focus on the problem of how to combine theory and art with the militant political life. The Russian philosophers, artists and scholars organising this initiative have invited people from various branches of creative knowledge production, such as design, art, poetry and philosophy, to participate in the seminar.

During the seminar, participants will attempt to answer three questions: How are the practices of various disciplines and their professional production methods conditioned by the political stances and activist practices of artists and researchers? How do the collective appropriation and generalisation of specific scholarly, artistic and activist work shape new models of politicisation? Seminar participants will focus on what ‘living politically’ means for them. Which political categories do they invoke to make sense not only of their own work in research and art institutions, but also of their daily lives? Thus, one theme of the seminar will be the commonalities and differences between contemporary European and Russian types of political subjectivation. The programme includes lectures, performances, discussions and screenings.

Friday 2 July

Nikolay Oleynikov (Moscow)
Why obshezhitie?
— lecture introducing the context of “political/creative living” in Russia over the past decade

Pietro Bianchi (JVE)
The dark side of the communal
— presentation + discussion

Factory of Found Clothes (Gluklya & Tsaplya)
Witness cabinet

franck leibovici (paris)
some musical techniques of political composition
— theoretical performance, collective performance: one would draw a strong link between processes of production of knowledge, systems of (musical, choreographic, scientific) notation and the nature of collectives which perform them. following john cage’s line, one would say that a score should be like the ideal representation of a society in which one would like to live. we will exercise during 48h.

Kirill Medvedev (Moscow)
Poetry as politics
— examples of political, civic and feminist poetry to show how radical work in poetry shapes the revolutionary political challenge

Elena Sorokina (Brussels)
Communism’s afterlife in contemporary art

Filipa Ramos & Andrea Lissoni (Milan/London)
Political action does not produce objects – Parades and the (re)contextualization of the individual subject
— how to insert in the question of Living-Politically a reflection on parades and their possibility to act, inter-act and trigger some new practices between single and collectivity; while trying at the same time to analyse the operations of recontextualization associated with the use of this practice in the context of visual art.

Dmitry Vilensky (St. Petersburg)
Making film politically
— the possibilities for collective work during the shooting and editing of films as well as familiarising participants with the historical background of this approach and the ways it is practically realised today

Alexei Penzin (Moscow)
Sleeping politically
— a nighttime lecture on sleep and the sleeping body as a limit of the rationalization of life in the context of late capitalism, on the relationship between sleep, wakefulness and power, as well as on awakening and political subjectivisation. He will also discuss some early Soviet utopian projects concerning sleep.

Chto Delat & Pietro Bianchi
— night screenings

Saturday 3 July

Elena Sorokina & franck leibovici
performing a document: aerobics reconception (featuring Elena Sorokina)
— In order to answer the question “what does performing a document mean?” we will do some gymnastics in the small hours.

Tzuchien Tho (JVE)
Math politics

Aaron Schuster (Brussels)
Politics of nature: Marxism and psychoanalysis, labour and sex

Oxana Timofeeva (JVE)
Political animal

franck leibovici
mini-opera for non-musicians
— collective performance – concert

Factory of Found Clothes (Gluklya & Tsaplya, Amsterdam/ St. Petersburg) with Andros Zins-Browne (JVE)
Loving-politically
— ballet-dance performance + discussion on relations: We would like to organise a kind of “witness cabinet”: each participant can have a private conversation with us about their problems in personal relations. After summarising all the models in our laboratory, we will find the problem which is common to everybody and based on this knowledge we’ll create a performance piece.

Katja Diefenbach (JVE)
Less than a thing: queer politics and the deconstruction of the fetish

Katja Diefenbach
— night screenings

CONTACT:
Madeleine Bisscheroux
Anne Vangronsveld
Public Programme and Events Coordinators

coordinator.events@janvaneyck.nl
www.janvaneyck.nl
t +31 (0)43 350 37 29
f +31 (0)43 350 37 99

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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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Ground Floor America (Klagenfurt, Austria)

Ground Floor America
Exhibition
January 14 to February 26, 2010
Kunstraum Lakeside
Lakeside Park, Klagenfurt, Austria

with: Vyacheslav Akhunov, Factory of Found Clothes (Gluklya & Tsaplya), Yuri Leiderman, Vlado Martek, Jinoos Taghizadeh, Škart, Yelena Vorobyeva & Viktor Vorobyev

curated by: What, How and for Whom/WHW

“Ground Floor America” is the title of a travel book by Soviet writer duo Ilf and Petrov, written in 1936. Traveling as official Soviet writers through the USA during the Depression, and describing the American culture and way of life with their characteristic humor and satirical approach, they criticize both American reality in the 1930s as well as Soviet prejudices against “decadent American capitalism.” As an exhibition, Ground Floor America takes Ilf and Petrov’s approach as a starting point for questioning the notion of “curatorial research” within the broader field of cultural translation, looking at the parallels between the burgeoning liberal economy’s capacity to erode a hitherto existing social consensus — both in the crisis era of the 1930s and at present. Today, as then, one of the consequences of the economic crisis has been the massive rightward shift of the (European) electoral body. The post-89 conservative backlash, the dismantling of the welfare state, rampant anti-terror legislation and the black world of “security” agencies are all slowly eroding what was built up over two centuries of emancipatory struggles.

Ground Floor America reflects on the research undertaken by the curatorial collective WHW in the course of the two-year preparations for the 11th International Istanbul Biennial (September to November 2009) in the regions of the Middle East, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, regions to various degrees struggling with their imposed and/or internalized “marginal” position in relation to the Western or Soviet project of modernism, in which contemporary art stands in a certain tension to the ideas of “authentic,” “autochthonous” national cultures. Against the growing professionalism geared exclusively towards the staging of the exhibition, disregarding processes of knowledge production that entail more than merely acquiring and interpreting information, as well as the intentional and unintentional effects of ideologies in the process, Ground Floor America focuses on those elements of “curatorial research” that stay hidden and outside of the international circulation of contemporary art. It is critical towards hegemonic cultural and geopolitical relations and investigates oppositional strategies, dealing with issues of discrepancy between local and international reception and questioning the very possibility of knowledge production under global conditions of contemporary cultural production.

ABOUT WHW: What, How & for Whom/WHW is a curatorial collective formed in 1999 and based in Zagreb, Croatia. Its members are Ivet Ćurlin, Ana Dević, Nataša Ilić and Sabina Sabolović, and designer and publicist Dejan Kršić. WHW organizes a range of productions, exhibitions and publishing projects and directs Gallery Nova in Zagreb. What, how and for whom, the three basic questions of every economic organization, concern the planning, concept and realization of exhibitions as well as the production and distribution of artworks and the artist’s position in the labor market. These questions formed the title of WHW’s first project, dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the Communist Manifesto, in 2000 in Zagreb, and became the motto of WHW’s work and the title of the collective. In 2002 WHW published Brian Holmes’s first book, Hieroglyphs of the Future.

_____
|   \/| kunstraum
| _ /\| lakeside
Christian Kravagna, Hedwig Saxenhuber | Curators
Anja Werkl | Coordination
Lakeside Science & Technology Park GmbH
Lakeside B02 | 9020 Klagenfurt
T (+43-463) 22 88 22-20
M (+43-664) 83 99 305
www.lakeside-kunstraum.at

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Chto Delat International No. 1: Transitional Justice

Chto Delat International issue no.1, entitled Transitional Justice, emerged as a cooperation among its authors and in connection with the recent production of the video film Partisan Songspiel: A Belgrade Story, during the summer of 2009 in Belgrade.

Our authors provide a contextual overview of a Serbian society in transition. During the last two decades, it existed as an isolated camp where everyday life was monopolized by corrupt politicians and ruthless tycoons. The catastrophe of the wars in the ex-Yugoslav countries, which unfolded as an act of mutual extermination, was followed by economic polarization and discrimination against a large part of the population, who ended up homeless and deprived of any state protection. 

The collective Zampa di Leone has produced furious illustrations of hardcore Serbian realities. Novi Sad lesbian activist and Partisan Songspiel actress Biljana Stanković Lori discusses the autonomy of the LGBTIQ community in Serbia in her text Through the Windows of Activism. In his text In the Waiting Room, activist and independent writer Boban Stojanović draws a parallel between the Stonewall riots, which are seen as the beginning of the contemporary struggle for the rights of sexual minorities, and the Pride Parade that was planned in Belgrade forty years later. In his text “Beyond Monstrosity, Nebojša Milikić, cultural worker and program editor at Cultural Center REX, writes about how mass crimes, such as the tragedy in Srebrenica, are perceived in Serbian society today. In Antiziganism and Class Racism in Europe” Vladan Jeremić and Rena Rädle discuss the various forms of ethnic and class racism against Roma that have appeared throughout contemporary Europe. InWhy Do Partisans Still Matter to Politics?” Dušan Grlja, editor of Prelom, journal for images and politics, and a member of Prelom kolektiv, explains that the reference to partisans, communism, and socialist Yugoslavia, as well as the originality of their solutions, represents a “non-existing impossibility” that can provide a radical alternative to what was and still is happening in the region, which is now termed the Western Balkans in the dominant geopolitical agenda.  

The term “transitional justice” has recently received greater attention by both academics and policymakers. It has also generated interest in the fields of political and legal discourse, especially in transitional societies. Transitional justice refers to a range of approaches that certain authorities may use to address past human rights violations and includes both judicial and non-judicial approaches. In the case of the ex-YU countries, transitional justice has been connected with International Tribunal for War Crimes and not, consequently, to other important aspects such as lustration or desirable institutional reforms. 

Issue editors: Vladan Jeremić, Dmitry Vilensky 
Authors: Dušan Grlja, Boban Stojanović, Biljana Stanković Lori, Rena Rädle, Vladan Jeremić, Nebojša Milikić, Dmitry Vilensky, and Olga Egorova Tsaplya 
Translations: Marko Mladenović 
Drawings: Zampa di Leone and Gluklya 
Production: Biro za kulturu i komunikaciju, 2009 
 
The publication of this issue is self-financed and produced with the support of the exhibition project re: ex-post. Critical Knowledge and the Post-Yugoslavian Condition, January 20–February 14, 2010, Open Space, Vienna, Austria.

A .pdf of the entire issue (in Serbian and English) can be downloaded here.


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Chronicles of Perestroika

Chronicles of Perestroika

This film by Dmitry Vilensky is intended to be viewed before Perestroika Songspiel (see below). Vilensky turned two hours of archive footage into sixteen minutes of video. This footage of demonstrations in Leningrad during perestroika (1987-1991) was provided by the Petersburg Documentary Film Studio. The filmmaker is especially grateful to the unknown cameramen who recorded these unique moments in history, as well as to Sergei Gelver, who has preserved this priceless archive.

The soundtrack was composed by Mikhail Krutikov.

Vodpod videos no longer available.



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Our Friends and Us: A Gluklya and Tsaplya Film Retrospective at Rodina Cinema Centre

Our Friends and Us: A Retrospective of Films by Gluklya and Tsaplya at the Rodina Cinema Centre (Saint Petersburg)

Wednesday, 1 October 2008, 9:00 p.m.

  • Three Mothers and a Chorus. Russia, 2007. 32 minutes
  • Trilogy: The Triumph of Fragility; Immersion; In Memory of Poor Liza. Russia/Sweden, 2002. 13 minutes 32 seconds
  • Crimson Sails. Russia/Switzerland, 2005. 20 minutes
  • Sheep and Dreams (Gluklya and Kirill Shuvalov). Russia/Great Britain, 2008. 27 minutes

Thursday, 2 October 2008, 9:00 p.m.

  • Perestroika Songspiel: Victory over the Coup (with Dmitry Vilensky and Nikolai Oleinikov). Russia, 2008. 27 minutes (Premiere!)
  • Zoo. Russia, 2008. 20 minutes (Premiere!)
  • Our Friends and Us. Gluklya and Tsaplya’s multimedia narrative about their art, history, and collective art making. Followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

Rodina Cinema Centre. 12, ulitsa Karavannaya. Saint Petersburg, Russia. Continue reading

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