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Slavs and Tatars

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Raised plastic titles display Arabic lettering. The text is slightly enlarged so that it imitates brail—raised to suggest that the shapes could be read with hands—turning texture into thought. A red exclamation point disrupts the script—a western interruption bordering on fusion. These are some of the constructed artifacts on display in the Preis der Nationalgalerie exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof by the collective Slavs and Tatars, who were nominated for this year’s a... [more]
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Shifting Utopias: A 500-Year-Old Book Inspires a Moving Image Biennial   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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Andrea Büttner, Jan Fabre, Michael Fliri, Chiara Fumai, Johan Grimonprez, Fabrice Hyber, Rabih Mroué, Ana Prvacki, Michael Rakowitz, Gilad Ratman, A Dog Republic, Albert Serra, Nedko Solakov, Slavs and Tatars, Javier Téllez, Grazia Toderi, Sander Breure & Witte van Hulzen, Angel Vergara, Gilberto Zorio at Contour vzw - Mechelen August 29th, 2015 - November 8th, 2015
Posted 9/25/15
In 1515 the English statesman and humanist Thomas More visited the cities of Mechelen and Antwerp—now in present-day Flanders—where he wrote his best-known work, Utopia, a fictional account detailing the social, religious, and political structures of a made-up island in the New World. Five hundred years later, can a Renaissance philosopher’s musings on the political and social foundations of a hypothetical society resonate? Nicola Setari, curator of Contour 7, Mechelen’... [more]
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Nationalgalerie Preis Exhibition Focuses on Mediation and Interdisciplinary Practice   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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Christian Falsnaes, Florian Hecker, Anne Imhof, Slavs and Tatars at Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart September 11th, 2015 - January 17th
Posted 9/14/15
The first edition of Germany’s Preis der Nationalgalerie in 2000 included three of today’s most well known Berlin-based artists: Olafur Eliasson, Katharina Grosse and Christian Jankowski. Strangely, the fourth nominee and that year’s winner, Dirk Skreber, has had less shows since 2000 than the four nominees for the 2015 Preis der Nationalgalerie. Museum award competitions give artists considerable amount of exposure in the media and tend to catapult the artists’ careers,... [more]
Now in its fourth year, Berlin Art Week is fast becoming a fixture in the German capital’s art scene. While blockbuster exhibition Stadt/Bild is taking over four of the main art institutions, the week is also a moment for smaller galleries, project spaces, and non-profits to shine. And then, of course, there are the art fairs: Art Berlin Contemporary and platforms for emerging art, Positions and Liste. Ubiquitous at any major art event these days, there are also a vast number of talks, panel discussions and one-off tours, but it&rsqu... [more]
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Everything is Near: Culture Softens Violence in Manifesta 10   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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Pavel Arseniev, Kathrin Becker, Anna Bitkina, Pavel Braila, Lado Darakhvelidze, Ekaterina Degot, Gluklya, Alevtina Kakhidze, Ragnar Kjartansson, Ilya Orlov and Natasha Kraevskaya, Deimantas Narkevicius, Emily Newman, Kristina Norman, Alexandra Pirici, Jonathan Platt, Rimini Protokoll, Aaron Schuster, Slavs and Tatars, Anna Baumgart and Andrzej Turowski, Mierle Laderman Ukeles at State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg (General Staff building) June 28th, 2014 - October 31st, 2014
Posted 7/6/14
The Cossacks are an East Slavic ethnic group who have long retained independence from the Russian territorial zone. They exist in Crimea, Ukraine, South Caucasus, and even China. Brutally persecuted in Soviet Russia, Cossacks have now reassumed their legitimacy in the Russian national identity, building on their previous historical role as paid militia for the Russian Empire. A 2005 law reinstated this role under Putin and it has been ascertained that Cossack paramilitary activities in East Ukraine and Crimea constitute a form o... [more]
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Berlin Biennale 8: The Gentleman's Guide to Tropical Photography   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Patrick Alan Banfield, Matts Leiderstam, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Slavs and Tatars, Carla Zaccagnini at Haus am Waldsee May 29th, 2014 - August 3rd, 2014
Posted 5/29/14
Having read about the historical themes and ideas that curator Juan A. Gaitán chewed over while planning the 8th Berlin Biennale, I wondered if I was supposed to feel like some colonial explorer as I journeyed southwest towards Dahlem and into a Berlin kiez less travelled (by a peripheral fellow traveller of the Berlin art crowd, at least). Someone like Alexander von Humbolt, who undertook the first scientific exploration of South America and whose name is to appear on the controversial Humbolt... [more]
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Lost in the Berlin Biennale: A First Look   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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Zarouhie Abdalian, Bani Abidi, Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Saadane Afif, David Chalmers Alesworth, Carlos Amorales, Andreas Angelidakis, Leonor Antunes, Julieta Aranda, Tarek Atoui, Nairy Baghramian, Bianca Baldi, Patrick Alan Banfield, Alberto Baraya, Rosa Barba, Gordon Bennett, Zachary Cahill, Mariana Castillo Deball, Carolina Caycedo, Tacita Dean, Mario García Torres, Beatriz González, Agatha Gothe-Snape, Shilpa Gupta, Cynthia Gutiérrez, Ganesh Haloi, Carsten Höller, Iman Issa, Irene Kopelman, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Matts Leiderstam, Glenn Ligon, Goshka Macuga, Santu Mofokeng, Shahryar Nashat, Olaf Nicolai, Otobong Nkanga, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Judy Radul, Center for Historical Reenactments, Jimmy Robert, Anri Sala, Michael Stevenson, Mariam Suhail, Vivan Sundaram, Gaganendranath Tagore, Slavs and Tatars, Wolfgang Tillmans, Tonel, Li Xiaofei, Danh Vo & Xiu Xiu, David Zink Yi, Carla Zaccagnini at Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art May 29th, 2014 - August 3rd, 2014
Posted 5/28/14
Fifty artists is not so many for a biennial, and we were certainly looking forward to a concentrated and focussed set of exhibitions. Spread across three venues, this Biennale sprawls, conceptually and physically. Sonja Hornung: ‪We caught the train out to Dahlem, west of Berlin, and got rained on. Once we made it into the exhibition you seemed totally uneasy, Richard – why was that? Richard Pettifer: I couldn’t work out what was from the Biennale and what were pre-existing from the Et... [more]
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The Overlooked and the Unmentionables   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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Shaina Anand, Tuan Andrew, Minam Apang, Invisible Borders, CAMP, Julia Dault, Jonathas de Andrade, Rita Ponce de León, Abigail DeVille, House of Natural Fiber, The Propeller Group, Phunam Thúc Hà, Iman Issa, Hassan Khan, Kit Lee, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Matthew Lucero, José Antonio Vega Macotela, Cinthia Marcelle, Dave McKenzie, Public Movement, Nicolás Paris, Bona Park, Gary-Ross Pastrana, Pratchaya Phinthong, Amalia Pica, Adrián Villar Rojas, Gabriel Sierra, Mounira Al Solh, Ashok Sukumaran, Rayyane Tabet, Pilvi Takala, Slavs and Tatars, Mariana Telleria, Wu Tsang, Danh Vō, Hu Xiaoyuan, Dana Yahalomi, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Ala Younis at New Museum February 15th, 2012 - April 22nd, 2012
Posted 3/31/12
By now both the New Museum’s Triennial and the Whitney Museum’s biennial have been open long enough for the critical voices of the popular press and blogosphere to have weighed in on the virtues and shortcomings of these highly anticipated exhibitions. I’ve been to both, though rather than add another idiosyncratic opinion to the heavily populated mix I decided to take a cue from the nature of the exhibition itself, and survey the critics. The nature of my looking wasn’t qualitative; I wasn’t too co... [more]
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The Interventionists: A Triennial of the Active   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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Shaina Anand, Tuan Andrew, Minam Apang, Invisible Borders, CAMP, Julia Dault, Jonathas de Andrade, Rita Ponce de León, Abigail DeVille, House of Natural Fiber, The Propeller Group, Phunam Thúc Hà, Iman Issa, Hassan Khan, Kit Lee, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Matthew Lucero, José Antonio Vega Macotela, Cinthia Marcelle, Dave McKenzie, Public Movement, Nicolás Paris, Bona Park, Gary-Ross Pastrana, Pratchaya Phinthong, Amalia Pica, Adrián Villar Rojas, Gabriel Sierra, Mounira Al Solh, Ashok Sukumaran, Rayyane Tabet, Pilvi Takala, Slavs and Tatars, Mariana Telleria, Wu Tsang, Danh Vō, Hu Xiaoyuan, Dana Yahalomi, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Ala Younis at New Museum February 15th, 2012 - April 22nd, 2012
Posted 2/20/12
Two gold chains hang on steely colored pins. They fall perpendicularly, intersecting to form a cross, a compositional reference that is further bolstered by the small golden crucifix linked to the bottom-most tip. A few feet away, a milky marble-like slab rests upon half an egg shell, which sits atop three similar stones, atop an ever-so-slightly warped poster-sized sheet of paper. Mere inches above the egg-stone composition, a family of six porcelain pitchers each hold the protruding twig of a... [more]
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All Alone, Together   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
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Medijska Arheologija, Riccardo Benassi, Vahida Ramujkić and Heath Bunting, Zorica Čolić, Jan de Wulf, Tina Gverović and Siniša Ilić, Ana Krstić, Goran Micevski, Mladen Miljanović, Proto Office, Ivan Petrović, Naomi T. Salmon, Dubravka Sekulić, Boba Mirjana Stojadinović, Slavs and Tatars, Awoiska van der Molen at Art Gallery Nadežda Petrović September 18th, 2010 - November 1st, 2010
Posted 9/27/10
For 25 years, Čačak, a city 130 kilometers far from Belgrade, has staged an exhibition to celebrate the revolutionary personality of their local luminary, the painter Nadezda Petrovic, using the occasion to create a productive platform of dialogue and exchange amongst artists coming from an assortment of countries and background. Čačak is a quiet, modest industrial city in central Serbia and served as the theater for the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman empire. This town's rev... [more]
The first time I talked with Slavs and Tatars was by Skype, then I met them again (or perhaps for the first time depending on how you count these things) after a performance/lecture (79.89.09) they'd given at the Swedish Embassy in Berlin. Since our first meeting, we have engaged in several discussions and exchanges. The following informal discussion took place over e-mail. It represents only a small window on Slavs and Tatars's vast field of interests. Federica Bueti: As you state on your... [more]
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