When Artists Struggle Together
Igor Chubarov /// We Can Still Marchin a Left Front of the Arts, Comrades!
The study of the Russian communist avant-garde is of singular importance if we are to understand the logic of contemporary political arts evolution because of the way that it anticipated, albeit incompletely and even unsuccessfully, the future of art and social life. For the possibilities that were opened to art in Soviet Russia in the twenties cannot be compared with those that even the most wealthy democratic state might offer it today. Friedrich Schiller, who in his Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man dreamt of a state of beauty in appearance where peoples dreams of universal equality would be brought to life, could not even imagine the degree to which this political-aesthetic utopia was realized. The socialist revolution gave the artist the chance to come into contact with social reality in an immediate that is, non-alienatedmode that had no need of convention, illusion, and fiction in order to convey the artists utterances. The Revolution liberated zones of reality that previously had been subjected only to estrangement and distancing; it opened channels for the immediate construction of mans life world. It was not merely matter of artists participating in largescale architectural and urban planning projects, the artistic design of streets and squares, the choreography of massive revolutionary celebrations, and the production of practical forms of clothing for the mass consumer and holistic elements of communal life. Most of all, the revolution effected a shift in relationships between people and gave birth to a new man who was liberated from a master-slave sensuality and consciousness.
Chto Delat? /// A Declaration on Politics, Knowledge, and Art
Our Principles: Self-Organization, Collectivism, Solidarity
The Chto Delat platform unites artists, philosophers, social researchers, activists, and all those whose aim is the collaborative realization of critical and independent research, publication, artistic, educational and activist projects.
All of the platforms initiatives are based on the principles of selforganization and collectivism. These principles are realized through the political coordination of working groupsthe contemporary analogue of soviets. The projects undertaken by any of these groups represent the entire platform and are closely coordinated with one another. At the same time, the existence of the platform creates a common context for interpreting the projects of its individual participants. We are likewise guided by the principle of solidarity. We organize and support mutual assistance networks with all grassroots groups who share the principles of internationalism, feminism, and equality.
Kirsten Forkert /// Artistic and political autonomy, or the difficulty and necessity of organizing artis
I came across the Art Workers Coalition (AWC) 1969 Open Hearing documents by chance. They consisted of a stack of photocopies of handwritten and typewritten statements about the position of artists in society, particularly in relation to events of the time such as the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement.
Redas Dirzys /// Art Strike Ideas and Their Application Today: A Report on the Art Strike Conference
The Art Strike Conference was held in the southern Lithuanian town of Alytus on June 27-29, 2008. The group did not adopt any concrete resolution either during the meeting or after it. Therefore I take it upon myself to make a very personal overview of the ideas proposed at the conference with some even more personal commentaries that could lead to a better understanding of our controversial approach to the topic. Many of the ideas presented at the conference I find of crucial importance as I try to start a real campaign against the real construction of cultural capitalismin this particular case, a boycott of the EU Capitals of Culture initiative, which intends to turn the Lithuanian capital city of Vilnius into a capital of culture next year. Since critical thought in contemporary capitalist Lithuania is very weak, we invited an international group of people experienced in this work and/or willing to contemplate the subject.
IFPF /// The Story of the Glorious Rise anf Fall of a Performers NetworkRead more...
Max Klebb /// Collectivizing anti-national refusal
Max Klebb: collectivizing anti-national refusal Max Klebb (1) seeks to unite art workers in the task of anti-nationalism. Art might be just one more branch of the culture industry, but this perspective on its commodity status formulates not only arts limitation but also positively positions its participation in social processes.
"Vpered (Forward)" Socialist Movement & Chto Delat? /// An Open Letter on the 2008 Kandinsky Prize
We admit it upfront: we dont care much for the artist Alexei Belyaev, and we dont care about him. His art is beyond the pale of criticism, and we have never had any illusions about his political views. By the mid-1990s, he had already drifted into the orbit of Eduard Limonovs National Bolsheviks, and he would later join Alexander Dugins breakaway Eurasian Movement. You do not have to be a political scientist to recognize these people for what they are: part of a reactionary global trend toward ultra-right/ultra-left nationalism. Belyaevs statements and artworks reflect this political identity. His work glorifies violence, imperial domination, blood, soil, and war. It does this in a consciously triumphal neo-Stalinist aesthetic, mixing crimson with gold leaf to confirm its redundant imperialist messages. Some members of the local bourgeoisie are taken with this aesthetic. Fascism thus enters the salona salon we would rather ignore.
Chto Delat? Open Questionnaire /// When Artists Struggle Together
Today there is a proliferation of the so-called political art projects. The growing number of the organisers of biennales and other big shows feel it neccessary to be concern with the heavily political issues such as: globalisation, democracy, participatory and communal practices, radical imagination, and so on. But, at the same time we can hardly hear of the appearance of any new art movement, we do not remember any manifestation of collective power of artist and intellectuals that would claim the voice and put a pressure on the system, we never experience any strikes or sabotage that would be directed even against the most disgusting art projects, any personal or collective withdrawal from shows, and the basic issues such as the artist fee has not been resolved despite the fact that most artists do not produce commodities for the market. How do these two trends come together?
Supplementary video film /// Century of Manifestos
Play for a few Actors
a film by Dmitry Vilensky Music by Mikhail Krutik