1. How important is it to appeal to the Communist roots of globalization today?

It is important to address a variety of globalization’s roots. In my opinion, the “romantic” boundlessness of capitalization played a far greater role in globalization than the Communist Manifesto. Notwithstanding the tangible historical connection between the International and the transnational corporations, they actually belong to different orders. It is not advisable to mix up an economic order with a political program, all the more since the political program has been discredited, while one might say that the economic order has been given the “green light” in terms of ideology. Any radicalization should not have the effect of eroding this thought, but should also not tarry in the utopia of its activity of resisting the state’s ideological apparatus. In my view, it is important to develop a poly-ethical position rather than the desire to influence a multitude of millions, in symmetry to the desires of the controlling bureaucrats, who serve the transnational corporations.


2. Which chances do you see for the ongoing democratization of art? Is it possible to break out of the framework of market hierarchy and exclusive global representation?

Suspicion toward solid frameworks. Mistrust of frameworks on the whole. You can spend your life trying to adjust to the extant framework, but you can also strive to create a framework of your own. When this framework becomes a set of institutional walls, you break out of their bounds. When a creative program has been depleted and is being bureaucratized, you move on. As it happens, this is also a question of a certain psychic state, close to the question of psychosis, a state of compulsive representation, to which the market production of artistic products will lead. This is the question of the incompatibility or at least the incommensurability of creativity and institutionalization. Once again, we are not talking about a comprehensive political program of some artistic International, but about a form of inner resistance. I don’t really want to talk about the democratization of art; I would rather speak of its de-hierarchizing, its de-bureaucratization, and its de-capitalization.


3. How important is it today to stop the conveyors of big events, opting instead for internationalist work on location? 

It is impossible to “stop the conveyor” since art is not isolated from life’s other registers. And by the way, this utopian isolation would hardly lead to anything. But I agree that it is necessary to “work on location”. Regardless of what they say about globalization, we all work in specific cultural contexts. Once again, it is necessary to render the meaning of this work from the context that it affects.


4. In how far is the experience of new local communities that draw their linguistic legitimacy from global pop-culture? In how far do they influence the development of contemporary art?

There is no such thing as a universal language of pop-culture. On the one hand, the language of Russian pop stars, with only a few exceptions, is impossible to translate. On the other hand, a universal pop star like Brittney Spears is not universal. People in England and Japan don’t actually see her in the same way. There is no such thing as complete transparency of seeing or vision at all, be it external or internal. The illusion of the outer markers’ code-compatibility does not allow you to understand the other better. Instead, it confirms the narcissism of recognizing yourself. Moreover, I see that it often comes down to punk vs. punk, that subcultures are internally and externally divided. So I wouldn’t speak of pop-culture at all. Instead, there is mass-mediated culture, which strives toward unification and universality, but never actually reaches its goals. As strange as it may seem, this non-fulfillment is a necessary condition for the movement of capital. Mass-mediation strives to capitalize everything that moves, including what we call “counter-cultures” and “the avant-garde”.  Thanks to this, culture’s critical voice is both muted and amplified. As far as the pressure of mass-culture is concerned, it depends on your position. You can subordinate yourself and rush into its embrace, but you can also say, “They may be fucking us over, but that only makes us stronger.”


5. Is international style the only relevant possibility for addressing the local problematique? Is there any room left for creative misunderstandings, lost in translation, experiences that are both subjective and local? Which experiences have you made in highlighting the uniqueness of a local cultural context as something of general relevance?

You can see misunderstanding and loss in translation not only in the context of “big events”, but even within the confines of one city’s art scene. Furthermore, the same applies within boundless bounds of the individual artist or critic. Who said that the artist or critic knows exactly what he-she is doing? In my opinion, the character of creativity explains itself through the fact that something is always lacking; something is always impossible to translate or to understand. The decisive question is how the artist or the critic approaches the question itself. Understanding is always a misconception, a narcissistic phantom, stimulated by the mass-medial instruments of de-autonomization.
In my work, I don’t “make connections”. I work with people who seem important to me, with people who touch or move me in some way. Of course, we’re also talking about a certain “job”, an exhibition or an article, “ordered” by some concrete person from the outside, maybe even by someone from another culture. It is important to consider this addressee, respecting him without feeling constrained by a leash. The addressee is actually always present. Even if I am writing an article that I don’t know whether or where to publish, I am still addressing some imaginary other. Even if this is none other than “me”, it is still important to display respect without being confined to a leash.


See the Russian version of the site for the author’s complete answer.