Chto Delat


Open Letter – Who are the Friends of Political Critique (Krytyka Polityczna)?

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Not too long ago, we ran into some strange and worrying news from Poland. The story happened during a recent public talk of renowned philosopher and political commentator Slavoj Žižek. The discussion was moderated by Sławomir Sierakowski, the leader of the Polish journal and collective “Political Critique” (Krytyka Polityczna), which enjoys wide reputation as a leading Polish left-leaning think tank.

The talk was streamed online and then uploaded onto YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1RJZVd_RmI&feature=youtu.be&t=1h31m).

After Žižek’s talk, the discussion turned to the most pressing issues of the ongoing escalation between Russia, Ukraine and the West. At some point, Žižek noted that he has good friends in Russia, namely, the Chto Delat collective. He said that Chto Delat embodies a position different from both from the liberal-center mainstream that Sierakowski now praises and the mix of left-patriotic and neo-rightists who support in Putin in Russia and Europe.

All of this is true. But in his comment Sierakowski was quick to say something totally hallucinatory, as if it was a known fact. We quote: “Chto Delat supports Kremlin. We have better friends for you in Russia”. This is public now. As a Russian proverb says, “a word is not a sparrow, once it flies out, you won’t catch it”. And we got the message.

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Shivering with Iris – a new film by Chto Delat

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Shivering with Iris from chto delat on Vimeo.

Talk show: Shivering with Iris
Based on a learning play which was premiered at Sommer festival at Kampnagel, Hamburg in August 2014. The play was realised in a form of talk show and filmed with 5 cameras . The final result of the performance is a videofilm.
The play is dedicated to the problem of the romantic sublime in art, which it represents using the symbol of fish. The muteness of fish and its underwater position pose a contrast to the current condition of art from which everyone expects a statement. Like the fish lives in the water as its medium, art today lives in the environment of the media, which keeps compromising it both through profanation and sublimation. The play addresses this conflict by engaging a dialectic of the artificial and the real in the contemporary artwork.

Host of the show: Iris Minich
Participants: Vedrana Madžar, Alexey Markin, Alicia Agustín, Tatiana Baskakova, Fransis Jacobi, Genja Loginova, Antje Prust, Corina Lucia Apostol
Tom Frank: Marc Siemoneit

Chto Delat on the stage: Nina Gasteva; Artyom Magun; Alexander Skidan
Directing and narration: Artyom Magun; Alexander Skidan; Tsaplya Olga Egorova and Dmitry Vilensky
Cheer leaders: Nikolay Oleynikov /Chto Delat/ and Alicia Agustín
Cameras: Andrey Nesteruk, Marlene Denningmann, Dmitry Vilensky; Katharina Duve; Karsten Wiesel
Set: Nikolay Oleynikov
Sound effect at the play: Arvild Baud
Sound mastering: Alexander Dudarev
Special thanks: Oxana Timofeeva and Gluklya Natalya Pershina and Schwabinggrad Ballett (Ted Gaier, Margarita Tsomou, Christine Schulz and Christoph Twickel); Hamburger Kunsthalle (Brigitte Kölle, Mira Forte, Petra Pirsch) and many our friends from Hamburg who consulted us and provided help and hospitality.
Maria Markina performed a poem by Maxim Gorky “The Song of the Stormy Petrel” (1901) at the happening at Hamburger Kunsthalle
Music: Revolutionary Étude by Frédéric Chopin
At the happening at Reeperbahn the fragment of the poem by Nikolay Oleynikov “Inspiration” (1932) was used.
The play and film was produced with the generous support of
Otto Runge Stiftung, Kampnagel Sommerfestival, Hamburg;
the postproduction of the film is supported by Gallery Apart, in collaboration with “Joan of Art”

Second and third part of the installation is a display with few objects specially made for performances documented in the film – the artificial fishes hang from the ceiling of the gallery and collection of hand painted aprons with a texts from the most famous Russian revolutionary poem of Maxim Gorky "The Song of the Stormy Petrel" and from the absurdist Soviet poet Nikolay Oleynikov (1932) which formed a base for the conceptual narrative of the play and whole composition of the installation.

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Александр Скидан // Pawel Lwowich Tselan, russkij poet

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Die Liebe loscht ihren Namen: sie

schreibt sich dir zu.

Paul Celan

Редко какой текст, посвященный Паулю Целану, упускает случай припомнить сакраментальную фразу Адорно о «невозможности поэзии после Освенцима», с тем, чтобы посрамить философа, а в его лице и мысль вообще: дескать, суха теория, а искусство дышит где хочет. В самом деле, разве не опровергает «Фуга смерти», да и вся поэзия Целана, еврея, чьи родители сгинули в немецком концлагере, максиму Адорно? Между тем, никакая это не максима, а вырванная из контекста, покалеченная цитата, которую, как культю, не возбраняется пользовать в культурных целях, что в точности соответствует той диалектике культуры и варварства, о которой как раз и ведет речь Адорно в работе «Критика культуры и общество». Целан знал, более того, в 1968-ом участвовал в семинаре Адорно (задолго до этого тень философа мелькает в «Меридиане» и «Разговоре в горах»); год спустя в письме он так отозвался на его смерть: «Я почувствовал боль, я и сейчас чувствую боль. Это тяжелая потеря. Он был гениальный человек, богато одаренный, и одарил его не дьявол. Теперь мы читаем некрологи – они такие безлюбые, кажется мне, ну что ж…». После этих слов, мы, быть может, сподобимся иными глазами прочитать то, что в «Негативной диалектике» (1966), переосмысляя сказанное им в 1949-м, говорит Адорно: «Многолетнее страдание имеет такое же право выразить себя, как истязаемый – кричать; поэтому, должно быть, ошибочно было утверждать, что после Освенцима писать стихи невозможно. Не ошибочен, однако, менее “культурный” вопрос: а можно ли после Освенцима продолжать жить тому, кто по справедливости должен был умереть, но благодаря случайности избежал смерти? Их длящееся существование уже с необходимостью подразумевает равнодушие, этот основополагающий принцип капиталистической субъективности, без которого Освенцим был бы невозможен: глубочайшая вина тех, кого пощадили. Как своего рода воздаяние, втайне их преследуют сны, в которых они не живы, а задохнулись в газовой камере в 1944 году, как если бы все их существование после этого свелось к чисто воображаемому, к эманации блуждающего, бесприютного желания того, кто был убит двадцать лет тому назад».

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Когда необходимо сказать мы: искусство как практики солидарности /выставочный проект/

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we

Exhibition project

When it is urgent to say WE

a project of Laboratory of Critical Art at

European Univercity, Sain Petersburg

Документация выставки

Проведенные в рамках выставки мероприятия:

29 мая в помещении выставки “Искусство как практики солидарности” в Европейском Университете состоялось обнародование крафт-книги Романа Осминкина Товарищ-вещь

голос: Роман Осминкин / гитара: Антон Командиров

Также выступила активистская группа “Аркадий Коц

стихи: Александр Бренер / голос, гитара: Кирилл Медведев / клавиши: Олег Журавлев

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Борьба на два фронта

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godard

Книга о «маоистском» периоде Годара, вышедшая в «Свободном марксистском    издательстве»

Борьба на два фронта
Жан-Люк Годар и группа Дзига Вертов. 1968 — 1972

Москва, 2010, 111 стр.

Составление : Кирилл Медведев, Кирилл Адибеков.

Перевод: Кирилл Адибеков, Борис Нелепо, Станислав Дорошенко, Кирилл Медведев,   kinote.ru.

Марксистский период в творчестве Годара некоторыми воспринимается как одна из   причуд его эксцентричного гения, другими — как лишнее доказательство того, что  подлинное новаторство в искусстве невозможно вне связи с освободительной политикой  и левой мыслью. Точно можно сказать одно: интуиция Годара привела художника в нужное время в нужные обстоятельства, и за несколько лет, прежде чем заодно с большинством интеллектуалов разочароваться в прямом политическом действии он сумел не только кардинально обновить собственное искусство, но, что важнее, существенно и глубоко, а вовсе не на уровне поверхностных веяний и конъюнктуры, развить критическую, брехтианскую линию в левом искусстве и арт-теории. В книге собраны материалы, связанные с этим периодом.

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Networks, partners and friends

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Here we mention our long-term collaboration partners and good friends – very sorry if we missed anyone

our works are represented by KOW Berlin

Russia

> Street Univercity, St. Petersburg 
https://streetuniver.narod.ru/index_e.htm

> MoscowArtMagazine ///Московский Художественный Журнал
http://xz.gif.ru/

> Russian Socialist Movement/ Российское Социалистическое Движение
http://socialists.su/

> DSPA /// Движение Сопротивления имени Петра Алексеева
http://dspa.info/

> May congress of creative workers /// Первомайскийконгресстворческихработников
https://may-congress.ru

> Collective Action Institute //ИнститутКоллективныхДействий
www.ikd.ru

> FreeMarxistPublishingHouse /// Свободное Марксистское Издательство (С.М.И.)
https://fmbooks.wordpress.com/

> Translit /// Альманах актуальной поэзии и теории “Транслит”
https://trans-lit.info/

> Галерея Экспериментального Звука (Experimental Sound Gallery)
https://www.gez21.ru/

> Европейский универиситет Спб/ European Univercity Saint Petersburg
https://www.eu.spb.ru/


Kiev

> Р.Е.П. / R.E.P. Revolutionary Experimental Space
https://www.rep.tinka.cc/

> Visual Culture Research Center https://vcrc.ukma.kiev.ua/en/


Berlin

> Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung
> KOW Gallery 

> Rosa Perutz is a self-organised discussion context, dealing with nationalism, statism, and the specific conditions of production and reproduction in contemporary art
https://perutz.copyriot.com/

> NGBK (Neue Gesselschaft fuer Bildende Kunst)
https://ngbk.de

> Interflugs ist eine selbstverwaltete und von Studierenden geleitete Organisation an der Universität der Künste Berlin www.interflugs.de

> Ex- Argentina & Potosi Principle net-work
(Alice Creischer and Andreas Siekmann) https://www.exargentina.org/
https://potosiprincipleprocess.wordpress.com/

– Hito Steyerl, Simon Sheikh, Boris Buden, Kathrin Becker, Kesrtin Stakemeier


Belgrade

> Biro for Culture and Communication (Vladan Jeremic and Rena Raedle)
https://birobeograd.info/

> Prelom Collective & Jelena Vesic
https://www.prelomkolektiv.org

> TkH is a Belgrade based independent platform for performing arts theory and practice
https://www.tkh-generator.net

> KUDA centar za nove medije, Novi Sad (Serbia)
https://kuda.org/


Buenos Aires

> Etcetera… formed in 1997 in Buenos Aires the group is composed of visual artists, poets, puppeteers and actors, most of who were under 20 at that time. They all shared the intention of bringing art to the site of immediate social conflict -the streets- and of bringing this conflict into arenas of cultural production, including the media and art institutions. https://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/grupoetcetera

Collectivo Situationes; Federico Geller; Eduardo Molinari


 Kopenhagen

> ex. Free University (Jakob Jakobsen)
https://www.copenhagenfreeuniversity.dk/

> The Learning Site focuses on the local conditions in which its art practice is located. This entails a critical examination of the material resources and economies available within specific situations. Each situation may entail examination of economic and environmental factors, but also labor rights, property rights and the production and distribution of knowledge, which are investigated in tandem to produce a variety of different critical perspectives.
https://www.learningsite.info/


Finnland

Perpetuum Mobilε, co-founded by Ivor Stodolsky and Marita Muukkonen, is a conduit and engine to bring together art, practice and enquiry. It acts as a vehicle to re-imagine certain basic historical, institutional as well as theoretical paradigms in these fields, which often exist in disparate institutional and political frames and territories. Perpetuum Mobilεzations include projects such as RE-ALIGNED (www.Re-Aligned.net), the Perpetual Romani-Gypsy Pavilion (www.PerpetualPavilion.org), The Arts Assembly (www.TheArtsAssembly.org) and Perpetuum Labs.


Graz

> Rotor https://rotor.mur.at


Israel

> The Israeli Center for Digital Art in Holon
https://www.digitalartlab.org.il/Index.asp

> Anarchists Against The Wall
https://www.awalls.org/


The Netherlands

> Artist at Occupy Amsterdam network
https://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/groups/155194434576968/

> BAK, Utrecht
https://www.bak-utrecht.nl/?go=0

> Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
https://www.vanabbemuseum.nl/

– Charles Eshe;Merijn Oudenampsen; Jimini Hignett; Matthijs de Bruijne; Thomas Peutz & Una Henry


Spain

> Universidad Nomada& Marcelo Exposito
www/universidadnomada.net/


London

> Mute Magazine – Culture and politics after the net
https://www.metamute.org/content/magazine

>Third Textis an international scholarly journal providing critical perspectives on art and visual culture. It examines the theoretical and historical ground by which the West legitimises its position as the ultimate arbiter of what is significant within this field.
https://www.thirdtext.com/

> Precarious Workers Brigade are a UK-based growing group of precarious workers in culture & education. We call out in solidarity with all those struggling to make a living in this climate of instability and enforced austerity.
https://precariousworkersbrigade.tumblr.com/

> Historical Materialism is a Marxist journal, appearing four times a year, based in London. Founded in 1997, it asserts that, notwithstanding the variety of its practical and theoretical articulations, Marxism constitutes the most fertile conceptual framework for analysing social phenomena, with an eye to their overhaul. In our selection of materials, we do not favour any one tendency, tradition or variant. https://www.historicalmaterialism.org

> no.w.here is a not for profit artist run organization based in Tower Hamlets
https://www.no-w-here.org.uk

– Steve Edwards, Gail Day, John Roberts, Susan Kelly


Ljubliana

> REARTIKULACIJA is an art project of the group Reartikulacija (Marina Gržinić, Staš Kleindienst, Sebastjan Leban and Tanja Passoni). It is based on a precise intervention logic; through contemporary political theory, critic, art projects, activism and self-organization, it aims to intervene in the Slovene, Balkan and international space. The platform allows networking with other political subjects, activists, artists, who are interested in the possibility to create and maintain a dialogue with concrete social and political spaces in Slovenia, Europe and worldwide.
https://www.reartikulacija.org/?page_id=2

> Radical Education Collective
https://radical.temp.si/history/

Bojana Pishkur, Marina Grzinic, Zdenka Badovinac, Vadim Fishkin, Mladen Dolar, Slavoj Zizek


Milano

> Disobedience Archive is an ongoing, multi-phase project curated by Marco Scotini and produced and presented by PLAY platform for Film & Video. The first phase started in Berlin in January 2005 and after Prague the next step will be in Mexico City in September 2005. Disobedience is a video station and a platform of discussion dealing with the relationship between artistic practices and political action. https://www.disobediencearchive.com/


Sao Paolo

> The BijaRi is a visual arts and multimedia breeding center. Developing projects in various platforms, the group operates between analog and digital media offering artistic experimentations, especially of a critical nature. Urban interventions, performances, installations, video art and design become a means to engage people, generating impact that generates a questioning of the current reality.
https://www.bijari.com.br/?lang=en


Sydney

>Zanny Begg – artist and activist web site
https://www.zannybegg.com


US

> 16 Beaver is the address of a space initiated/run by artists to create and maintain an ongoing platform for the presentation, production, and discussion of a variety of artistic/cultural/economic/political projects. It is the point of many departures/arrivals. https://www.16beavergroup.org/

> Greg Sholette web site
https://gregorysholette.com

> Artist Organisation
https://www.temporaryservices.org/

> Brian Holmes blog
https://brianholmes.wordpress.com/

> Creative Time
https://creativetime.org

> Tidal, occupy strategy journal
https://www.occupytheory.org/


Zagreb

> WHW (What, How and for Whom?) / Galerija Nova, curators collective
https://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/groups/70785898206/

> Theater collective Bad.co
https://badco.hr/

> FRAKCIJA, a Performing Arts Magazine
https://www.cdu.hr/frakcija/


International networks

> eipcp – European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies and multilingual web journal
https://eipcp.net/transversal

> Former West a long-term international research, education, publishing, and exhibition project (2008–2014), which from within the field of contemporary art and theory: (1) reflects upon the changes introduced to the world (and thus to the so-called West) by the political, cultural, artistic, and economic events of 1989; (2) engages in rethinking the global histories of the last two decades in dialogue with post-communist and postcolonial thought; and (3) speculates about a “post-bloc” future that recognizes differences yet evolves through the political imperative of equality and the notion of “one world.”
https://www.formerwest.org/About

> ArtLeaks is collective platform initiated by an international group of artists, curators, art historians and intellectuals in response to the abuse of their professional integrity and the open infraction of their labor rights. In the art world, such abuses usually disappear, but some events bring them into sharp focus and therefore deserve public scrutiny. https://art-leaks.org/

> International Errorist movement
https://erroristkabaret.wordpress.com/

> Ultrared
Activist art has come to signify a particular emphasis on appropriated aesthetic forms whose political content does the work of both cultural analysis and cultural action. The art collaboration Ultra-red propose a political-aesthetic project that reverses this model. If we understand organizing as the formal practices that build relationships out of which people compose an analysis and strategic actions, how might art contribute to and challenge those very processes? How might those processes already constitute aesthetic forms?
https://www.ultrared.org



Outdated

Documenta_12_magazines – was very important!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Documenta_12_magazines

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The First Open 48-hours May Congress-Commune of creative workers will take place in Moscow, April 29-30, 2010.

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In the course of the two days, artists, researchers, translators, teachers, curators, union leaders, journalists, writers and musicians from all over the country will take part in several round-table discussions, talk-marathons, poetry readings and concerts. In the recent years, most of the participants have been part of important artistic and research initiatives that address the social and economic situation of creative professionals in contemporary Russian society. As neo-liberalism continues to establish its hold, its ugly manifestations are becoming a daily reality for all of us. Not only are exploitation and lack of freedom taking on increasingly elaborate forms, but also the very resourcefulness and the creative potential of an artist or researcher are appropriated and capitalized on by employers. It is against this backdrop that the issues raised by the phenomenon of precarious labor are becoming ever more pressing. It is our conviction that the reassessment of precarious workers’ position in today’s economic structure calls for a joint action in search of a new cultural space and an alternative educational platform outside of and beyond the fraudulent logic of the neo-liberal market economy. Alongside the struggle against the injustice at a work-place, collective advocacy of civil rights within professional unions, and the street-politics of manifestations and protests we are now making another crucial step towards the re-examination of our position and therefore, towards change. The May Congress builds on and develops the experience of several earlier projects, such as “Drift. Narvskaya Zastava” (St. Petersburg – Moscow, 2004-2005), “Self-Education(s)” (exhibition, Moscow, 2006), “68.08. Street Politics” (exhibition, Moscow, 2008) and “Leftist art. Leftist history. Leftist philosophy. Leftist poetry.” (seminar, Nizhny Novgorod, 2009) among others. The Congress proceedings will be organized around two main thematic clusters: LABOR and SELF-ORGANIZATION. The third, practice-oriented, part will take place in the morning, on May 1, the International Workers’ Day that celebrates unity and solidarity, when the Congress participants will walk out into the streets of Moscow to form their own joyful and creative column.

The Congress will provide modest dorm-like accommodations for its participants on the premises of Proekt-Fabrika.

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Chto Delat? / What is to be Done?

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Chto Delat publication

at Seccesion, Vienna
Posters Time line and Lexicon

The collective Chto Delat (What is to be done?) was founded in early 2003 in Petersburg by a workgroup of artists, critics, philosophers, and writers from St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Nizhny Novgorod with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism.

The group was constituted in May 2003 in St. Petersburg in an action called “The Refoundation of Petersburg.” Shortly afterwards, the original, as yet nameless core group began publishing an international newspaper called Chto Delat?. The name of the group derives from a novel by the Russian 19th century writer Nikolai Chernyshevsky, and immediately brings to mind the first socialist worker’s self-organizations in Russia, which Lenin actualized in his own publication, “What is to be done?” (1902). Chto Delat sees itself as a self-organized platform for a variety of cultural activities intent on politicizing “knowledge production” through redefinitions of an engaged autonomy for cultural practice today.

The array of activities is coordinated by a core group including following members:

Tsaplya Olga Egorova (artist, Petersburg), Artiom Magun (philosopher, Petersburg), Nikolay Oleynikov (artist, Moscow), Natalia Pershina/Glucklya (artist, Petersburg), Alexey Penzin (philosopher, Moscow), David Riff (art critic, Moscow) – active till 2011, Alexander Skidan (poet, critic, Petersburg), Oxana Timofeeva (philosopher, Moscow), and Dmitry Vilensky (artist, Petersburg). In 2012 the choreographer Nina Gasteva has joined a collective after few years of intense collaboration (since 2012). Since then many Russian and international artist and researchers has participated in different projects realized under the collective name Chto Delat? (see descriptions of each projects on this web site)

020_opening-kronstadt

Chto Delat? collective in Kronstadt in 2005
Standing: from the right: Oleynikov, Gluklya, Timofeeva, Shuvalov, Tsaplya, Riff, Penzin; Sitting: Magun and Vilensky

 

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Recent Selected Publications

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– Global Activism, Art and conflicts in 21st century, a ZKMbook, MIT Press, Cambridge, London

– Entry Points: The Vera List Center Manual on Art and Social Justice, No. 1, VERA LIST CENTER FOR ART AND POLITICS, THE NEW SCHOOL, 2015 


 

Chto Delat. Time capsule. Artistic report on catastrophes and Utopia. Published on the occasion of the Chto Delat exhibition at Seccesion, Vienna, November 2014


 Chto Delat catalogue published by Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, 2011 VERLAG DER BUCHHANDLUNG WALTHER KÖNIG with a contribution by Simon Sheikh, Victor Misiano and Johan Holten at:


The best of times, The worst of times, the catalogue of the first Biennale of Contemporary Art, Kiev, 2012

LIVING AS FORM, SOCIALLY ENGAGED ART FROM 1991 – 2011, EDITED BY NATO THOMSON, CREATIVE TIME BOOKS, MIT PRESS, 2012

MUHTELIF, GÜNCEL SANAT YAYINI / CONTEMPORARY ART PUBLICATION ISTANBUL, NUMBER 6, 2012


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