School


Festival “Poor Dialectics”

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poverty/poor/the poor/ – addressing these concepts immediately places us within the harsh confines of dialectical relations. It compels us to think in terms of oppositions:

weak – strong

little – big

fragmentary – whole

infirm – all-powerful

poor man – rich man

extranormative – normative

oppressed – oppressor

colonized – colonizer

and so on.

 

We know that the problem of poverty relates to theology – a certain religious view of the way the world is organized, though at the same time liberation theology sees in poverty both the source of sin and the potential for salvation. But not the kind of salvation that translates certain qualities into their opposites (that which is poor becomes wealth and strength); salvation understood as a mystical, transformative event, negating all divisions and leading to the creation of a new world, in which the oppositions of the previous world have been dismantled. How can that happen? In the past, this type of transformation was called revolution, the coming of the messiah, or kenosis. The term “kenosis” signifies Christ’s self-abasement through becoming human, to the point of willingly accepting the agony of the cross and death. Kenosis represented an act of self-abnegation – Jesus renounced his unlimited divine power, becoming embodied in human form and assuming the image of a slave, while yet not ceasing to be god. By this act, he demonstrates the possibility of a new type of transformation, constitutive of his authority: refusal of power for the sake of obtaining what is greater than power – justice, the equality of each with all, surmounting life’s finitude. More recently, similar theological premises have often provided the foundation for a multitude of philosophical conceptions – consider Badiou’s criticism of Agamben in his book Logic of Worlds, where he speaks of “being as weakness,” a weakness that at the same time corresponds to what Badiou calls the “delicate, almost secret persistence of life, that which remains to one who has nothing left.”

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Зачем становится художником. Опыт Школы Вовлеченного Искусства

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новый сборник материалов о работе Школы в период с 2013 по 2016. Эта издание является одной из первых попыток проанализировать ситуацию, сложившуюся с художественным образованием в современном искусстве в России. Кроме текстов известных практиков и теоретиков современного искусства сборник включает в себя тексты и документацию проектов студентов Школы Вовлеченного Искусства.

Публикация издательства Фонда Розы Люксембург под редакцией коллектива «Что Делать». Книга распространяется свободно.

Авторы книги: Антон Видокль, Дмитрий Виленский, Глюкля Наталья Першина, Нина Гастева, Николай Олейников, Джонатан Б. Платт, Цапля Ольга Егорова, Никита Кадан, Виктор Мизиано, Маттиас Мейндл, Наталья Панкина, Кэти Чухров, Тина Фарни, Лиза Хоффман.

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Jonathan Brooks Platt | Alternative Institutions and Intimate Counter-Publics

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In the context of contemporary Russian artistic and intellectual life, the significance of the Chto Delat School for Engaged Art and Rosa’s House of Culture is difficult to overstate. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union (and, indeed, during the years of perestroika that preceded it) Russian radical art practices have for the most part been profoundly public and performative in orientation. Whether taking the form of street actions, gallery-based performances, or longer-term social interventions based on research—most recent additions to the canon of Russian art have involved public display or the display of the public, while more contemplative projects have been far rarer.

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The School of Engaged Art

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How does one become an artist?

Why should one become an artist?

 What is art today and what role does it play in society?

We aren’t sure that we have ready answers for these and other urgent questions, and this is why we started the school—to meet the younger generation and work out together what is happening with art and the subjectivity of artists here and now, in contemporary Russia.

What do we want from an art school?

First of all, we have no illusions about the miserable situation in which contemporary art finds itself today.  Least of all are we inclined to indulge the free play of “differences” (of little concern to anyone), which provides an excuse for withdrawing from any kind of responsible position.  We want to go against the grain of things and insist that art remains essential for human becoming, that art is always a gesture of negation and a call for the world (and oneself) to become other.  This is what defines the engaged position of the artist in society.  Art, like philosophy, has always been and still remains a special space in which debates about truth can occur.

But how can one defend this position today, when all talk of truth is suspect, interesting only the marginalized, and the borders between art and life, art and media, art and the social sciences, art and activism have been effaced to such an extent that any desire or opportunity to redefine the meaning of art is blocked?

What knowledge should an artist possess?

How should such knowledge be evaluated?

Who has the power to judge whether an artwork is good or bad?

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Documentation of activities of the School of Engaged Art in 2014-2015

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Graduates:
Elena Stolbtseva, Irina Aksenova, Ekaterina Shalgamova, Yulia Yakubovitch, Anna Sokolova, Maria Lukjanova, Nadezda Nikiforova, Anastasya Ryabtzeva, Tonya Melnik, Valentina Petrova, Sasha Katchko, Alena Isakhanyan, Natalya Pankova, Nadezda Kalyamina, Alexander Budaev, Denis Semenov, Svetlana Kalinitcheva


 

Bulletin of the School of Engaged Art №4



in a framework of the exhibition
O yeah, I remember!

Participants: Elena Stolbtseva, Irina Aksenova, Ekaterina Shalgamova, Yulia Yakubovitch, Anna Sokolova, Maria Lukjanova, Nadezda Nikiforova, Anastasya Ryabtzeva, Tonya Melnik, Valentina Petrova, Sasha Katchko, Alena Isakhanyan, Natalya Pankova, Nadezda Kalyamina, Alexander Budaev, Denis Semenov, Svetlana Kalinitcheva, Liza Syomitcheva and Ilya Firdman

Tutors: Nina Gasteva, Tsaplya Olga Egorova, Nikolay Oleynikov and Dmitry Vilensky

 

Bulletin of the School of Engaged Art №3

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Documentation of activities of the School of Engaged Art in 2013-2014

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Documentation of the performance Atlas is tired (June 2014, with English subtitles)

Атланты. Документация перформанса Школы Вовлеченного Искусства //// Atl from chto delat on Vimeo.

Bulletin of the School of Engaged Art №2

Documentation of the Learning Play (January 2014, Factory, Moscow) 

Быстрее! Острее! Аппетитнее! from chto delat on Vimeo.

Bulletin of the School of Engaged Art №1

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