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School of Engaged Art Newspapers # Reader Back to School

Back to School – a reader on performative education

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Dmitry Vilensky

Buy Cialis Online – 20 mg – What Could be Done with Manifesta Here?

In recent months, our friends buy cialis online have often asked us (members of Chto Delat collective) to comment on the situation around the realization of Manifesta 10 in Petersburg. We have had many personal conversations, skypes and mails but now, it looks like it is time to summarize things in public.

I have already written a critique on the boycott position (recently updated call to boycott Manifesta can be seen generic cialis at the official web-site of AICA: https://www.aicanederland.org/manifestas-unfortunate-choice-of-location/), and my position has not changed: a boycott focusing on the local attack on LGBT rights will not benefit but rather harm both local civil society as well as the potential audience of contemporary art in Russia. Putinism never took seriously such measures. Without further discussing why the boycott doesn’t work, it is quite buy viagra online clear that if the goal is to repeal repressive legislation, one needs to use more sophisticated and complex modes of pressure cialis tadalafil by creating new zones of public life where all forms of confrontation could become visible.

So, what could be done with Manifesta here?

A)

We have received and accepted a pre-invitation of Kasper Konig to participate in his exhibition. It is very important heart attack for us and we are in a process of developing a full scale project around our old film “The Tower: a Songspiel”. This musical order cialis online was realized in 2010 and it was our reflection on the civic resistance to the construction of the Gazprom Tower in St. Petersburg. Unfortunately the film has not lost its political actuality – four years later, we still face the shameless greed of corporation like Gazprom, the disgraceful clericalization of public life, a glut of sheer physical violence, the conscious destruction of civil society and its social space. Our work focuses on finding an artistic language for reflecting and opposing such issues, and therefore often meets a cold reception from Russian institutions, aside from some exceptions. Thus, it is crucial for us to show this piece to the local public. It was never shown properly in Petersburg, and the visibility that Manifesta-Hermitage could provide would vault into above the safe horizon of invisibility into the realm of broader political and artistic significance. This is a minefield of dangers, including direct censorship, at the first sign of which we will have to withdraw from the show.

Active ingredient also we are 36 hours looking forward to participate with our new School for Engaged art (1) in different forms increased blood of collaboration with the Manifesta Public Program as long as it makes sense for our mutual interest. At the moment, it looks like that our possibilities of collaboration with the Manifesta’s Educational program buy cialis is not welcomed from their side.

B)

Categories
announcements

Music

We are going to develop this section with sets of different sound tracks from our films and a special radio program that we have been producing recently. Also we publish some favorite music samples for inspiration. 

 

Music for the Chto Delat film Partisan Songspiel. Belgrade Story composed by Mikhail Krutik  (2009)

Song lyrics by Tsaplya, Dmitry Vilensky written in collaboration with Vladan Jeremic and Rena Raedle.

Categories
#11- 35 Language at/of the border

#11- 35: Language at/of the border

35_border

 

The idea for this issue arose when we begin working on our film A Border Musical, whose screenplay is also printed here. This film is based on a study of the situation on both sides of the Russian-Norwegian border: we were interested in how a range of differences, which inevitably serve as sources of conflict in border areas, shape the subjectivity of people in daily contact with each other.

Borderlands always aggravate differences – political and social, behavioral, linguistic and economic, and so on. The border’s physicality, particularly in the form of rigid paramilitary zones impeding the free circulation of people, causes anyone who becomes caught up in their force fields to re-examine the world and themselves. On the map of the world, such areas have always been not only the focus of geopolitical tensions, but also special habitats encouraging the development of new forms of language, behavior and culture. The border is a place for experiment, a zone of mobility and change.

The history of state borders has always been a history of violence: a history of wars, militarization, securitization, bureaucratic control, biopolitical regulation, forced displacement, flight and migration. Historically, state borders are shaped by the balance of violence. The winners dictate them to the losers, without taking into account either real geography or ethnicity. Borders separate “us” from “them,” and these divisions are set down in documents determining state loyalties and citizenship. Paradoxically, borders, which are always artificial forms, are an essential factor of existence, shaping not only the lives of people, but also impacting the natural environment and the animal world.

Categories
#11- 35 Language at/of the border

Tsaplya Olga Egorova and Dmitry Vilensky // The Script of A Border Musical

Radio broadcast and the song “I Love My Cold Land” by Jesper Alvaer

 

The Characters

Characters from the Russian side of the border:

  • Tanya, wife of Ola Nordmann. Former director of the children’s choir in the Russian town of Nikel, she plays the accordion. She still has a poor grasp of Norwegian.
  • A Chorus of Miners. Manifestations of Tanya’s conscience, her “inner miners,” the men double as workers at the local mine and processing plant.

Characters from the Norwegian side of the border:

  • Ola Nordmann (“John Q. Public”), Tanya’s husband. Owner of a trucking company, Ola himself enjoys getting behind the wheel of a big truck from time to time.
  • A Friend. Ola Nordmann’s schoolmate, he currently works in the civil service.
  • Child Welfare Inspector
  • First Neighbor Lady
  • Second Neighbor Lady
  • Third Neighbor Lady

 

Categories
Border Musical /2013/

Border Musical, 2013

border musical (web version) – a film by Chto Delat from chto delat on Vimeo.

Border Musical – a film by Chto Delat
Premiere of the new Border Musical newly created by the collective Chto Delat for Barents Spektakel, 2013

Run time: 48:30 min.

Ola from Finnmark meets Tanja from Kola. They fall in love, Tanja abandons her past and moves with her son to her new husband. Through joys and challenges of their mixed marriage we get a glimpse into today’s Russia-Norwegian borderland across cultural and social norms and values. How our behaviour and worldview are influenced by culturally laden relations between individual, family and society? To what degree we are responsible for our actions and to what degree we leave it to the state? Who defines areas of responsibility? The Norwegian state and Ola’s best friend help the couple to build up a family based on the sound Norwegian values.

BORDER MUSICAL is not a description of the reality; it is a reality served in a spicy manner: through polished language and sharp definitions, exaggerated images and multifaceted characters, bizarre movements and eccentric scenes. Why cheer a mutual understanding when we learn from our differences?

Director: Tsaplya Olga Egorova

Idea, Screenplay, Set and Edit: Tsaplya Olga Egorova and Dmitry Vilensky in cooperation with Jesper Alvær.

Composer: Mikhail Krutik.

Director of Photography: Artyom Ignatov.

Cast: Anna Bulavina, Haldor Lægreid, Ketil Høegh, Maryon Eilertsen, Kristine Henriksen, Camilla Wiig Revholt, Ann Christin Elverum, Egor Semenkov, Nikolay Kurbatov, Mikhail Baranov, Andrey Molodchinin.

Choreographer: Nina Gasteva.

Producer: Pikene på Broen in cooperation with KORO, Bergen Assembly, FilmCamp, Filmgården and many others.

 

Categories
Performance Where has Communism Gone?

Where Has Communism Gone? (Former West, 2013)

We are used to the reality principle of one-dimensional liberal propaganda, according to which, nothing can be better than the present state of things, which in fact means the neoliberal economy accompanied by the rhetoric of human rights and legal democracy. They say that communism was a utopian project, which ended in disaster, with violence and totalitarianism, and that the only thing we have left to do is to forget all hope for a better future for society and rather focus on our individual lives, to enjoy this eternal present, to use our possibilities and skills in order to succeed in working our way up a pyramid built of money, trampling the heads of others as we climb.

However, today, after decades of excessive ideological overproduction of the monstrosity of communism, a general anti-communist phobia has ended in a new disappointment. The liberal utopia, based on the notion of free individuals freely operating in a free market, was demolished by the intervention of the reality of a global economic, political, and ecological crisis. From this perspective, all the debates about communism became valuable and actual again, not only with communism as a valuable experience from the past, but also as an alternative for the future.

The only problem is nobody really takes it seriously.

Neoliberal institutions easily give their money to any kind of creative and sophisticated critic of the present, taking for granted that all these debates are based on market exchange, and that all the ideas discussed have their own nominal values. The ghost of communism still wanders around, and to transform it into a commodity form seems a good way to finally get rid of it. Conferences and artistic events dedicated to the idea of communism are going on one after another, speakers are paid or non-paid, advertisement production machines function well, and the sphere turns round as before.

But beyond this exhausting machinery of actualization and commodification, we still have as a potentiality this totally new desire of communism, the desire which cannot but be shared, since it keeps in itself a “common” of communism, a claim for togetherness, so ambiguous and problematic among the human species. This claim cannot be privatized, calculated, and capitalized since it exists not inside individuals, but between them, between us, and can be experienced in our attempts to construct this space between, to expose ourselves inside this “common” and to teach ourselves to produce it out of what we have as social beings.

We invite you to think, discuss, and live through these issues together at our seminar and try to find a form of representation for our debate.

During this seminar the platform is represented by Tsaplya Olga Egorova, Nina Gasteva, Artemy Magun, Alexey Penzin, Natalya Pershina, David Riff, Oxana Timofeeva, Alexander Skidan, and Dmitry Vilensky.

About FORMER WEST: Documents, Constellations, Prospects

FORMER WEST: Documents, Constellations, Prospects consists of artworks, talks, discussions, rehearsals, and performances in various constellations of documents and prospects that offer a multitude of encounters with the public for negotiating the way of the world from 1989 to today, and thinking beyond. The seven-day period is guided by five currents that feature contemporary negotiations on Art Production, Infrastructure, and Insurgent Cosmopolitanism, with Dissident Knowledges contributions offering dynamic interventions into the ongoing program with artworks, performances, and statements. Finally, Learning Place operates alongside the full program involving students in workshops and inviting them to engage in the week of discussions.

Conceptualized by Maria Hlavajova and Kathrin Rhomberg in collaboration with Boris Buden, Boris Groys, Ranjit Hoskote, Katrin Klingan, and Irit Rogoff. FORMER WEST: Documents, Constellations, Prospects is a joint project by Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin and BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht.

Categories
Mutual Aid Fund

Selected projects supported by Chto Delat Mutual Aid Fund 2009-2012

You Don’t Have to Be Leftist to Think Like That.
An Exhibition as a School (2012)
GEZ-21, Pushkinskaya-10 Art Center, Petersburg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The line “You don’t have to be leftist to think like that” was uttered by a striking worker in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1972 film “Tout va bien”. Forty years later, it has the same ring as it did then: not as a depoliticizing slogan that abolishes a traditional way of marking political differences, but as a simple statement of the fact that leftist views and convictions have ceased to be a set of hackneyed ideologemes and are, rather, something basic to humanity’s survival.

Chto Delat starts from the notion that art and culture’s educational function are an essential aspect of its production of knowledge and meaning. Unlike other artists, who insist on art’s apolitical nature, Chto Delat has consistently upheld the idea that cultural production is implicated in the current political struggle and that cultural workers must constantly insist on the value of emancipatory politics and counteract culture’s commercialization.

In our exhibition projects we aim to create spaces and situations where audience and artworks engage with each other. In this project we want to turn the process of conceiving and producing an exhibition into a continuous series of workshops, seminars and round tables on art’s role in political development. We are confident of the project’s relevance for the current Russian conjuncture, in which the general public has shown greater interest in issues of political education and the desire to take responsibility for the country’s development. The project aims to equip participants with a set of creative tools for critically analyzing, understanding, liberating and transforming society.

But how can we achieve these aims given the absence of a civil society, at a time when the authorities show a flagrant disregard for both their own basic obligations and the law, thus untying the hands of the most reactionary forces and openly encouraging their violence?

It is a natural reaction to events in our country to come out against the authorities, join in the democratic demands of anti-government forces, and get involved in rallies and protest campaigns. But will anything change by endlessly chanting the mantra “The government has got to go”?

The question arises as to what kind of society can and must replace it. We believe that the most acute issue now is the development of an alternative public space for intellectual and political resistance. Obviously, this space can be generated only by a broad network of self-organized initiatives that require no external hierarchical coordination, because they will be based on the specific solidarity of cooperation.

Poster for “You Don’t Have to be Leftist to Think Like That”

This network must be recreated everywhere—in everyday life, at work, in the streets, at home. If this model of civil society is unable to achieve a critical mass of participants, superficial transformations of power will not lead to significant real changes. Culture and art have always played an essential role in man’s formation. They are our principal defense from the constant threat of barbarism. It is therefore necessary to fight for their values and oppose all forms of clericalism, bigotry, slavery and outright violence. The authorities understand this all too well and are thus carrying out a directed assault on the very idea of secular, critical and politically committed culture and education. Intellectual and research work, seriously underestimated by the opposition, can and should be a focus of the new mobilization as the unequal confrontation between state and society continues. To make this happen, we need to tackle a number of our own specific problems, which would help us impact the situation and turn it in a direction for which we are prepared to take responsibility.

 

Based on a real understanding of our circumstances, we first need to articulate our mission in our own workplace—that is, amongst people engaged in the production of culture, education and research.

We should first articulate these tasks and demands for ourselves, without holding out the hope that the current powers that be are in the least capable of carrying them out. On the contrary, we articulate them with a clear understanding that only a decisive change in the political situation can make it possible to begin the ambitious program of cultural transformation without which our society will be thrown backwards for many decades.

We want our project to serve as a platform for generating cooperation and consolidation within the fragmented and as yet apolitical milieu of cultural workers. If we do not do this now, tomorrow it may happen that most basic foundations of contemporary art, culture and education will not only be threatened, but will simply disappear from the map of the places where they had a chance to materialize.

And you don’t have to be leftist at all to think like that and make sure this does not happen.


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1st and 2nd May Congress Moscow (2010/1011)

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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we

When it is urgent to say WE

Research and exhibition 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“, а также выступила активистская группа “Аркадий Коц


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godard

Free Marxist Publishing House

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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The newspaper of Street Univercity 2009 and 2010

Second issue of the StreetUniversity group’s newspaper. In Russian.

First issue was published as a numbered issue of Chto Delat newspaper. See here.

Categories
The Russian Woods #2012

The Russian Woods

Русский Лес /// The Russian woods from chto delat on Vimeo.
Duration 42 min
Script & Idea: Tsaplya and Dmitry Vilensky
Music: Mikhail Krutik
Choreography: Nina Gasteva
Set & graphics: Nikolay Oleynikov
The participants in performance: Irina Pavlovskaya; Polina Popova; Elena Pasynkova; Sergey Krylov; Petr Pavlensky; Svetlana Erpyleva; Maxim Kulaev

Our work on the musical performance “Russian Woods” was largely provoked by political developments in Russia last winter. By participating in these important events that all of sudden have emerged inside Russian civil society, we were intrigued by the huge amount of use of mythic images and rhetoric, both from the government and from the protesters. We found that this phenomenon is not by chance and really reflects the level of a political culture in the country. And we wanted to try to analyze it in the form of a fairy tail story that would be able to not only reflect the totality of socio-political structure of our society, but also think about the possibilities of its transformation.

The film is based on the documentation of the theatrical performance which happened in St. Petersburg on 2nd of May 2012

Film Concept and script: Vilensky Dmitry & Tsaplya (Olga Egorova); Director: Tsaplya (Olga Egorova); Composer: Mikhail Krutik; Choreography: Nina Gasteva; Graphics and Set: Nikolay Oleynikov and Dmitry Vilensky; Director of Photography: Artyom Ignatov

This film is a production of the Chto Delat collective

ARSENALE
The First Kyiv International Biennial of Contemporary Art

This film was produced with support from the Chto Delat Mutual Aid Fund.

The English version of this play was staged on 25th of March in a framework of the festival “Speaking and understanding” // Episode 3 Copying without copying, concept and production by Arika (arika.org.uk)

Categories
Museum Songspiel /2011/

Museum Songspiel: The Netherlands 20XX (2011)

Museum Songspiel: The Netherlands 20XX from chto delat on Vimeo.

A Film by Chto Delat?; 2011

Director: Olga Egorova (Tsaplya)
Music: Mikhail Krutik
Set: Dmitry Vilensky and Natalya Pershina (Gluklya)
Costumes: Natalya Pershina (Gluklya)
Choreography: Nina Gasteva
Script: Olga Egorova (Tsaplya) and Dmitry Vilensky

The fourth songspiel by Chto Delat? represents a similar new form of contemporary tragedy as the first three musicals of the “Songspiel-triptych”. But whereas the first three productions were based on accounts of historical events the “Museum-Songspiel” realized in a tradition of dystopia film. The script takes place against the backdrop of an imaginary scenario of Dutch politics in the year 20XX, where all immigrants have been banned from the country.

The first scene – which in contrast to all most other scenes of the film was shot on location at the Van Abbemuseum – shows a Museum’s guard who is controlling the galleries. The dramatic soundtrack accompanying the scene seems to anticipate his confusion, when stumbling upon a group of illegal immigrants, who have sought refuge in a large display case designed for street art incorporated into the museum. The museum seems to be the only institution in which they hope to be able to evade their deportation. The situation reminiscent of a (human) zoo, where one group is separated from another through a large glass wall, is finally resolved when the museum director tells the outraged journalist, that the museum never intended to hide the immigrants from the authorities in the first place, rather they were merely hired as actors for a performance.

The film raises the frightening question of which particular role the museum and therefore also art might be forced to play under political circumstances borrowed from the realities of Russian current political situation. The film is a kind of acid test on how socially concerned art might operate under severe pressure of control by nationalistic populist governments.

The work is a co-production of the Van Abbemuseum, SMART Project Space and Chto Delat?

Distribution and inquiries: SMART Project Space, Amsterdam

Cast:

Museum director
William Sutton

Curator
Willemijn van der Ree

Artist
Lesley Korpos

Journalist
Igmar de Haan

Security guard
Huip van Dijk

First visitor
Claartje van Swaaij

Second visitor
Ruud Drupsteen

Camera man
Wouter van der Wiele

Immigrants:
Derkan Atakan
Dorgija Durasovic
Aurel Peleq
Salomee Rodenburg
Daniel Romali
Asya Vilensky

Museum attendants [choir]:
Lotte Bovi (mezzo-soprano)
Tim Maas (bass)
Frederique Klooster (soprano)
Anette Stallinga (alt)
Joost van Velzen (tenor)

Musicians:
Evgeny Shrednik (oboe), Mikhail Krutik (violin), Alexandra Zubova (violin), Alexey Bogorad (viola), Elena Grigoryeva (cello), Marina Krutik (piano)

Conductor for Choir recordings: Anton Pauw

Translations: Peter Wezel and Thomas Campbell

Camera: Artyom Ignatov and Tom Bierenbroodspot

Make up artist and hair: Loredana Secci

Stage production: Alex Lebbink and Jimini Hignett

Stage building and props: Jimini Hignett, Benjamin Roth, Avi Krispin, Pieter Paul Pothoven, Niels Vis

Production Accountant: Harry Raam

Special thanks to:

Museum of American Art, Berlin

Jimini Hignett

Merijn Oudenampsen