Slavs and Tatars
Opening: Friday 9 December 2011 - 20:00
Friendship of Nations: Polish Shi’ite Showbiz
The upcoming exhibition at KIOSK shows work of international artist collective Slavs and Tatars and of Dutch duo Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan. Both ground their artistic practice in research and explore the interactions between the historical, the social and the political by way of association.
By their own account, the artist collective Slavs and Tatars has, since its inception in 2005, been mapping an area that stretches between the former Berlin Wall and the Great Wall of China. They focus on an oft-overseen cultural overlap between Slavs, Caucasians and Central Asians and humorously but polemically disrupt a univocal Western interpretation. The installations, performances, lectures and print publications that make up these alternative spheres of influence, form a playful mosaic of associations combining elements from a spectrum of high and low culture.
At KIOSK, Slavs and Tatars present a number of works under the collective title Friendship of Nations: Polish Shi’ite Showbiz. The solo show is in part an elaboration of the project of the same name they presented at the tenth Sharjah Biennial earlier this year. The multimedia Friendship of Nations: Polish Shi’ite Showbiz shows the unlikely common history of Iran and Poland. The revolutionary potential of handiwork and folklore behind two important geopolitical shifts – the Iranian Revolution of 1979, and the fall of Communism in 1989 heralded by the Polish Solidarność – are activated and explored as a source of mystical protest. This subject was first explored in the 79.89.09. project that consisted of a series of lectures, a contribution to Berlin-based magazine 032c, a newspaper edition that is being reprinted for the KIOSK show, and the mirror mosaic Resist Resisting God (2010) that is also on display at KIOSK. Further, the central dome room will be taken in by a series of colourful sewn banners boasting re-interpreted, creolized slogans from the Iranian Revolution and the Solidarność movement.