Сurator: Elizabeth M. Grady
The contemporary moment is rife with “posts”: Post-Cold War, post-Communist, post 9-11, post-modern, post-colonial, post-national… Blogs embody decentralized communities of identity-shifting “post-ers” who together determine the parameters of everything from what’s hip to the next revolution, offering a faux-reality of democratic access and collectivist practice. But what is left to us when we’re offline? How do we come to terms with the reality of our decidedly non-ideal or falsely idealized cultural, social, political, and even material positions?
We must address The Situation.
Burdened by the history of opposition between socialist and so-called “free”-market democratic political and economic models, we have arrived at a place where the disappointed hopes of both systems are obvious, and the idea of reconciling them fraught with land mines, both real and intellectual. Failed utopia has given way to a surreal existence where displacement from accustomed social roles, as well as homes, work spaces, and communities leads to improvised choices made within unexpected parameters. Such choices can, in the words of the Cuban artist Alexandre Arrechea, “become a definitive weapon,” in resisting oppression and repression.
Artists respond to this circumstance in varied ways, some addressing the precariousness of life by assembling their sculptures from random objects that teeter, threatening to overbalance and fall, while others make haphazard constructions out of detritus and actual garbage. Some improvise while installing, allowing conditions to dictate the final form of their work, just as we constantly readjust strategies for managing our affairs. Finally, there are those who choose to indicate life’s absurdity by making works that turn a surreal eye to seemingly ordinary situations, pointing out the awkward and peculiar in the collective unconscious that determines our definition of the everyday. Actively resisting outworn paradigms, each seeks to create an independent map for survival, readjusting his or her stance in order not to stumble over life’s uncertain and ever-shifting footing. Perhaps in their strategies and works, we may find new solutions to our own collective predicaments.
- Alexandre Arrechea (Cuba)
- Vasil Artamonov (Czech Republic / Russia) and Alexej Klyuykov (Czech Republic / Russia)
- Zbynek Baladrán (Czech Republic)
- Alina and Jeff Bliumis (USA / Belarus ; USA / Moldova)
- Ofri Cnaani (USA / Israel)
- Eva Davidova (USA / Bulgaria)
- Radim Labuda (Slovakia)
- Sergio Prego (USA / Spain)
- Pavla Sceranková (Slovakia)
- Craig Shillitto (USA)
- Jiri Skála (Czech Republic)
- Elisabeth Smolarz (USA / Poland)
- Kiran Subbaiah (India)
- Tomaz Tomazin (Slovenia)
- Yarisal and Kublitz (USA / Switzerland ; USA / Denmark)
- Zhang Xianyong (China)