Slavs and Tatars, Friendship of Nations: Polish Shi’ite Showbiz, a piece from their exhibition at the 10th Biennale in Sharjah, photo: courtesy of the artists
The mysterious artistic collective Slavs and Tatars present their works from the past ten years at the Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius. The Mouth to Mouth exhibition will include installations, videos and performances by the group, and will be their first such comprehensive solo exhibition in the Baltic region.
Founded in 2006 by a Polish-Iranian duo, Slavs and Tatars is an artistic collective comprised of artists who wish to remain anonymous. Over the years they have been joined by artists from around the globe whose goal is to travel, conduct research, live on-and-off in Eurasia and plan to ‘dedicate the rest of [their] lives to this region, and want to share [their] enthusiasm for it with others.’ Their work includes exhibitions, publications, installations and performance art – they often use traditional arts and crafts as a technique and inspiration.
The Mouth to Mouth exhibition at CAC Vilnius will look back at the past ten years of the collective’s work. It will be their first such comprehensive solo exhibition in the Baltic region. The title of this ‘retrospective’ brings to mind the resuscitation method used to save lives, while at the same time referring to oral history – the transmission of tradition, stories, prayers, whispers jokes and rumours. The works by Slavs and Tatars ‘resuscitation’ changes its meaning – it is not an emergency, it is not urgent, yet brings unity, cohesion and exchange. Lips can be used to eat, to love, as well as to pray, bite or save a life.
The show will consist of installations, videos and performance-lectures created by the group in the last decade. In light of current events in Europe, this important and relative presentation of the region will contribute to raising awareness of global cultural history, the role of religion and political debate. The exhibition at the CAC in Vilnius there will include several major themes, one of which will be about nationalist movements in the region and will present references to both Polish and Lithuanian thinkers from the 19th century and political language.
Throughout their ten-years of work, the artists have researched, among others, the Turkish political discourse, medieval literature, the relationship between Iran and Poland and transliteration. Eurasia, a region sandwiched between empires (Russian, Byzantine, Persian, to name a few), ideologies (Communism and political Islam), not to mention the Abrahamic religion, it has become a key to understanding the complexity of modernity.
Curator: Monika Lipšic
The Adam Mickiewicz Institute, under its flagship brand Culture.pl, is a partner of the project.
Source: promotional materials, compiled by MK, 6 Sep 2017, translated by NR
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