Slavs and Tatars will present a lecture/performance, The Transliterative Tease, in the context of the current Neighbours exhibition at Istanbul Modern, which commissioned their newest pieces 'Nose Twister' and 'Lektor'.
Neighbours: Contemporary Narratives from Turkey and Beyond opened back in January at the Istanbul Modern and will be on view until 8 May 2014. With the participation of various international artists from neighbouring countries in Turkey, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Caucasus and the Middle East, the exhibition explores practices that relate to social life in the public space, such as spectacles and ceremonies, and the way these have seeped into today's visual arts. Neighbours also features visual artworks, as well as performance and plays, including extensions of disciplines that have developed outside the academic circles of art, such as political cartoons and folk art.
In addition to their most current pieces Nose Twister and Lektor that are on view at the exhibition, Polish and Iranian duo Slavs and Tatars will host an accompanying lecture-performance, The Transliterative Tease on Thursday 10 April, 2014, between 19:00-20:00, at the Istanbul Modern Museum.
Through the lens of phonetic, semantic, and theological slippage, The Transliterative Tease explores the potential for transliteration – the conversion of scripts from one to the other – as a strategy of resistance and research in notions of identity politics, colonialism, and liturgical reform. Among other works by Slavs and Tatars, the lecture performance investigates in particular the urgency of syncretism – the combining of often seemingly contradictory beliefs, while melding practices of various schools of thought – as found in the eastern frontier of the Muslim world, in Central Asia - Khorasan and Turkestan.
Variations around the theme of syncretism also constitutes the basis of their research for another piece, Not Moscow Not Mecca (2012), as well as their current research into Turkic language politics in Istanbul and Xinjiang. The Transliterative Tease has been previously presented at the Kunstverein Bielefeld and Yale Art Gallery's Department of Fine Arts in 2013.
“The march of alphabets has always accompanied that of empires– Arabic with Islam, Latin with the rise of Roman Catholicism, and Cyrillic with the Orthodox Church; The Transliterative Tease attempts to emancipate not peoples or nations, but rather the sounds rolling off our tongues” – note the artists on the event website about their upcoming performance.
For more information, visit event page: http://www.istanbulmodern.org/en/events/exhibition-events/slavs-and-tatars_1347.html
Slavs and Tatars’ work spans several media, disciplines, and a broad spectrum of cultural registers (high and low) focusing on an oft-forgotten sphere of influence between Slavs, Caucasians and Central Asians. Slavs and Tatars have been described by Holland Cotter of The New York Times as "a publishing concern...with a worthy mission (to focus on multicultural Eurasia)".
Watch Slavs and Tatars on Reading as a Collective Activity - Video Interview
Watch Slavs and Tatars on the Links Between East and West - Video Interview
The event is organized as part of the 2014 cultural program celebrating 600 years of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Poland with the support of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
Sources: PR materials, own sources
Edited by E.M. 25/03/2014