Journey to the East presents contemporary art from countries participating in the Eastern Partnership, bringing together artists from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, and Poland.
The project is the first comprehensive group exhibition in EU exploring such broad territorial and thematic area of interests. The preparations took about one year and were initiated by research trip of curators Monika Szewczyk and Anna Łazar, who identified local art scenes and met many artists. They traveled to many cities, including Tbilisi, Baku and Yerevan where they reformulated the original concept of the exhibition.
Many of the project will be realised in the public space of city Białystok, many of which will be made in situ. The program of the exhibition is expanded of discussions, screenings, workshops for refugee children and teenagers.
The groups are not to be pigeonholed according to nationality. However, at the same time we do not pretend that the issues of ethnicity and nationality are invisible. Young political systems and post-communist heritage still influence art in many countries. Artistic activity is connected not only to artist’s personal resources - artistic schools, institutions supporting the artists’ work and the existence of artistic circles and presence of art critics and curators play an important role as well. These are important issues, which were presented to us in virtually every country we visited. And finally, artists make statements concerning only the topics pertaining to them and their lives.
Edwin Bendyk postulates that the solution to various global problems is the creation of interpersonal relations based on love, not competition, hierarchy or domination. The artists explore the idea of love, which transgresses the notion of relation between two people, seeking positive emotions, which create bonds between people all over the world – bonds that are an alternative to government authority and economic capital.
The curators, Monika Szewczyk and Anna Łazar have asked the artists to explain what role they think these emotions play in post-communist society and whether building new social capital on interpersonal relations is a utopia or perhaps it can be realized. The project is seen as an open situation, creating various modes of participation and interpretation – from watching and listening to discussion, active participation and writing. "We will gather objects, organize meetings, discussions, lectures, workshops, performances and installations in the public space", Monika Szewczyk and Anna Łazar explain.
Artists invited to the exhibition: Vahram Aghasyan, Ruben Arevshatyan , Rashad Alakbarov, Babi Badalov, Samvel Baghdasaryan, Alicja Bielawska, Anatoliy Byelov, Boullion Art Group, CHINGIZ, Anna Chkolnikova, Lado Darakhvelidze, Kuba Dąbrowski, Veaceslav Druta, Tatiana Fiodorova, Armine Hovhannisyan, Orkhan Huseynov, Arman Grigoryan, Nicolas Grospierre, Elżbieta Jabłońska, Dominik Jałowiński, Alevtina Kakhidze, Tigran Khachatryan, Yaroslava Maria Khomenko, Aleksander Komarov, Maxim Kuzmenko, Volodymyr Kuznetsov , Anna Molska Marina Naprushkina, Dumitru Oboroc, Joanna Rajkowska, Elene Rakviashvili, Stefan Rusu ,Sergey Shabohin, Nino Sekhniashvili , Sabina Shikhlinskaya, Jakub Szczęsny , Sophia Tabatadze , Stas Volyazlovsky , TanzLaboratorium, Oleg Yushko
After the presentation in Białystok, the exhibition will be show during the Art-Kyiv Contemporary in Mystetskyj Arsenal in Kiev and at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCAK) in Kraków.
August 5, 2011, Friday
4 p.m. Briefing, the Arsenal Gallery courtyard, 2. A. Mickiewicza St.
5 p.m. Exhibition opening ceremony
7 p.m. Opening at the old power station, 13 Elektryczna St.
- live project by Lado Darakhvelidze
8 p.m. Anatoly Belov – concert at the old power station
Bouillon Group, performance during the opening
Art Realizations in the urban space of Bialystok:
CHINGIZ, Modification of Azerbaijan, Branicki Palace courtyard
Kuba Dąbrowski, Four Photographs, Railway Station, main hall, 9 Kolejowa St.
Veaceslav Druta, Swing for two, The L. Zamenhof Centre, 19 Warszawska St.
Elżbieta Jabłońska, New Life, old power station, 13 Elektryczna St.
Dominik Jałowiński, live performance in the public space of Lviv,
broadcasted over the internet using skype from August 6th through August 8th, 2011,
8 p.m. at Kopiluwak Café in Bialystok, 9 H. Sienkiewicza St.
Maxim Kuzmenko, Metro Bialystok, A. Węgierko Drama Theatre, 12 Elektryczna St.
Joanna Rajkowska, Red Lion, 1 Uniwersytecki Sq.
Stefan Rusu, Open Flat, Jan Paweł II Sq.
Jakub Szczęsny, Collector, Branicki Gardens
August 6, 2011, Saturday
12 a.m. - 6 p.m. Panel discussion
at the L. Zamenhof Centre, 19 Warszawska St.
PANEL DISCUSSION „THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST”
PART I: love – communication– self–reflection – confrontation – transformation
chaired by: Maria Anna Potocka
Edwin Bendyk – Love, diversity, solidarity
Jahangir Selimkhanov – „Nazira” (looking for a new approach to the production/interpretation of art)
Larissa Babij – Auto–communication, or the potential of non–productive practice
Magda Guruli – Am I You?
Nini Palavandishvili – Nothing to declare
Lada Nakonechna – In search of a recipient
PART II: society – public sphere – politics – architecture – activism
chaired by: Agnieszka Tarasiuk
Lena Prents, Olga Rybchinskaya – Contemporary Belarusian art
Ewa Khachatryan – Artists in the light of color revolution
Stefan Rusu – The metamorphoses of the public sphere
Ruben Arevshatyan – Collective amnesia or blank spaces of the 60s.
Joanna Warsza – State of emergency. Examples of performative architecture in Eurasia
7 p.m. – TanzLaboratorium performance “Love Skape” at the Arsenal Gallery
Accompanying events realized while the exhibition duration:
Lectures on Thursdays, meetings and presentations of documentaries and art films from particular countries, 7 p.m., old power station, 13 Elektryczna St.
18.08. Documentaries from Moldova (exceptionally in Open flat, square in front of the cathedral)
25.08. Susanna Gyulamiryan –Women art versus Feminist art. Politics of representation
08.09. Video art from Ukraine – film presentation
15.09. Lali Pertenava – lecture on contemporary photography from Georgia
22.09. Andrej Durejka and Gallery Ў from Minsk – discussion on a condition of Belarusian contemporary art
29.09. Piotr Piotrowski
Workshops for children, teenagers and adults:
Armine Hovhannisyan and Samvel Baghdasaryan, Susanna Gyulamiryan
The exhibition The Journey to the East will be also presented
30.10.2011–11.11.2011 – Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kyiv
within the frames of ART_Kyiv Contemporary 2011
01.12.2011–29.01.2012 – MOCAK, Krakow
Organizers Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Audiovisual Institute
Sponsors PKO Bank Polski, PZU
Local organizer Arsenal Gallery
Local partners Bialystok City, MOCAK, Polish Institute in Kiev , Mystetskyi Arsenal
Project is realized within the Cultural Programme of the Polish EU Presidency in 2011.