After devoting the past five years primarily to two cycles of work, namely, a celebration of complexity in the Caucasus (Kidnapping Mountains, Molla Nasreddin, Hymns of No Resistance) and the unlikely heritage between Poland and Iran (Friendship of Nations: Polish Shi’ite Showbiz, 79.89.09, A Monobrow Manifesto), Slavs and Tatars have begun work on their third cycle, The Faculty of Substitution, on mystical protest and the revolutionary role of the sacred and syncretic. The new cycle of work includes contributions to group exhibitions – Reverse Joy at the GfZK, Leipzig, PrayWay at the New Museum Triennial and Régions d’être at the Asia Pacific Triennial – as well as solo engagements with Not Moscow Not Mecca at the Secession, Vienna, Khhhhhhh at Moravia Gallery, Brno, Beyonsense at MoMA, NY and Künstlerhaus Stuttgart.
A jungle gym for children and adults alike, Régions d’être celebrates the pluralist and lateral approach to identity found across Slavs and Tatars’ work. Literally “a region of being,” Régions d’être embeds a cheerful complexity to the otherwise innocuous medium of playground architecture. The work goes to the very origins of the artists’ practice: by choosing to lodge themselves between an area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China.
Steel, paint, 400 x 200 x 47 cm, 2012.
A series of aphorisms celebrating the linguistic, ethnic, and political complexity at the heart of Eurasia. The reverse-glass mirror Nations act as ice-breakers to a region of the world at the cross roads of thousands of years of history yet often considered obscure by our amnesiac times.
Mirror edition: Reverse mirror painting, 109.5 x 160 cm, 2012.