PSR ART & CRISIS "AND WHAT ART CAN DO ABOUT IT"
The project ART & CRISES - “AND WHAT ART CAN DO ABOUT IT” had the following events:
● OPEN CALL - And what art can do about it?
● MOE SATT // ARTIST TALK // AND WHAT ART CAN DO ABOUT IT? l ONLINE EVENT
● AND WHAT ART CAN DO ABOUT IT? // JON DEAN & ANCA RUJOIU // TALK
● AND WHAT ART CAN DO ABOUT IT? AZAR MAHMOUDIAN // TALK
● AND WHAT ART CAN DO ABOUT IT? // AN INVITATION TO ACTING IN CONCERT
● AND WHAT ART CAN DO ABOUT IT? // ARTISTS PRESENTATIONS
OPEN CALL - And what art can do about it?
The OPEN CALL was dedicated to interdisciplinary visual artists (new media, multimedia, cross-media artists). We selected 8 artists to take part in a laboratory coordinated by the artist Irina Botea.
MOE SATT // ARTIST TALK // AND WHAT ART CAN DO ABOUT IT? l ONLINE EVENT
The first artist talk of the event "AND WHAT ART CAN DO ABOUT IT?" took place online on Friday 28 October, 10:00 - 12:00 and featured guest artist Moe Satt. The discussion was moderated by Anca Rujoiu who was joined by artists Irina Botea Bucan and Jon Dean (mentors) and the 8 participants selected from the open call held in early September: Elvisey Pisica, Cosmina Morosan & Anticorp Solar, Gene Tanta, Kiki Mihuta, Thomas Steyaert, Irina Motroc, Moncea Malina, Teodora Rotaru. The discussion with artist Moe Satt will include a workshop dedicated to the project participants and will take place after the event.
Moe Satt is a visual and performance artist from Myanmar, who uses his own body as a symbolic field for exploring self, identity, embodiment, and political resistance. He is part of a renowned generation of experimental contemporary Burmese artists who overcame government censorship and oppression to engage with conceptual artwork, the body, and identity. He founded the Beyond Pressure International Performance Art Festival in Yangon, Myanmar.
The project "And what art can do about it?" collaboratively conceived by Irina Botea Bucan & Jon Dean, Anca Rujoiu and Andreea Căpitănescu, initiated by WASP STUDIOS, questions a recurring theme in contemporary society, namely the relationship between art and eco-socio-political crises.
The solidarity of the international community in the crisis of the war in Ukraine and the eco-climatic crisis that was born in the wake of this disaster is perhaps unprecedented, therefore making us think about this project. The proximity of the aggression and the impact of the media - which broadcasts non-stop information and images from the scene - completely captured our attention and everyone tried to help unconditionally. The effects of the war will be long-lasting and will leave a legacy that will be hard to overcome.
But social crises, military conflicts and political repression have always occurred in different corners of the world. In order to better understand and discover how these crises have been and are being managed by artists, curators and theorists, we set out to develop a project that would offer through dialogue and creative space, exhibition opportunities and new collaborations between artists from Romania and other European and global territories.
During the development period there will be: artists talks, workshops and an artist presentation. The project will be finalised with a group exhibition at WASP Working Art Space and Production showcasing the work of the selected artists: Elvisey Pisica, Cosmina Morosan & Anticorp Solar, Gene Tanta, Kiki Mihuta, Thomas Steyaert, Irina Motroc, Moncea Malina, Teodora Rotaru.
AND WHAT ART CAN DO ABOUT IT? // JON DEAN & ANCA RUJOIU // TALK
The two #DIALOGUES part of the project "AND WHAT ART CAN DO ABOUT IT?" took place on 17 November at 7pm. The talks featured artist Jon Dean and curator Anca Rujoiu. They are an integral part of the collaborative project conceived by Irina Botea Bucan & Jon Dean, Anca Rujoiu and Andreea Căpitănescu at the initiative of WASP STUDIOS. This educational project takes a public form between 17 and 19 November and includes: dialogues, artist presentations and activations proposed by the eight participants in the project. The full programme can be accessed on the event page: fb.me/e/2F3j8MOJK
"And what art can do about it?" questions a recurrent theme in contemporary society, namely the relationship between art and eco-socio-political crises, and following an open call in September, the project mentors have conducted workshops with the selected artists: Cosmina Morosan & Anticorp Solar, Elvisey Pisica, Gene Tanta, Irina Motroc, Kiki Mihuta, Moncea Malina, Teodora Rotaru, Thomas Steyaert.
Jon Dean (b. Wolverhampton) has been working for over thirty years in the intersecting fields of visual/community arts and applied social sciences; the artist initiates and develops diverse cultural projects by integrating differentiated and negotiated participatory strategies built to place participants at the very heart of artistic expression, learning and cultural policy. Throughout his career, Jon has worked within a wide range of socio-cultural contexts, including: formal education institutions, museums, art galleries, as well as generic community venues. Recent exhibitions/projections include: Loop Barcelona; Elvira Popescu Cinema, Bucharest; Young Artists Studio, Budapest; University of Johannesburg; Goldsmiths University, London; Tranzit.ro, Bucharest; Anca Poterașu Gallery, Bucharest; Centrala Gallery, Birmingham; Art on Display, Bucharest; Arcub, Bucharest; Black and White Biennial, Satu Mare; Columbia University, New York; Ferenc Bar, Budapest.
Anca Rujoiu (b. Bucharest) is a curator and editor In 2019 she co-curated the third edition of the Art Encounters Biennial in Timișoara, approached as a year-long institutional program. As curator of exhibitions and later head of publications (2013-18), she was a member of the founding team of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, contributing to the institution's many exhibitions, public programmes and publishing projects. The initial three-year programme, Place.Labour.Capital, created connections between research, residencies and exhibitions with artists Simryn Gill, Allan Sekula, Trinh T. Minh-ha, to name a few. He has co-edited several publications, including the artist
books Thao Nguyen Phan: Voyages de Rhodes (2018), Simryn Gill & Michael Taussig: Becoming Palm (2017). As part of the FormContent curatorial initiative in London, he worked on a nomadic project, It's Moving from I to It (2012-2014), which took the form of a script composed of seventeen 'scenes': exhibitions, workshops, commissioned texts and the like. She is a PhD candidate at Monash University in Melbourne.
AND WHAT ART CAN DO ABOUT IT? AZAR MAHMOUDIAN // TALK
The 4th #DIALOG part of the project "And what art can do about it?" features Tehran-based curator Azar Mahmoudian. She is a curator and educator currently running the self-organised study program The ”Summer School: For a Summer Yet to Come in Tehran.” She co-ran the collective space kaf in Tehran (2010-2015) and co-curated Shifting
Panoramas, program of seminars, residencies and production grants in various spaces in Tehran and Berlin (2017-2021). Her exhibiting practice includes biennial settings as well as durational and discursive projects, most recently the multi-chapter program of moving image practices, Sensible Grounds at SAVVY, Lux, Fundación Antoni Tàpies, Betonsalon and Nida Art Colony, among others (2018-2021), and When Legacies Become Debts at The Mosaic Rooms, London (2019).
AND WHAT ART CAN DO ABOUT IT? // AN INVITATION TO ACTING IN CONCERT
Following an open call for artists in early September: Elvisey Pisica, Cosmina Morosan & Anticorp Solar, Gene Tanta, Kiki Mihuta, Thomas Steyaert, Irina Motroc, Moncea Malina, Teodora Rotaru have been selected to participate in a series of collective workshops coordinated by: Anca Rujoiu, Irina Botea & Jon Dean.
The project "And what art can do about it?", a WASP Studios initiative based on the theme proposed by curator Andreea Capitanescu, aims to "answer" a recurring question in the current context: how does art address and intervene in eco-socio-political crises? Thus, the group of artists invites the
public to a series of performative actions based on direct interactions and aiming at a collective approach.
"Each of us entered "the black box", we gathered, then we scattered/separated, but we somehow emerged transformed from these encounters. Through collective moments of movement, talking, reading and sharing food, we were contaminated by each other's presence and acts. As we unpacked/explored questions in the face of an ongoing war and many other hardships/difficulties, we came to realize that what has become political is precisely this capacity of ours to act together.
This is our source of strength. It is a capacity that was felt much more acutely after two years of isolation and uncertainty. As part of an educational project, this programme opens up the experience of learning and acting together to a wider audience.
Over the course of three days, participants, mentors and other guests in the art lab will inhabit/ spend time back in the black box, making our collective activations public. "
14:00 - Irina Motroc: The word as a political body
15:30 - Elvisey Pisică : The personal is political
17:00 - Cosmina Moroșan & Anticorp Solar: Quirks in the layout
19:00 - Artists talks: Jon Dean, Anca Rujoiu
21:00 - Collaborative Reading with Gene Tanta
16:00 - Malina Moncea: Personal object - political object - political body
17:00 - Teodora Rotaru: For the first time
19:00 - Talk Azar Mahmoudian
21:00 - Collaborative Reading with Gene Tanta
16:00 - Thomas Steyaert: Transformative landscape - Score for a collective real-time performance.
18:00 - Artist Presentation: Lina Gómez
19:00 - Artist Presentation: Alevtina Kakhidze
20:30 - Collaborative Reading with Gene Tanta
Kiki Mihuta: Permanent intervention in the space
AND WHAT ART CAN DO ABOUT IT? // ARTISTS PRESENTATIONS
In the last events part of the project "And what art can do about it", we invite the audience to discover the artistic universe of Colombian dancer and choreographer Lina Gómez and Ukrainian artist Alevtina Kakhidze.
Lina Gómez will present the results of the workshop in Romania. Documented on video, the artist's current choreographic research is ”The Mountain and the Volcano; forces of significant sizes, established in one place, visually still, but internally in deep and constant movement, waiting for seismic movements, physical and chemical changes to finally demonstrate all this internal movement, exploding, tearing, changing ecosystems, restarting cycles in nature.”
Their image and energy are seen by Lina ”Metaphors of our being in society. Invisible millenary non-human beings/entities that connect us, that serve us as a base, as inspiration, that host cultures, rituals and energies that pass their knowledge through the years.”
The second presentation of the evening, ”La Méthode de construction de la vérité politique”, is a performance by Alevtina Kakhidze, who "questioning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and addressing the polemical issues surrounding this ongoing war. The Ukrainian artist, born in 1974 in Zhdanivka, offers a renewed version of her performance ”The Method of Constructing Political Truth”, first conceived for the ”Manifesta 10 contemporary art biennial in St. Petersburg” in 2014, shortly after Russia's occupation of Crimea.
In the format of a press conference, mixing drawing, performance and writing, the artist imagines answers to political questions formulated from different points of view: the tourist, the mediator, the "fighter against electricity" and the gardener.
The adaptation of this performance was proposed and accompanied by curator Sasha Pevak, in partnership with the Centre national des arts plastiques (Cnap) and the Beyond the post-Soviet collective. With the support of the Ukrainian Institute, the Ukrainian Embassy in France and the DOFA fund. Research and production supported by "TOGETHER UNTIL _ __ (what)* ?", and "Centre d'art contemporain d'Ivry - le Crédac", Moderator: Oleksiy Ananov"
By closing the evening and the project with the viewing of the performance by Alevtina Kakhidze, we bring a circularity to the project "And what art can do about it" which was developed by questioning: how art can help and intervene in this eco-socio-political crisis.