Last May, the independent russian cultural portal Colta.ru published an article on Slavs and Tatars. Joel Regev and Masha Shtutman talk about the uniqueness of their activities.
Here are some excerpts:
Arming themselves with an acute sense of indeterminacy, the modern science of revolution and the materialist appropriation of mystical practices, the collective Slavs and Tatars is one of the principal factions in a struggle for a truly materialist, revolutionary art. In the company of minds like philosopher Reza Negarestani or artist Alexander Singh and his project The Mark of the Third Stripe, Slavs and Tatars has landed on the surface of a planet whose name we still do not know. What we do know, however, is that the key to the future of radical, emancipatory politics—as well as knowledge—depends on its successful colonization.
At first glance, Slavs and Tatars can be slid easily into a category defined by Claire Bishop as “the social turn in contemporary art.” For starters, the group exchanges individual authorship for that of the collective; as we know, the collaborative nature of the work is one of the defining features of participatory art. The genre supplants the individual acts of the artist-virtuoso—who creates objects for an often sterile and anonymous gallery space—with collaborative actions intervening directly into the surrounding world, effecting change within it. This kind of process-over-product recurs throughout Slavs and Tatars’ work; their projects often consist of hanging posters, or conducting collaborative tours, lectures, group readings and discussions of texts. Also akin to participatory art, the central objective of their practice is the “creation of a new type of sociality,” forging their own minority nation—the yet-to-be-defined community of those who inhabit the space “between the Berlin Wall and the Great Wall of China.”
You can read the whole article here: Children of Marx and Kumis
and the original Russian version here.
Translator’s Note: The name derives from word play that can either be translated as “The Mark of the Third Stripe,” or “The Label of the Third Stripe”, as it alludes to an advertising sign such as the Adidas logo