Last May, the indepen­dent rus­sian cul­tural portal 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,[1] 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.


[1]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

Philosopher Joel Regev and artist Masha Shtutman talk about Slavs and Tatars for COLTA.RU

The children of Marks and Kumis (on actionism and materialism in art).