Saturday, December 21, 2013

Seasonal - Metro Life&Style wish list

I am still struggling though my way to reflect on 7 September Tower Hamlets.

Few other graphic pieces

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Announcement of a new performance work: "Electronic Surveillance is Essential"

To be presented on a show with Terry Dynes, Victoria Burgher, Jeremy Lee and Erifili Missiou.
Later Jan 2014.
+super special collaboration with Jeremy Lee.

Friday, December 06, 2013

in progress

This is what I am working on now (apart from the mail distribution of "The storming of the Winter Palace").

Tupoleva from Tatiana Baskakova on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

4 December

Two years ago on 4 December 2011 mass protest movement engulfed Russia. Thousands of people took it to the streets to peacefully protest stolen parliamentary elections. On the 6 may 2012 this movement was challenged by Bolotnaya square disturbances, where people protesting illegitimate inauguration of Vladimir Putin faced police boots and batons. These were moments of courage that led Russia to add 28 people to her list of political prisoners.
Today and until they all walk free from prisons and forced immigration: Solidarity with 6 may prisoners.

Два года назад 4 декабря 2011 массовое протестное движение поглотило Россию. Тысячи людей вышли на улицы, чтобы мирно опротестовать украденные выборы в Государственную Думу. 6 мая 2012 года на Болотной площади люди вышли сказать свое нет нелегитимной инаугурации Владимира Путина, и это движение подверглось испытанию милицейским ботинком и дубинкой. Эти моменты храбрости добавили 28 человек в список политических заключенных России. Сегодня и до самой свободы: Солидарность с узниками 6 мая.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

BBC Russian Service features "a walk through the sites of revolutionary thinking"

BBC Russian Service featured the "walk through the sites of revolutionary thinking" in their Monday 25 November radio show where I answered Seva Novgorodtsev's questions on why this piece had to happen (in Russian).

Татьяна Баскакова отвечает на вопросы Севы Новгородцева на Русской Службе БиБиСи о "Прогулке по местам революционного мышления". Программа от 25 Ноября - на русском языке. (Диалог ближе к последней четверти записи.)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A walk through the sites of revolutionary thinking

"Tatiana Baskakova invites you to join her on a walk though the sites formerly inhabited by Russian revolutionaries. Figures like Kropotkin, Kollontai, Lenin, Trotsky, Herzen and others chose London as their place to organize and publish more than a century ago. Based in the areas across Clerkenwell, Pentonville and Whitechapel this walk offers a way to collectively explore London through the locations connected to those histories..

For years British media is portraying Russians as commonly millionaires or spies, and one can actually witness cultural dominance of the West London in the presentation of Russian culture, and in forming expat identities. The origin of this work is connected to the interest in the exploration of another side of Russian heritage in London: the tradition of political study, revolutionary publishing, organizing and speech making. This work is a result of collaboration with Russian Cultural Center, Pushkin House and is a second in the series of diaspora-connected works happening this November.

The walk starts at noon in Pushkin House, on 23 November.
There is no need to make bookings and this is a free event."

These are some images from the walk though the sites of revolutionary thinking. 

At the end of walk


BBC Russian Service featured the "walk through the sites of revolutionary thinking" in their Monday 25 November radio show where I answered Seva Novgorodtsev's questions on why this piece had to happen (in Russian).

Татьяна Баскакова отвечает на вопросы Севы Новгородцева на Русской Службе БиБиСи о "Прогулке по местам революционного мышления". Программа от 25 Ноября - на русском языке. (Диалог ближе к последней четверти записи.)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pictures from TUPOLEVA performance at Pushkin House

TUPOLEVA - my new performance was presented in Pushkin House on the 7 November. It combines a story of my native town Zhukovsky and episodes of it's recent history.This piece is dedicated to a friend antifascist activist Alexey Gaskarov who spent his last 6 month in prison awaiting trial in fabricated 6 May case, he is among other 27 activists and common protesters. More information his case is at webpage.

The piece was presented on the opening of an exhibition of Soviet posters from Marx Memorial Library, that was co-organised with Pushkin House, where I was kindly commissioned to make a piece of work responding on the current condition of utopian thinking in Russia. Warm responses, attention generosity and patience of the public was really appreciated, after all it was a very good and intense experience.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

November events:

7 November_Tupoleva (performance in Pushkin House)

23 November_Lenin in London_walk though the sites of revolutionary thinking_midday start.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Next exhibition: TUPOLEVA, 7-11, 7-30pm, Pushkin House, Ldn

The new project about Zhukovsky Tupoleva would be a part of the opening night in Pushkin House, an independent Russian cultural hub in London.

Visions of Utopia: Soviet Posters of the 1920s and 1930s from the Marx Library Collection

7th  November - 5th December 2013
This exhibition presents Soviet posters of the first two decades following the October Revolution – the period when a grandiose attempt to build a new society and a new world in Russia was most intense and driven by an ingenious believe in the real possibility to do that. In other words, it was driven by Utopia. Post-revolution society was changing very quickly and the character of Utopia transformed hugely during those two decades. The posters in the exhibition explicitly show the move from utopia to dystopia during that period.  The exhibition contains 25 works by Gustav Klutsis, Valentina Kulagina, Yakov Guminer, Daniil Cherkes and other artists. Curators: Jane Powell, Grant Pooke, Elena Zaytseva. 

Tupoleva is a new performance piece developed by Tatiana Baskakova within the last 6 month and it is dedicated to the exploration of her native Zhukovsky city in Moscow region in Russia, a place known for its aircraft construction bureaus and rocket science institutes.
Originally planned as a “socialist model city for the Moscow area” and developed after the WWII, till late 80s Zhukovsky was a secret closed city for researchers and engineers. The decision to make work about this place now, when this mystique is no longer there is particularly connected to the desire to document, put on a map the new spaces of grassroots resistance emerged in the city in 2011-12, the moments that formed new political subjectivities and communities that are coming together with the will to decide the future of their city and the environment when it is no longer as straight forward.
The name of the performance comes from the name of the street in Zhukovsky that links two key city institutes for aerohydrodynamics and flight research. The road is also the axis that separates residential areas and scientific and industrial facilities. Still motion film made for the performance utilises found documentary footage connected to Tupoleva street in Zhukovsky and a runway that this road leads to. The collision of the factual and cold images by Google Street View cameras and low quality out of focus found footage raise the questions of hierarchy of the images and authenticity and truth in portrayal of violence.
Rather apocalyptic but to-be presented story of a street forms into an alternative visual history of contemporary Russia where ruins of military-industrial complex decompose behind propaganda covers in post-soviet lack of development, corruption and violence of careless regeneration projects. Apart from other histories and the banal everyday details this new work makes references to tragic death of aerobatic team leader happened in 2009, civil resistance to 2012 deforestation, policing, and the arrival of 22 year old Olympic gymnast and future Duma deputy Alina Kabaeva for a photo shoot on one of the jets in 2001.
The still-motion video will be accompanied by some hard tool-generated acoustic music performance by the artist.

Pushkin House
5a Bloomsbury Square

Opening: Thursday, 7th November 6.30 – 8.30


Monday, October 21, 2013

Parasites and Prophets

International conference organized by Bucureşti and ArtLeaks

25-26 October 2013, @ Bucuresti, from 5 PM

Free and open to the public

With: Tatiana Baskakova, Simona Dumitriu, Palo Fabus, Joanna Figiel, Fokus Grupa, Vladan Jeremic, Marko Miletić, Márton Pacsika, Candidatul la Presedintie , Jiří Ptáček, Ştefan Tiron, Vesna Vuković

Moderated by: Corina L. Apostol, Vjera Borozan, Raluca Voinea

Graphic intervetions by Zampa Di Leone
 <<< I very much look forward to this event! Great thanks to the moderators for the kind invite to be a part of it.  

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Alina - Freedom Fighers, October 2013

New addition to my mass ornament series: Alina (Freedom fighters). (updated version)

Finished up this piece in anticipation of Tupoleva performance that covers similar narratives and presence of brilliant then Kabaeva in Zhukpvsky city.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Take One Action, Edinburgh

Take One Action - "global action cinema project" in Scotland was screening an interesting double bill of films about Russia's 2011-12 protests against authorities, and I was kindly invited to take part in the discussion panel after the screenings. I would say that more than a year after Russian release of Winter, Go Away, the film produced more confusion, and more problems and positive sides become apparent. Lack of regional representation, filming only those closer to central ranks of the opposition and lack of contextual information was a sad part. Though extensive, self-reflective critique of Navalny, and interesting portrayal of protest energy and passion were really affective, and I think this must have had some positive healing effect on the public and myself among them.

We had a lovely time chatting with local viewers after the screening, and as a general result I have a feeling people who self-organise in London need to establish more connection to groups outside England. We need to look more into how people live and organise outside in other locations, and local governments need to be pressed to provide better conditions and match them to the situation of people living on the North.

Watching Tomorrow by Andrei Gryazev was rather embarrassing. Voina is so widely known but the film hardly produces inspirational image of the group, but rather portrays moments of misery, non-justified violence and property damage, strange moments of identity exploitation and very Russian perception of prison as a rite of passage. The self-contradiction of internal affairs of the group to their public statements were also something I would rather avoid and leave to history to judge.

I am very thankful to Take One Action organisers for warm reception and care, and I look forward for a chance to visit Scotland again. My trip to National Museum of Modern Art was a lucky chance to see Eduardo Paolozzi's prints that I have not paid attention to before. And it was a great pleasure to have a drink with Edinburgh ROR..

Friday, October 04, 2013

Invigilator’s revolt | text re-edit

Invigilator’s revolt (new edit)
By Tatiana Baskakova
25 Aipril – 26 July 2011, GCCC Moscow, intervention.

The project was carried out in the Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture in Moscow where Tatiana Baskakova held a position of an invigilator from 25th Aipril till 26th July 2011.

In this three-month performance matters of institutional critique coincide with practice of experimental exploration of Russian society and creative industry’s labour conditions.  It largely relies on social and communal relations of gallery staff, their understanding of hopelessness of the current situation, and disbelief in the possibility of a positive change in their life, working conditions, or society in general.

The performance piece runs though three gradual stages of change in invigilator's attitude - from happy enthusiasm and patience to "revolutionary" moods and attempts to organize a trade union. The climax of the performance happens when the artist performing an invigilator is fired from the gallery for "sabotage" (quote from an exhibitions department manager), due to sharing the legal rights information with fellow colleagues, which is understood as a pure subversive action.

Through the process of overidentification with an idea of contemporary art gallery and legal rights, the performance brings attention to power relations that are representative of the current condition of Russian society and attempts to shift it.  It talks of the institutional structures that are run with big international budgets, but perceive their underpaid and undervalued workers as a mere consumable material for the beautifully presented causes. It brings one back to what was Soviet Union’s utilitarian perception of its people, for example. 

We see that pretence of the Moscow gallery space to carry contemporary art ideology does not coincide with its workings on the level that goes few inches behind visual presentation. The ethics of Moscow’s private “equivalent of Tate Modern” depends on impulses of those in charge at the moment, and this makes an institution function in the permanent state of exception, as a structure of no rules, but servitude.  

For those who observed the process of the performance in its subtle development for the whole three months, some gallery staff and other participants, as instance, the action was intended as something bringing in an alternative narrative and brighter look into the future. The naivety and goodness of an actor-outsider is tactical, however fails to bring anything but the dream of politically organized labour. Due to the failure of the piece to develop more positive scenario, this socially engaged work could also be seen as a live paraphrase of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Idiot”. 

The documentation of the performance is presented a set of internet-sourced private view images that document presence of the artist at work.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Участок — великая вещь!
Это — место свиданья
Меня и государства.
Государство напоминает,
Что оно все еще существует!
Хлебников, начало 1922

 I was among 286 people arrested at Tower Hamlets during the antifascist demonstration.  

Saturday, September 14, 2013

On John Keane's paintings

Yesterday I talked to a friend in my studio and showed him the new work on theatre siege. He could say that the images are familiar, since about five years ago there was an artist who made a work with those images. I had an early day today and made an effort to find and artist who made work about Moscow Theatre siege. It did turned out that the subject was not left out of the British art scene. John Keane, a painter from Hertfordshire made a project about Nord-Ost, or Dubrovka in 2004-2005. The Exhibition was called "Fifty Seven Hours in the House of Culture", (since hostages spent this long three days in the theatre under the siege of Chechen militants, it is a quote from Channel 4 Documentary used for production of the series). Later the exhibition travelled to Moscow and was presented under the same name in Sakharov Center under Yuri Samodurov's curatorship.
Looking at this all I started to wonder, what does it mean for a white middle class gallery-represented male painter in his 50s to produce those images? What does it mean to someone who was "Imperial War Museum's official artist during the Gulf War in 1990" to produce those images? What does it mean to someone who does conflict resolution portrait commissions for the National Portrail Gallery to paint what happened in Moscow's Dubrovka in 2002? Are those images shown in Moscow's Sakharov Center for the same reasons as they are in London? How do those images circulate on the market? What is this painter's motivation behind that this work is his continuation in his "dealing with political violence justifying itself as self defence" and an "interest in the terrorist/freedom fighter paradox" that earlier was explored in his work on Northern Ireland, Middle East and South America? Is that justifiable enough to make those representations - and by "make" here I also mean impose them on others? Oh yes, and in terms of the commercial success, "Pictures were sold before the exhibition even arrived" (to Moscow?) Kean's website lets us know that "Without exception, however, they were images of the hostages; the suicide bombers proved to be unwanted by all.

White British middle class male in his 50s
decoratively copying stills- - from 2003 Channel 4 documentary
Citing - and re-citing the dominant voices narrated behind the screen
Subtitling images
of someone who can not reply
the bich it dead!
who are you Channel 4 and Dan Reed
director of Inspector Lewis
who are you John Kean
mr official British wartime painter?
with some gold leaf and abstract-over the documentary image strokes
in pink and orange and yellow
to be the one commemorating that
without a pinch of questioning of what is your role doing that?
and where are those Russian artists who'd bother to take up the subject that their people need them to portray?
Who are you, John Kean, to attach gold leaf to the painting of Movsar Barayev?
Or a woman, whose name or story we may never know?
Who are you to decoratively brush-stroke the images of a theatre spectator who may now be forever asleep in the burgundy velvet seat of Dubrovka Theater
suffocated with still unknown- state secret gas substance?
Who are you to do it in defence of human rights?
Who are you to import human rights to Russia
- and show her artists how to represent them with stills from
your bloody documentary films,
with your English subtitles and with some gold leaf added?
Who are we to repeat what those people wanted to say there in Dubrovka in 2002?
Who are you to paint and sell the victim's images?
Who are you to frame their situation and suffering?

 A Russian journalist Julia Kvasok asks in her Novaya Gazeta article on the Sakharov Center exhibition:
 "It just seemed a little ridiculous - why was it not a Russian, but an Englishman who chose Nord-Ost as his theme? And why did the idea of having it shown in Moscow have to come from Human Rights Watch? I suppose that we are too close to the event's epicentre, and while holding it in our bare hands some of us cry out from the pain, while others out of habit hold their hands over our mouths to shut us up."
I'd say enough of self-censorship and it is time to start talking about the way Russian subject can see this tragedies. Its ridiculous to let other dominant voices of the West have a monopoly on the representation of political violence - of both militant insurgents and the state, and it is no longer possible to give men the right to dominate in those subjects. It is time to out-loud imperialist voices of the Westen and Russian govts that still have a tremendous control over the images. It is only us, ourselves who can decolonise us.

Few John Kean's works:

Nearly a spectacle - two by three meters 2004 painting "they shouted 'Got the Bitch'..." (oil on linen, 212x282cm)
I quite like the gun up images of a woman, but still I do not agree that this representational, pop-art cheering mode is appropriate. Pink? Yellow? Orange? Gold? - too much of market trick reference. But how is it possible to address the war, and show a pretence of a study with this expressionist markings? And yes, again, what does John Keane mean by his gold-backed Movsar Barayev painting?
Hey that resembles orthodox iconography, am I wrong here? Yay, yes, the painting is called "Iconography no 4" (2005, Ink jet, gold leaf/wood). Thanks to Human Rights Watch and Yuri Samodurov for curating iconography out of Sakharov Center exhibition! Someone in Moscow may see this as an offence, so different representation of Movsar Barayev was on display:

The "Bitch Triptych" has my particular dislike for its didacticism and title, and moralistic "mother-militant empowerment - death" narrative. Maybe it is just too sexualised with an open mouth of a woman on theatre chair on the right and a gun in the middle image looking phallic, and a cheeky and tender direct eye contact of a woman kissing a child on the left side? I have a feeling this is deeply wrongly composed.

An image form Moscow exhibition:
One can check out the images produced for international market and the ones showed in Moscow on Kean's website and on Sakharov centre website.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013

New paintings

For the last 4 days I was working on this paintings that were planned for about four years. I am using uncoated canvas to produce extra insecurity in the process as it makes it harder to control the paint. It also lets me be more precise and attentive to my subjects.
This images are taken from Discovery channel documentary about "Nord Ost" theatre siege in Moscow 2002. I am very happy to have energy to start this work after all.

Earlier work on this subject (from August 2009) can be found here.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

New face

This self-portrait is a reenactment of a well know Alexey Gaskarov journalist shot taken during the 6 May Moscow demonstration 2012 - against the electoral fraud and new presidency of V. Putin (Gaskarov - is a Russian leftist activist now under arrest).
A sketch for a new work about police violence and state violence - and political repressions that emerge in Russia and all over the world.
Explore the questions collective individuation.
New emergent international movements of the people.
Questions of solidarity with these movements.
New emergent identities. Emergence of the new political subjects.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

10 days of Hamburg

I am too heartbroken to leave Hamburg and to write much about it, but here are a few documentation images that tell at least a bit about the work we did lately.
Together with Chto Delat? we worked on the production of Shivering with Iris or originally Dialectics of Sublime - a performance piece presented at Iternational Sommerfestival at Kampnagel.
The performance was a talk show with Russian artists Chto Delat as the main guests, and I played an idealist (or mostly refereed to as activist) participant of Chto Delat seminar. Great to meet everyone involved in the production - members of Chto Delat I have not met before, and of course Hauke and other locals and activists that made it there to see how it goes.
I can only thank everyone for some warm feedback, and joyful company, and raise a hope that despite the failure to produce a good closing discussion at the end of the play we may have contributed to international pro-democracy struggle on Monday 12 August protest with a flight and a collective body solidarity session.

Chto Delat newspaper issue accompanying the production.

Performance in the Kunsthalle as a part of the play.

As I have mentioned - on Monday 12 August we were flying for freedom of movement and against state control at russian embassy in hamburg fantastic a3yo wrote this lovely text about it.

Lots of love Hamburg, thank you and your peopl'e and adorable Katzen. It is rather sad to leave this 10 days behind. I look forward to the future meets, and hope it won't take too long.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Guerilla Conceptialism for Alexey Gaskarov

Posting this to promote this artist's action in Zhukovsky, I am pleased to see something happening, I like this slightl subtle political comment and gesture of solidarity.

Партизанский концептуализм “Камни”

В ночь на 28 июля 2013 года жуковские художники принесли к администрации города камни в качестве жеста художественной солидарности с заключенным по делу 6 мая жуковчанином Алексеем Гаскаровым. Позитивная роль Алексея, его участие в социальных и культурных инициативах приносило немалую пользу неформальной художественной и активистской деятельности горожан. Мы видим, что деятельность, ценная для нас переросла в статью обвинения, далеко не прописанную в законе. Мы обращаем эти камни к администрации, к горожанам, ко всем способным видеть и тем, кто так или иначе страдает от беззакония, происходящего вокруг Алексея и каждого из нас.
Жуковские художники решили, что жест принесения камней к администрации в эту дату наиболее ярко способен объяснить наше отношение к происходящему. Настало «время собирать камни», время «освободить брусчатку». Изначально перед нами стояла задача найти художественный жест, способный хотя бы в воображении объединить друзей, активистов, людей солидарных с Алексеем. Тогда мы решили предложить всем, кто живет с ним одном подъезде, учился в одном классе, ходил на организованные Алексеем кино показы, участвовал с ним в акциях, стоял плечом к плечу в борьбе за Цаговский лес и другие дела, участвует в Народном Совете или тоже был на Болотной площади в одну из красных дат – всем друзьям Алексея – принести к администрации камень. Это множество нас, кто категорически против происходящего, и кто-то из тех, кто уже готов принять свершаемое от наших имен государством, которое мы даже не выбирали на выборах.
Мы – художники-практики, мы знаем, что Алексей не может быть свободен одними лишь добрыми мыслями, но помимо Москвы, и доброй работы московских активистов, журналистов и политиков есть город из-за леса которого (или может быть страха полицейских?) Лешу уже однажды прятали в СИЗО. Мы говорим: «Хватит!»
Партизанский концептуализм – это художественный проект о желаемом, о попытке действовать, об отказе от молчаливого соучастия режиму. Хотя помимо этого «Камни», что мы так неловко пытались инициировать в борьбе с дворниками, – это работа о диалоге в самом городе Жуковском, где так много небезразличных к судьбе Алексея и судьбе нашего города людей – и еще очень много тех, кого агитация даже не коснулась. Это небольшое множество камней – голосов за свободу, что оказались перед администрацией 28 июля – читайте их как обозначенный старт для того, что может поменяться, если борцы за справедливость в деле 6 мая продолжат более активную борьбу в публичном пространстве – вне пределов газетных изданий, интернета, кафе, клубов и кухонь. Мы сами – свобода Алексея Гаскарова. Не только на уровне искусства – но и на уровне гражданских действий – перед нами всеми стоит множество задач. Ведь иначе мы и наш страх становимся подсобниками режима тюрем, немыми сторонниками репрессий, убийцами общего будущего.
Каждый камень – это сжатый кулак. Каждый камень требует свободы. Каждый камень – это один из голосов отданных за честь и справедливость, а не за политизированную ложь коррупционного режима. Каждый камень – против духоты тюрьмы и пыток. Против полицейского государства. За свободу невинных и гражданскую волю. За то, за что Вы в него вложите.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

More paint sketching about Zhukovsky.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Forest/ Лес - 2010

This performance was made in 2010 in Zhukovsky city near Moscow. Its intention is to bring to attention the drama of local deforestation plan (which was carried out in 2012 despite popular protests). It uses the traditional tropes of Russian national identity that identifies beauty of a tree with a woman and other way round. The performer cuts the wood and shouts though megaphone quotes from 1988 Soviet ABC book that celebrate great soviet construction plans, Russian forest, and a joy of being in the forest with one’s friends.

Этот перформанс был представлен в 2010 году в городе Жуковский. За ним стоит намерение выразить драму ситуации, связанной с планом вырубки местного леса (что и произошло в Жуковском в 2012, несмотря на массовый протест.) Эта работа использует традиционную российскую идентификацию женщины и дерева, и наоборот. Перформер рубит дрова и кричит через мегафон лозунги взятые из советской азбуки, которые описывают строительные планы, красоту леса и радость прогулки в лесу с друзьями. "Красив русский лес," "У нас в стране идет великая стройка" - лишь некоторые из них.
FOREST/Лес from Tatiana Baskakova on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Follow the road

Making a new video.

The work is fully about Zhukovsky, and partially is an attempt to make a work that would free all 6 May prisoners. The case that worries me so much now. I have been helping out with translations for the international campaign, and the absurdity of the accusations and the court process are no less but reminding one what happened during Pussy Riot hearings, and led them to Siberian prisons.

So the recent work is fully about Zhukovsky. It is about a road in the city - Tupolevskoe shosse. I am using digital, google, and video stills from the documentary material to produce a stop-motion video work. This is my first video of war on Russian government.

It is also totally about the emergence of the new Russian subject - some kind of freedom defender, Zhukovsky activist, caring citizen, green activist. In dedication to my honourable friend Alexey Gaskarov who is imprisoned by the Putin's prosecution because of this fear of Russian people.

I am extremely influenced by Kety Chukhrov's writing on theatre and Schubert. On non-democratic nature of art.

I may be attempting to present the piece in London this autumn with the live sound - when I learn how to play Schubert's sonatas better, and when, of course, all 6-May people would be enjoying freedom. Or else, hopefully somewhere in Russia this summer.

Sviatoslav Richter's performance is very important for this project:

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Alexey Gaskarov, 6 May hostage of Putin's government.

My friend, antifascist and activist Alexey Gaskarov was arrested a week and a half ago in Russia, in our home city Zhukovsky. He is arrested in connection with Bolotnaya square case, that is now under international investigation that will "evaluate the events from the point of view of human rights observance, accordance of Russian legal norms to the international standards and with taking into account the existing law-enforcement practices in Russia." The case now counts 28 political prisoners, where most of the prisoners are accused of violent disorder. This 28 include students, professors, activists, young kids, and many people of my generation.
The Bolotnaya square case started a year ago on a 6 May Demonstration, that was a big protest rally opposing the inaugration on Vladimir Putin as a president of Russia. I went there too, together with all Zhukovsky "Save Tsagovky forest campaign" and Alexey Gaskarov. I am really outraged that a witness claims given by a riot police officer, known to lie in court before is taken seriously by Russian court that now locked Alexey for 2 month on remand.

Last year during the Bolotnaya square on the 6 may, Alexey was seriously beaten-up by the police  and I have witnessed injuries he suffered there. Also there are several on-line videos that show riot officers kicking him in the head. (Police there is a bit more ruthless and criminal than on the West.) Despite that horror of violence on Bolotnaya square is behind, there is new moment of violence facing Alexey. Horror of Russian prison. Of course he is not new to it, as he already had his time on trial, and was proved innocent of organising violent disorder two years ago. This case happened in  connection with forest defence campaign in Khimki, Moscow region town. Then he was supported internationally by antifascist movement and many many different indifferent people in Russia. This is what is starting to happen now again, and we try to campaign as much as we can, internationally for the freedom of Alexey and other 6 May hostages. We know there must be a place for justice in Russia. There is no more demand than for the Russian juridical system to prosecute criminals not those who are innocent.

I really hope Alexey is going to be free very soon. He would be where he deserves to be - with his family, with his lovely fiancée, with his comrades, in the city that needs him.  Our grassroots movement of people of Zhukovsky that I totally identify myself with  and support really suffers seeing its active participant being dragged into this horror of Putin's repressions.

For more information on Bolotnaya square international investigation:
Miriam Elder's article in the Guardian about Bolotnaya protest 
Follow the case of Gaskarov on (mostly Russian) twitter @gaskarov_info 
I also twitt on Gaskarov's case a lot @electrovolk 

If you want more information or would like to offer help you can either use any of those resources, or contact me.

At the 6 May solidarity picket in London.

Free Alexey Gaskarov!

Monday, April 08, 2013

Open Call for current interns gallery workers and volunteers

Friendly group of London gallery ragpickers works on something very interesting...

RAGPICKERS invite current interns, volunteers and casual workers to join them in RAGPICKERS SHOW, a project which is dedicated to the problem of unpaid labour and exploitation in the contemporary art field. The project is intended to blur the difference between the artistic and forensic by exploring the format of a critical quasi-exhibition.

RAGPICKERS SHOW will display ‘artifacts’ - material traces, residues or recorded testimonies - collected by participants that testify to the work undertaken within various art organisations. We invite you to contribute worthless ‘ragged’ objects accompanied by your personal stories of labour relating to the ‘artifacts’ from the following categories (or of a similar kind):

1. Forensic evidence of all kinds of labor, it could be any leftover material gathered from your work at: the office, (de)installation of a gallery show, an event or a private view. You can submit anything from the remains of wall support and traces of paint to empty bottles, unwanted print outs, shredded papers, etc.

2. Audio, visual, photo or written documentation from the day-to-day assistance with the running of the gallery space. RAGPICKERS wish to build up an archive of unpaid working experiences that are unfair, absurd, or abusive, but were originally disguised with the initial promise of ‘valuable insight’ and ‘exciting opportunity’. All the materials in the collective exhibition are planned to be curated in a manner of a typical gallery show, accompanied with explanatory texts or display blurbs indicating practices of ungrateful labour.

The project aims to raise a wider public awareness and draw media attention to the exploitation and discrepancies that lie at the core of the art system. Simultaneously, it will function as a space for the exchange of personal experiences, ideas, and knowledges. Please send us an email indicating what material you would like to show before the 30th of April. We can also help you to record your testimony. If you have any further ideas or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Former West, Berlin - with Chto Delat?

During the recent visit to Berlin I had an amazing chance to work on a learning play with Russian artistic and theoretical platform Chto Delat?. Met amazing people, and would never ever regret this trip and the participation in the Former West. Thank you all for being a part of this highly educative and thought/action provoking project. Thank you for being a utopian community. Thank you for sharing this experience and knowledge. It was a pleasure. It was hard though rewarding work.


In a play I was one of the "kids" who wakes up after dreaming of communism.

Update: Where Has Communism Gone? A learning play by Chto Delat? and their seminar participants is now available as a video online:

FORMER WEST: Documents, Constelations, Prospects - Performance, Chto Delat?/What is to be done? from FormerWest on Vimeo.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Jeremy Lee (Artist in Residence), Berlin 2013

Jeremy Lee (Artist in Residence), Berlin 2013

Images by Cristina Pedreira Pérez and Jeremy Lee.
This project is a part of ResidencyShot and is a collaboration with Jeremy Lee.

I should produce some context work for this project sooner than later. Kate Moss, Occupy, macho painters...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Lenin Lecture in EBRD

Lecture about Lenin is a site-specific performance and sculpture work made for presentation in the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, the lobby of its London office. 15 Min speech focused on the difficulty of the representation of the revolutionary and actuality of his image. The key intention of the piece is the production of the space of ideological 'agonism'. Documented as a Lenin lecture commemorative plaque. 

documentation is by Vlada Maria

21 February 2013