We are Juste Kostikovaite and Monika Lipšic. We are 2 Lithuanian Curators based in London, organising an exhibition project in St Petersburg, Russia, which will open at the end of this June.
We were invited by Mark Kalinin and the others who run the independent platform called TAIGA. TAIGA is independent from state funding.
WHAT THINKS ME
The title of the show comes from a text by John Baldessari - What Thinks Me Now (1982) - in which he enumerates things and ideas, creating a list that in the end reflects the artist’s own self.
Perhaps like Baldessari’s text What Thinks Me Now, the works in What thinks me exhibition will create dialogues between the subjective, inner understanding of the self and images of the self mirrored by proxies, posing a question about the ownership of the self .
Exhibition and series of events will include artworks of more than 20 international artists from UK, Russia, France, Belgium, Lithuania, Latvia, Sweden and Finland exhibiting sculpture, object, video works and performances.
ARTISTS: John Baldessari (US), David Bernstein (US), Jaques Gaspard Biberkopf (LT), Ragna Bley(NO), David Raymond Conroy(UK), Jesse Darling (UK), Jugedamos(FR), Rebecca LaMarre(UK), Lina Lapelytė (UK/LT), Slava Leontjev (LT) Taus Makhacheva(RU), Technopoezia(RU), Marija Olšauskaitė (LT), Roman Osminkin (RU), Jaakko Pallasvuo(FI), Jurgis Paškevičius(LT), Daniel Shanken (UK/US), Viktor Timofeev(UK/LV), Julijonas Urbonas(LT), Robin VanBesien(NL), Mark Wallinger (UK)
THE IMPORTANCE OF WHAT THINKS ME
This year another Art Space in St.Petersburg was closed due to the owners breaching the contracts with the subletters and all the art initiatives were thrown out without any warning.
TAIGA Art Space remains one of the most active critical independent art space in St. Petersburg, that manages to work in a self-sustained manner, earning money by renting its premises, but at the same time allowing important events and exhibitions to happen, such as the International Queer Culture Festival RAUMTRIGGER, Interventionen in öffentlichen Räumen, curated by Sergej Foffanov.
Our exhibition in this context works towards bringing the artworks that touch the emergence and construction of the self, within the confines and entropies of communication.
The cultural collaboration between Russian and Western European art scenes are necessary, even if the foreign policies are clearly clashing, because of an attempt to further understand the rules of the information mediation. By giving a possibility, for example, for Roman Osminkin, a St.Petersburg based poet, to collaborate with UK based editors, is clearly giving the material to thing about where an artists in the current political situation locates the role of protest in poetry and music and how both of these artworks transgress the borders of art through social media.
Cultural boycott allows the creatives and artist to say ‘NO‘ to the Russia’s foreign politics. However, we think that boycotting cultural events will not bring the much wanted outcome.
Collateral damage of a cultural boycott contributes to the further marginalisation of independent artistic communities, those elements of society that precisely seek to resist/subvert authoritarian and corrupt structures.
Why do we need money?
Since our partners TAIGA Art Space are not part of any state body or state funded structure, they can work independently from state approved ideology. We, as project curators also reject state related funding for the exhibition and are thus seeking independent, private support.
Though generally we do not support a free participation of artists in the exhibitions, this time there was no other way and we are extremely thankful for all artists who agreed to participate without a fee and we as project curators are working for for free as well.
Now we need a little bit of money:
- to ship the artworks back and forth. Most of the artworks will be travelling within Europe, but moving works of value in and out of Russia is cumbersome, costly and complicated.
- We will also need to pay for our trips. 2 curators plus 5 artists, flying to and from Saint-Petersburg
- AirBnB accommodation for everyone.
- In addition, we will need to cover the VISA processing costs. For the UK and US and Australian and Canadian nationals it means huge bureocracy that we need to go through and approximately 100 pounds per person costs.
Our enthusiasm for this project is growing by the day. We invite all to come to St. Petersburg to join us and we are extremely thankful for you support of this project!
Curators, artits and organizers
Risks and challenges
Project has started with artists's and curator's commitment to work for free for this project to happen. Taiga Art Space and its director is providing as much support as they can - offering free translation, printing, security, liaising, pr and other services completely for free.
Project also has attracted a wide team of volunteers that are willing to be involved in the project jus for the possibility to meet and speak directly to the artists that would come from abroad to RUSSIA and work with them and the curatorial team.
THE POTENTIAL OBSTACLE IS ONLY THE FUNDING FOR THE TRIPS. KICKSTARTER FUNDING WOULD make the project happen.
- (21 days)