Every place carries stories for those who inhabit it. These stories consist for example of historical information and of personal memories that becomes associated to a location for different reasons. In Sandrina Lindgren’s and Ishmael Falke’s theatrical works as the “Livsmedlet theatre” the stories of the cities and its people are mixed and altered with the help of visual theatre. In this talk Ishmael Falke and Sandrina Lindgren will present their work on public spaces as well as their approach to community art. Through examples of previous works and through a short presentation of their current work with the Petrogradsky youth club performance group Rain People, Livsmedlet will discuss the term “urban animation” as well as their approach to political theatre.
At the public seminar four curators will present projects of the prominent Stockholm-based art centers and will outline their main principles and practices revolving around work with local communities, neglected territories and representatives of different social groups. Curators will speak about the role of their art institutions at the outskirts of Stockholm and their participation and engagement in to the life of the peripheral areas where they are located. The main focus of the seminar will be collaboration of artists and curators with young people and the ways of their involvement into art and socially-oriented projects.
The exhibition 'Very Special Person' is a result of collective work by the Finnish artist Anne Siirtola and a group of teenagers from the youth club 'Meteor' in St Petersburg. During a month they worked together on creating a series of costumes and masks. Every newly created object appears to be a portrait of its author, an attempt to understand their feelings and emotions, listen to oneself and tell one’s story through clothing. During the workshop sessions Anne and the kids would discuss a variety of issues - from social expectations imposed on them by society to the contradictions between our inner self and its projections into the public space and the exhibition appears to be a reflection of these discussions.
In her talk Finnish artist Anne Sirtola will speak about her finished and current projects including the project ‘Living Villages’ that took place in Karelia and brought together linguists, artists and local Russian and Karelian speaking communities. She will also present her work in progress ‘Family Stories’ based on the interviews with senior citizens in New York and will talk about the video project she will be working on together with young people of the youth club ‘Raduga’ in St Petersburg during her residency. Anne combines installation, moving image and sound in her work in order to explore interaction and encounters between people.
During their residency in the framework of the project "Critical mass " Avenir Institute together with young leaders from the youth centre "Sreda" created a board game about the future. They discussed possible scenariso of the future and talked about the unpredictable events, which may become as enormous opportunities for development, and the point of the recession and the loss of capacity for moving forward. Critical analysis in relation to the future and its joint planning conducted by Avenir Institute and their project participants will be presented in a format of a board game for children and adults. Come and play!
Denis Maksimov and Timo Tuominen will spend four weeks in residency in St Petersburg and create a new collaborative performative project with young members of one of the city's yoth clubs. In their public talk they will speak about their reseacrh and methodologies influenced by critical theory and post-structural philosophy and continuous projects in collaboration with external partners from various backgrounds of expertise. The processes and results of the investigations are presented in variety of mediums - performance lecture, installation, text, publication, digital art, visual art, design, etc. Potential of the future is one of the main interests of Avenir Institute.
The third and final public discussion of TOK at Flux Factory will focus on ethics of representation in the spheres of art and media and nuances of the professions of a journalist and a curator when it comes to describing 'the Other' to various audiences. Invited participants will speak about the process of building/broadcasting political contexts and creating certain narratives in the media during political conflicts and changing relations between countries. We will also discuss the representation of 'the other' in art using as an example the exhibition curated by Olga Kopenkina 'Russia: Significant Other' in 2006 and will analyse the change of representing 'the enemy' in contemporary art and in visual mass culture over the last few years.
During their residency in New York, TOK will conduct a public discussion at Bard College. The curatorial duo will speak about new artistic, activist and social initiatives which have emerged Russia over the last few years as a reaction to the political, social and cultural changes in the country. The discussion will specifically focus on artitstic and curatorial practices taking places in the public sphere and in dialogue with various urban communities.
TOK’s first show in New York ‘Propaganda News Machine’ explores the notion of propaganda, processes of constructiing news and designing multiple realities in the media today. The exibition attempts to present, analyze and unveil some of the strategies that governments use in order to create specific images of political and social events and thus influence audience’s opinions and shapу their vision of the global political arena.
The conversation will revolve around the processes of news construction and design in the media today. Also, how audiences' opinions are being formed and shaped by ideologically charged media information and what strategies governments use in order to create a certain image/view of a political or social event for viewers. Are there alternative sources of information? What are ways to stimulate a critical approach amongst viewers to mainstream media sources when we are presented with very convincing (but misleading) information? The talk will gather journalists, filmmakers and scriptwriters interested in the Cold War era, covering the political processes of today.
The conversation will focus on the role of the media in forming and broadcasting ideologically charged discourses in the global political and informational context. During TOK’s research at Flux, they will take a close look at the strategies of constructing information that were designed in the era of mass television development and reflection of the Cold War in the media and will see whether some of them are still used today.
International conference, initiated by TOK as a final event of the third season of their ongoing public art project ‘Critical Mass’, will be dedicated to the recent socially engaged creative practices that foster various social changes in different European and Russian urban environments. The conference will bring together leading international artists, curators, designers, heads of art institutions and researches that have rich experience in socially engaged art practices. At the conference they will share successful and sustainable cases of their practices, exchange knowledge, experiences, working methods as well as touch upon such issues as possibilities, function and territory of art within society.
A new spot has appeared in the cultural map of St. Petersburg. 'Critical mass - 2015' has landed in the Lopukshinskiy garden and will be staying for more than a month! Interactive banner with local residents' stories has appeared on the garden's fence, memorial signs are everywhere to be seen and we have also built some furniture for the community picnic! Time to celebrate - we look forward to seeing you at the opening!
The aim of five little interventions by Kalle Hamm and Dzamil Kakamnger is to return Gromovia pulchella back to the Gromovsky Garden and make its travelling story continue via the Internet and postal mail. We do not want to set up colossal monuments, but rather create little situations, with interacts and activate local park users and show history of the Dacha Gromova through the plants point of view. Artists wish that Gromovia pulchella will be blooming in flower pots again in the garden one day in the future.
Designers raumblabor are famous for their projects in the urban context that connect different people through collective creative work in the public spaces. Thus they construct not only objects that can be used by communities but design new social interactions open for people of different ages and backgrounds. Join their workshop and create some park furniture at the Lopukhinskiy garden! .
In their lecture at Small projects TOK curators Anna Bitkina and Maria Veits will speak about various activist and social practices in contemporary Russian art and will present to the residents of Tromsø the idea of their new project Russian bar that the collective wants to realize in town in 2016. The main idea of the Russian bar is to create a discursive platform for discussions, collective thinking, cultural collaborations and informal gatherings. This project is important for a support of the existing cross-cultural ties between Russia and Norway, which have traditionally been strong and should be maintained this way. It is crucial especially now in a situation when Russia tend to be in cultural isolation due to the recent political events. One of the important aspects of the projects is engagement of the Russian-speaking community of Tromsø into shaping the activities and format of the 'Russian bar.
In his presentation at the Pro Arte Foundation Tel Aviv based artist Meir Tati will talk about his activities as an artist and the Director of Community and Education Department at MoBY - Museum of Bat - Yam, in the political climate in Israel. He will also speak about his new project Sharashka, which is to a large extent based on his research of the Stalinist repressions in the USSR and current political agenda in Russia and Israel.
The project 'Mobile Archive' hosts its last event in Russia before leaving the country and moving further - an artist talk with Ruti Sela will take place in Niznniy Novgorod on December 12th before the project closes on December 14th. In Arsenal, Ruti Sela, who received numerous art prizes and widely exhibited internationally, will speak about her artistic practice.
The traveling collection of Israeli video art "Mobile Archive" finishes its trip across Russia and makes the last stop in Nizhniy Novgorod, where at the center of contemporary art Arsenal the local audience can see up to 1500 video works by Israeli and international artists including Yael Bartana, Dor Guez, Sigalit Landau, Guy Ben Ner, Avi Mograbi, Nira Pererg, Public Movement and many others. The project will be accompanied by public talks and screenings.
In the framework of 'Mobile Archive' project artist and curator Omer Krieger will speak about his projects related to the public sphere. He wil touch upon actions and perfromances of Public Movement group, festival of new public art 'Under the Mountain' and his collaborations with other artists and various communities.
At the conference “Dealing with the past” that will take place at The Sakharov Center in Moscow on October 18-19, 2014 the curator Anna Bitkina will talk about art practice that becomes a means of collective therapy and a re-experience of the traumatic historical events for a community. As an example she will speak about a famous re-enactment by the British artist Jeremy Deller 'The Battle of Orgreave: An Injury to One is an Injury to All'.
In the exhibition ‘Outlined Absence’ that comprises two video works by the artist ‘Black and White Rule’ and ‘Mother Economy’ as well as her large-scale charcoal drawings, Maya Zack analyzes the mechanisms of collective and personal memory and explores the intersection between individual recollections and historical events. The show is a part of the parallel program of Manifesta 10.
"Mobile Archive" keeps moving across Russia. Its next station is Yekaterinburg, where from September 23 to October 26 the visitors of the National Center for Contemporary Art will have a chance to see more than 1500 video works by leading Israeli and international artists. The project will also inclide atist talks and series of screenings.
The Petrogradskaya side of St Petersburg has always been famous for its beautiful mansions and residential houses built in the 19th century. Take a guided tour with us to know more about their history, architecture and residents.
On Friday Stefan Kaegi, the theatrical director from Berlin, will talk about new theatrical performances which its Rimini Protokol theater realizes in public spaces with participation of residents. Event is held within the "Critical Mass on the Gromov's Dacha" art project.
On Thursday on the Gromov's Dacha in the Lopukhinsky Garden within educational eventss the lecture "The Creative and Social Practics Changing the City and Its Inhabitants" will take place. Curators of TOK will tell about the Russian and international art projects within which artists and citizens create common art projects in city space.
On July, 21 in St. Petersburg a long-awaited series of public events within the "Critical Mass on the Gromov's Dacha" project opens. In the opening program: presentation of the development plans of the Gromov's Dacha, opening of the photo exhibition about stories of Petrogradsky district, excursion on the dacha, presentation of the design project of Foundation Projects (Netherlands) created specially for a mansion, the DJ a set.
‘Debates on Division' is an interactive performance by Natalya Pershina Yakimanskaya (Gluklya) about political, social and ideological divisions as well as about the position of the individual amidst those conflicts. The performance begins with an action at the New Stage of the Aleksandrinsky Theatre and continues with a silent procession along Nevskiy Prospekt. The procession is a part pf the public program of Manifesta 10
The purpose of the project of Olga Zhitlina is to show a view on the migration, different from the picture offered by modern mass media. In its framework the artist suggests migrants to think up a witty exit from the typical difficult situations which they come upwith, living in Russia. Within a final competition of the project everyone will be able to try on himself Hodzhi Nasreddin's role and to participate in the battle for the first prize. The best jokes will be presented in a format of interactive performance.
For the first time in Russia TOK presents The Battle of Orgreave: An Injury to One is an Injury to all (2001) - a film by by Mike Figgis based on the re-enactment of the bloody clash between miners and police in England in 1984 created by Jeremy Deller in 2001. The film will be screened from June 28 to October 31 as a part of the parallel program of Manifesta 10 in St Petersburg.
Silent Among Us is the first exhibition in St Petersburg that comprises works by leading Israeli video artists including Yael Bartana, Dor Guez, Sigalit Landau, Glad Ratman and many others. The exhibition takes place at Loft Project ETAGI from April 11th to June 11th, 2014.
Dor Guez is an artist and scholar from Jerusalem whose installations combine diverse modes of video and photographic practices. Guez's work raises questions about contemporary art's role in narrating unwritten histories, and re-contextualizing visual and written documents. Guez will speak about his works at the opening of the project Mobile Archive in St. Petersburg.
From April 7th to April 30th TOK presents a unique collection of Israeli and international video art 'Mobile Archive' at the Pro Arte Foundation in St Petersburg. More than 1500 video works by Israeli artists including Yael Bartana, Guy Ben Ner, Dor Guez, Sigalit Landau, Avi Mograbi, Public Movement and many others will be available for viewing for the public.
MariaVeits will speak about art projects in public spaces in Russia and the city of St Petersburg in particular as well as of the concept of public space in Russia today. The talk will be joined by the Duesseldorf-based artist Andrea Knobloch.
During the seminar international specialists will discuss the problems of contemporary art in public spaces, will speak of how they use social practices in their work and how they interact with the different urban communities using their projects and organizations as examples.The seminar is the closing event of the TOK's project 'Critical Mass' in 2013.
Architects, sociologists, city activists and curators from Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Gdansk, Vilnius, Riga and Moscow to discuss ways of connecting the historical heritage and modern trends in the organization of urban space in the capitals of the Baltic region. Special guest - the deputy director of Stockholm City Planning Office of Stockholm Niklas Svensson.
Speaking of works by international and Russian artists, the curators of TOK will talk about the evolution of public art, its impact on the urban space and interaction with the public and local communities.
In the course of the project Design Platform aimed at transformation in public schools, TOK found out what kind of changes teachers, pupils and their parents expect. Project co-curator and sociologist Maria Veits will present the results of the research conducted in one of the St. Petersburg schools and the suggestions of architects and designers based on the research outcome.
How to engage a local community in creating a public art project? How should an artist start a dialogue with the citizens? And are there at all people who would like to work on a common project? Let's discuss it with the artist Asia Komarova who has experience of successful work with communities in Holland and will now try to challenge people from St. Petersburg to make an art project all together.
Spatial conditions influence our everyday practices even if we often don't think about it. In this talk Swedish architect and architect Ebba Hogstroem will highlight some thoughts on how space is used and experienced and how spatial awareness relates to empowerment.
The fourth season of the project ‘Critical Mass’ will last for two years and will focus on an analysis of the history of youth movements in the 20th century and the contemporary context of youth initiatives and organizations. It will showcase collaborative initiatives with teenagers and young people and facilitate their active engagement into contemporary creative processes, especially those taking place in the urban environment and public space. The main objective of the fourth season of ‘Critical Mass’ is the integration of new artistic, educational and social practices into government organizations working with young people and involved in youth oriented policy making.
Third season of the project 'Critical Mass' is focused on the issues of preserving cultural heritage and analysis of history and cultural collective memory. The main goal of the project this time is to form sustainable scenarios of revitalizing historical buildings and areas using creative and social practices. The venues of the project is a historically significant spot in St Petersburg - the Gromov's Dacha and Lopukhinskiy garden.
"Young Curators & Art Operators Network" is a curatorial network of young and emerging curators from the North-West Russia and Sweden/Nordic countries initiated by Intercult (Stockholm) and Creative Association of Curators TOK (St Petersburg). The main objective of the network is to stimulate dialogue and cooperation between art professionals interested in sustainable curatorial and artistic practices in public spaces as well as research-based multidisciplinary projects that bring together and connect various communities anf groups.
Third exhibition of public art "Critical Mass" will take place in the Gromov's Dacha, the unique wooden building of the 19th century, in summer-autumn 2015. In July, 2014 TOK arrange a series of the preparatory activities consisting of lectures, performances, summer school and research in order to open the dacha for citizens and to collect a material for the planned exhibition.
TOK curates three and produces two projects in the framework of the public and parallel programs of Manifesta 10, which is held in St Petersburg from June 28 to October 31, 2014. Represented artists include Jeremy Deller (UK), Olga Jitlina (Russia), Glyuklya (Russia), Emily Newman (US), and Maya Zack (Israel).
Design Platform is an international project of socially oriented design launched by TOK. It is aimed at bringing innovations into the learning environment of Russian public schools and make it more interesting, interactive and open for pupils using contemporary design practices and solutions.
Critical Mass is an international biannual project of public art which explores urban life in a big city, using St. Petersburg as an example. Organized and curated by TOK, Critical Mass is a platform for artists, curators, social scientists and citizens for discussing urban issues and creating beautiful and interactive public art works.
The project Nordic Art Today initiated and organized by TOK brings contemporary artists and curators from Nordic countries to Russia. We want to introduce to the local audience the most interesting examples of artistic and curatorial practices dealing with critical approach in contemporary art.
The international art project Towards the Other offers the audience a wide range of perspectives on migration, which has become an essential part of Russian and European reality. The project is organized by The Netherlands Institute in St. Petersburg and Creative Association of Curators TOK.
This 4th season of ‘Critical Mass’ is based on a series of residencies hosting international and Russian artists at the youth clubs in the Petrogradskiy district of St Petersburg, and one former pioneer camp. During the residencies, artists, architects, designers and performers work closely with young people and create new projects reflecting upon the history of youth movements in USSR, Russia and other countries, everyday lives of teenagers and the role that young people play in current sociopolitical processes. In the first week of November artists Anne Siirtola and Avenir Institute will present the results of their residencies and a group of curators from Stockholm will speak about the role of art institutions in the city periphery.
The broad public program held during the fourth season of the ‘Critical Mass’ will consist of lectures and talks, discussions and thematic dialogues with artists, researchers, historians, sociologists and local government representatives. It will be concluded with an international conference about the history of youth movements and today’s youth policies in Russia and abroad in 2017. The discussion will extend to the consideration of various formats and methodologies of art education aimed at young people.
First residency of 'Critical Mass' new season - Colectivo Warehouse at the summer camp 'Petrogradets'
Series of artistic residencies in the framework of the fourth season of ‘Critical Mass’ have started! In August, the first resident, Portuguese architect Ricardo Morais (Colectivo Warehouse) spent several days in the sports and recreational summer camp for kids "Petrogradets" and studies its environment and potential in order to create here a new architeture project next year.
Creative Association of Curators TOK is pleased to announce the opening of the new season of the project ‘Critical Mass’ held in St Petersburg for the fourth time. The new season will last for two years and will focus on an analysis of the history of youth movements in the 20th century and the contemporary context of youth initiatives and organizations. It will showcase collaborative initiatives with teenagers and young people and facilitate their active engagement into contemporary creative processes, especially those taking place in the urban environment and public space. The main objective of the fourth season of ‘Critical Mass’ is the integration of new artistic, educational and social practices into government organizations working with young people and involved in youth oriented policy making.