Public events of 4th season 'Critical Mass' on November 1-5

Creative Association of Curators TOK 
continues the event program of the 4th season of ‘Critical Mass’ project

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 pionee​r​ camp . During the residencies​,​ artists, architects, designers and performers work closely with young people and create new projects reflecting upon​ the​ history of you​th​ movements in USSR, Russia and other countries​. They will consider the ​everyday ​lives of teenagers and the role ​that young people ​play in current sociopolitical processes. Ten commissioned projects will be presented to audiences in 2016 and 2017. In addition, the new season includes a public program that consists of artist talks, presentations, discussions and seminars. 

November 1, 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Presentation of the interactive board game 

During the month of the residency in St Petersburg, Avenir Institute developed 'The Game of Futures #2' together with the members of the youth club 'Sreda’.

The project departs from the critical theory and the theory of futures,  embedded in gamification mechanisms from popular board games, played by the people of all generations, the young people in particular, in St Petersburg and beyond. The Game of Futures #2’ is an installation, a sculpture and a board game that consists of a game board the shape of the map of the modern Russia, game pieces of several types, representing the various centres of possible futures (medicine, communication technology, energy, etc.). It also includes score coins that are distributed by chance, and political leader figures, whose function in the game is to close the towers of futures into ‘the future’ and claim the scores for players. The players have to mind the balance of the platform: in case towers are not evenly built, the platform can incline and collapse the game of futures for everyone. The winner in ‘The Game of Futures #2’ defines the core of the desirable future scenario: based on the type of events (avenirs) his/her coins represent. 

None of the scenarios of futures is right or wrong: the competitive character and the critical nature of the game are reflected in the relativity of the gameplay and the role of luck along with strategic considerations - crucial for the resilience and balance of the platform. 

The installation/game is produced at the Fab Lab in the St Petersburg State Polytechnic University. 

Youth Center ‘Sreda’, Bolshaya Pushkarskaya, 32


November 2, 6 p.m.
Pubic talk by Anne Siirtola (Finland)

part of the public program of the fourth season of 'Critical Mass' 

Anne Siirtola combines installation, moving image and sound in her work in order to explore interaction and encounters between people. The foundation of her work lies in the communal. Traces of change and dissolution that can be identified in both the human mind and in the physical matter are visible in Siirtola’s work. The artist often  uses reused, second-hand or discarded, cast-off materials. Anne documents her own life and the life of others by asking what is worthy and important in life. She sees her role as an artist in acting as  a mediator or  a catalyst: “Sometimes even minor participation can be very remarkable for somebody and can give you a sense of inclusion and success’’, she says. 

In her talk Anne 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.

The Institute of Finland in St Petersburg, Bolshaya Konyushennaya, 8


November 3, 6 p.m. 
Joint exhibition by Anne Siirtola and teenagers for the youth Meteor Club
Video, installation, performance  

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. These conversations were reflected in a clothing collection where each piece has its own story told by its creator about the courage of having its own voice and being oneself regardless the public opinion and peer pressure.  The exhibition comprises installation that represents a clothes boutique, a performance in a format of a catwalk where participants will present the costumes they made and video documenting the the creative process and the artist's interaction with the participants  of her project.  

Youth club Raduga, Monchegorskaya street, 10B 
November 5, 7 p.m. 
Public seminar with curators from Sweden 

part of the public program of the fourth season of 'Critical Mass' and 'Young Curators & Art Operators Network' project

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. After the three presentations there will be an open discussion, where Russian art professionals  can reflect upon the experience of their Swedish colleagues and speak about its applicability to the Russian context.

Taiga Creative Space, Dvortsovaya emb, 20
Seminar will be held in English