Installations, sculptures, objects
Belarus/ US
Alina Bliumis
Amateur Bird Watching at Passport Control (2016-2017) focuses on the birds which are featured on passport covers from countries around the world. From eagles to doves, from Albania to Tonga, this series explores the intersection of nation and nature. Birds are often one part of a national system of hereditary symbols or a coat of arms, and appear debossed in metallic gold on passport covers. The artist spotted 50 birds or bird-related creatures on 43 passport covers.
Nature of Nations (2019 – ongoing) is a series of fictional national animal symbols, inspired by heraldic design, coat of arms, history, national animal representatives, geographical borders, folk fables, and stereotypes. Each work in the series portrays a black-washed watercolor animal symbol centered on the paper. An outraged bear with double-headed eagle head instead of feet and wings instead of paws, is a combination of two symbols, the bear of Soviet Russia and the double-headed eagle of contemporary Russia. A bird of prey, the bald eagle, freed from the USA coat of arms with a halo made of two olive branches is staring at the viewer, its claws are empty of weapons. A lion with a foot in its mouth is outlined by the UK's borders. The national animal of Italy, a wolf, with the boot-shaped body, mimicking its country's geographical borders, looks conformed but joyful with its tongue out. An amused panda sits with the map of China outlined on its belly. A European rabbit of Monaco is generating the smell of money. A smirking sexy fox of Algeria stands and a sword-shaped horn wingless unicorn goat of Iraq, all these symbolic animalistic creatures make up the Nature of Nations dictionary, a geographical zoo of personalities, individual in its nature and representative of its nation.
Russia
Anna Sopova and Antanas Jatsinevichys
(fo)rest (2019): In terms of the psychopolitical theory of reality that deals with political science and history through psychopathology*, "depression is the most important part of contemporary mood policy. Its mass spread is associated with the absence of a collective "vision of the future", with the "end of utopias", as well as with the work of a state and capitalism, which is aimed to instill the idea that the current order is unchangeable, and any "fantasies of socialist utopianism" is only harmful". At the same time, the endless measurement of work productivity and efficiency by the modern system, along with the requirements to be active and creative 24 hours a day, are penetrating into all social relations and fields of activity. Quantitative and qualitative measurements form our modern socio-cultural reality, the continuous race of earning status. Failure to comply to the conditions of effectiveness in endless hurry and competition, one way or another, leads to frustration, a sense of worthlessness and, as a result, neurosis, insomnia, and sluggish depressive phases. In order to critically rethink the contemporary reality of neoliberal politics, one can practice to form aforementioned utopian constructions, or to produce evanescent communities, aimed at the repetition of the logic of a communicative construct without a final task. It may lead oftentimes to the fading of protest potential and partial reproduction of the existing political regime through the form of a fictitious idea of the allegedly continuous change and transformation of social reality for the better. What if we suppose that the answer to such situation in the policy of market and social relations could be the practice of slowing down and rest, aimed at the rejection of regular production and consumption? Then, the indemnity of lost sleep could become a procedure of returning to an adequate perception of reality and to the process of accumulation of energy resources.

* Harold Dwight Lasswell – political scientist and theorist, author of Psychopathology and Politics

** Mikhail Kurtov


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