“Re-Aligned Art” Brings Chto Delat, Pussy Riot, et al, to Norway

Nikolay Oleynikov, A Comment on Co-Dependence,  2013.

Nikolay Oleynikov, A Comment on Co-Dependence, 2013.

e-flux’s Adam Kleinman wasn’t the only visitor to Katya Degot‘s and David Riff‘s Bergen Assembly that was swayed by Chto Delat‘s new A Border Musical, 2013, which sets a Songspiel-styled, transnational romance in remote Finnmark (for many a reminder that Norway and Russia even share a border at all.) The piece negotiates the tricky space between where national borders no longer matter (as we’ve all been promising ourselves) and where they still do.

With this fresh in our minds, we couldn’t help but notice that Chto Delat would be continuing their Norwegian sojourn by participating in Tromsø Kunstforening‘s exhibition “Re-Aligned Art.” Curated by Perpetuum Mobile‘s Ivor Stodolsky and Marita Muukkonen, the project set about to focus on Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, recruiting artists like Anatoly Osmolovsky, Timofey Radya, Victoria LomaskoArseny Zhilyaev (who collaborates with  Ilya Budraitskis as “Pedagogical Poem.“) An accompanying symposium stretched from Friday until today, which also featured live video feeds with Katya Samutsevich of Pussy Riot and Pyotr Verzilov, formerly of Voina, but now identified as “husband of Nadya Tolokonnikova.”  [You can find the full program here.]

With so many promising young artists – many of whom are strangely (not so strangely?) absent from this week’s Moscow Biennale – this exhibition not only drew our attention to the activities of Re-Aligned, but also to the fact that  Tromsø is also home to an academic program on Border Poetics! In short: Norway, you’ve got our attention. We look forward to reading reports on this weekend’s proceedings.

Oh, and for those of you interested in reading more about the Bergen Assembly, you can  also check out Baibakov Art Projects‘ curator Kate Sutton‘s take at Artforum.com.

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