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Boiler Room Lecture: Slavs and Tatars


Al-Isnad or Chains We Can Believe In

Thursday 22 October 2015, 6:00-7.30pm /// FREE
Venue: Village Roadshow Theatrette, State Library of Victoria
Conference Centre, 179 La Trobe Street, Melbourne
Bookings required on
or ph. 03 9905 4217

Watch a recording of this lecture on MUMA's Vimeo page.

Founded in 2006, Slavs and Tatars is a faction of polemics and intimacies devoted to an area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China known as Eurasia. They have exhibited in major institutions across the Middle East, Europe and North America, including the Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, 10th Sharjah, 8th Berlin, 3rd Thessaloniki, and 9th Gwangju Biennials. Select solo engagements include MoMA, NY (2012), Secession, Vienna (2012), Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (2013), Dallas Museum of Art (2014), Kunsthalle Zurich (2014), GfZK, Leipzig (2014) and NYU Abu Dhabi (2015).

The artists’ publications and lecture-performances, on topics ranging from Slavic Orientalism to the metaphysics of protest, are central to their research-driven practice and have been presented extensively at leading universities, museums, and various institutions. Slavs and Tatars have published several books, including Kidnapping Mountains (Book Works, 2009), Not Moscow Not Mecca (Revolver/Secession, 2012), Khhhhhhh (Mousse/Moravia Gallery, 2012), Friendship of Nations: Polish Shi’ite Showbiz (Book Works, 2013), Mirrors for Princes (NYU Abu Dhabi / JRP|Ringier, 2015) as well as their translation of the legendary Azeri satire Molla Nasreddin: the magazine that would’ve, could’ve, should’ve (JRP|Ringier, 2011).

Al-Isnad or Chains We Can Believe In tells a story of mysticism within modernity, namely through the unlikely perspective of a Dan Flavin commissions for a Sufi mosque in downtown New York in the early 1980s, via the Dia Art Foundation. From Khlebnikov and the Russian Futurists to Charles de Foucauld and le renouveau catholique, the lecture attempts a definition of criticality through hospitality and the sacred, linguistic and syncretic, respectively. Al-Isnad or Chains We Can Believe In has been presented at the MoMA, NY; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and Institutions by Artists conference, Vancouver.

This Boiler Room lecture is presented by MUMA in partnership with the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane, on the occasion of Slavs and Tatars solo exhibition Mirrors for Princes (24 October - 20 December 2015) at IMA Brisbane.

This lecture will be Auslan interpred.

Image: Slavs and Tatars, A mosque on Mercer 2015

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