“They are among us” is an installation conceived especially for the ACC using objects of clothing, light, and sound of the metronome, which was inspired by current and historical cases of denunciation, including those surrounding the ‘witch hunts’ and the Gulag under Stalin. The work seeks to reproduce in the exhibition space a sphere of uncertainty and angst in which the denounced do not know who the denunciator is and whether he is not even directly present himself.
The atmosphere of the installation reproduces the atmosphere of suspicion when at vernissage people for sure knows that denunciator came, but they did not know who is he or she. It can be any person. It is the everyday reality in Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, and many other countries.
Red Dress Congress as part of Space 1520, an artistic research laboratory at GARAGE Museum of Contemporary Art /Moscow /2021-22
“Dream/Bed”, series for Mn Artists program of the Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis MN USA, https://mnartists.walkerart.org/
ACC Gallery Weimar, Germany,
A brief introduction
Defamation as an instrument of social control with unaccountable consequences seems to have been always present. As a communication strategy, it often serves to exclude individuals, makes society and individuals ill, bears the traits of a passion. Yet it appears to be an anthropological given, closely linked with curiosity, rumor, gossip, and betrayal. So we, too, are at risk, because a particular criminal energy is not required for defamation – in times of digital networks, it is even tempting and easier for everyone, and the transition from inconspicuous ordinary citizen to the defamator is fluid. We are apparently seduced into defamation by a heightened need for aroused sense of control and aroused desire for power, in short a potential, a block-warden-mentality that is potentially dormant in us. Non-political backgrounds are often the cause of ‘common’ defamation, rather hidden private motives such as envy, resentment, bitterness, feelings of revenge and jealousy play an important role. If one can exert little influence in any other way, he or she might try to get rid of a competitor or to exercise power over a superior by making a false (anonymous) statement. The feeling of being of influence seems to some so appealing that moral considerations are superseded. At the same time, different social environments produce different patterns of defamatory behavior, ranging from personal favoritism to state domination and combinations of both. It is possible that the tendency to defamation is particularly high in times of diffuse political insecurity. Its effectiveness also depends on the prevailing norms and social conditions. An ethic of dealing with our information behavior and its consequences is unavoidable, because, just as there are reports that are ethically required or reports to the state or institutions are necessary, other reports can be devastating for the individual. As is known, the victims of defamation as a ‘weapon’ often suffer from vehemently damaged trust; they have not infrequently paid with their lives.
In an upcoming international group exhibition, eight to ten artists will show works that explore defamatory behavior and examine various aspects of defamation, works that deal with specific cases of defamation, its history, the psychology of the defamator and the victim, defamation techniques and language use, the role of (mass-)media and social networks, the role of anonymity, and so on.
group show NEST / Den Haag ,10 September 2021
Propaganda Flowers is a series of drawings that are accompanied by stories from interviews with people from different countries on the connection between politics and flowers. For example, the Kimilsungia violet orchid was named after Kim Il-Sung, former leader of North Korea, and tells a narrative about the remembrances of socialism. The Vampire Tulip asks questions about human hypocrisy, distracted from the water crisis in Africa, whereas the Welwitschia flower is accompanied by the text about the flower as a symbol for democracy. Each drawing touches upon the ethics of politics, combining the sweet symbolism of flowers with deep geopolitical concerns.
For the exhibition at Nest in The Hague, Can you be a revolutionary and still like flowers?, a new chapter of the Propaganda Flowers series was created. The works was done in the context of Russia , with supportive conversations with the eco -activist Maria Tinika who created a Saving Trees society in St -Petersburg.
photo documentation of the Installation : Charlott Markus
Den Haag Centraal: https://www.nestruimte.nl/bloemen-als-symbolen-van-verzet/
Groene Amsterdammer: https://www.groene.nl/artikel/de-laatste-sanseveria and https://www.groene.nl/artikel/dansende-bloemen