News for the ‘News’ Category

Propaganda Flowers as part of Circus Truth

CIRCUS OF TRUTH

CIRCUS OF TRUTH

Mira Calix, Andjeas Ejiksson, Olaf Nicolai, Gluklya (Natalia Pershina Yakimanskaya), Asad Raza, Sislej Xhafa

 Curated by Dessislava Dimova , supported by Alberta Sessa 

 

 

In January 2018 six international artists were invited to meet in Brussels for the first time and take part in a unique experiment in collaboration – creating a collective work of art.

 

No one knew whether the endeavor would be a success and what kind of artwork it would produce. The project challenged both notions of individual creativity and existing examples of collectivism.

 

In a climate of uncertainty about Europe’s future and a demand for art and culture to take an active part in European politics this collaborative experiment could not remain neutral. Questions about art’s historically troubled position between autonomy and propaganda constantly resurfaced in the discussions.

 

After many meetings and creative exchanges, CIRCUS OF TRUTH is finally the result of this extraordinary experience. A collective artwork and an evening of performances, music, dance and political speeches, it stages the themes that dominate our contemporary ‘post-truth’ society: truth, facts and alternative facts, propaganda, manipulation.

 

Truth is here a performative notion, it evolves in time and with its public. CIRCUS OF TRUTH unfolds as an evening of performances in ten acts, which will conclude as a sound and spatial installation on view during four days – a separate object to be experienced in itself.

Peaceful Poppy

I was very happy to receive an invitation from the recently erected department of Human Plants at the European Parliament.
They showed me a photo of a huge banner in the city of Dushanbe with the president of Tajikistan on it. He was standing in a field of poppies. Poppies are a symbol of wartime remembrance.
This was no demonstration of solidarity with the fallen soldiers “Flanders Field”. They saw it as a hidden message. The task was to decode it. I was flattered to be one of the experts on it.

After having a short look at the map I understood: His country was the perfect highway for all the drugs to the west.

TAJIKISTAN is the poorest republic of the former Soviet Union, yet its capital, Dushanbe, is awash with cash, construction and flash cars. It is easy to guess where the money comes from. Tajikistan has little industry but, with a porous 1,300-km (800-mile) border with northern Afghanistan, it is at the heart of a multi-billion-dollar network smuggling heroin. Bizarrely though, unlike other transit countries such as Mexico, Tajikistan sees little drug-related violence. The heroine, instead, seems to help stabilise the place.

These particularly case gave me the opportunity to develop my most ambitious project: To cross Poppy Opium with the Tulip Vamp in the context of the nitrates free zone in Central Africa. Interesting that the different soil is giving different results.

 

 

 Welwitschia

In the search of the Truth, I travelled to Africa to get the amazing Welwitschia – the plant of all plants, the sexiest plant, the most unusual plant in the world! This plant, known as Welwitschia Mirabilis is a plant which is endemic to desert region in Namibia and Southern Angola. Welwitschia is a monotypic gymnosperm genus although among people it is commonly known as a dwarf-plant. The two leaves of Welwitschia are leathery, growing with the speed of 8-15 cm per year. They can reach length up to 2-3 m, sometimes 6 m long. In its adult phase, the leaves will break off and gradually die. This amazing plant is known to collect drops of water from the thick fog on its leaves and bring the water down to the roots, metaphorically connecting our ancient roots with modern life. Like that, we have come to the conclusion that it could be a sculpture of a True Democracy.

What I find very sad is the fact that Welwitschia is the last plant that is left from its own plant family. The rest of its relatives died out a long time ago. So in order to save this plant I have crossed it with Reynoutria japonica, an invasive plant.

Reynoutria japonica is a migrant plant, who escaped from his motherland via Europe. This plant has very long roots similar to Welwitschia, and he is growing so fast, that gardeners face the necessity to exterminate him. For this purpose, they invented the method of killing it by placing it in the special box filled with special poison.

Behold the result of the Welwitschia/ Reynoutria Japonica hybrid plant!!

 

 

Kimilsungia

“Kimilsungia” – named after Kim Il Sung – General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army, the Eternal Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. This flower is strong, and his foundation is universal! I brought it from North Korea and rooted it in a Brussels famous botanical garden. You can see the flower there, unfolding around 7 am and closing around 6 pm. During this time you can observe the spectacular appearance of the flower’s centre part and an amazing smell which gives it a special aura and look.


The plant grows between 30 and 70 centimeters tall. Each stalk produces between 3 and 15 flowers per growth cycle. The flowers have three petals and three calyxes that measure between 6 and 8 centimeters. Kimilsungia blooms for between 60 and 90 days and is at its most fragrant and beautiful state on the 30th day. Kimilsungia is a flower with AAA-rated socialist credentials! It needs very little water or light or love for this matter- this flower is mankind’s triumph over the tyranny of nature! Gary smells the flower with deep breaths for a long time – he touches the flower and the way of talking turns from strictly rational to sensual and dreamy AROUSED.


The Kimilsungia violet orchid is now seen as a symbol of Kim Il-sung’s “peerless character” and he is “fully reflected in the immortal flower” which is “blooming everywhere on the five continents”.

Right now, we are negotiating with the Association of Sculptors in order to make this flower an eternal monument to Socialism.

 

 

Tulip Vamp


Africa is home to a wide variety of flowers.
Flowers need water, soil, fertile land and a lot of care.
But Water is the main issue when it comes to flowers. Water in Africa is a serious problem, children are dying without access to clean water. Water is a very expensive commodity. But the big companies who cultivate flowers for export allowed using as much water as they want for free. They need the water to raise the flowers for Europe, to bring Beauty.

In dedication to this human hypocrisy, I have created this breathtaking flower. I gave it the name Vampire Tulip.

 

 

 

Brexit Rose

Let me Introduce you a Hybrid of the Red and White Roses, with a percentage of Wolfsbane seeds. My father was the professor botanist specialized in Roses. The Red/White hybrid of Roses was created by him. As you might imagine I have a contradictory relationship with Roses because of my father- a despotic man and sorry to say. A homophobe. Additionally, let me tell you that my father voted for Brexit with no deal — a so-called hard BREXIT. Probably these personal complexities plus the situation in the United Kingdom gave me the impulse to create the new type of Rose: Brexit Rose.

 

 

 

 

Congo Flower

I met a young man from Congo. His accent was very strong and it was difficult to understand him. BUT: what I understood was this- There a hallucinogenic drug from Congo called IBOGEEN. It comes from a flowering tree called Iboga. Before westerners arrived in Africa it was used for medicinal purposes and as part of witch doctor rituals. When white people came and tried to replace the traditional religions with Catholicism- they discouraged and banned Ibogaine. Apparently- some people use it for toothaches (in small doses) and to get high and for magic (in big doses).
Ibogaine is being used to help heroin addicts in detoxification treatment.

 

 

Yellow Iris

This gorgeous flower is the symbol of Brussels. Legend told that it is because the flower where showing the way to crusaders as it was flowering at the ground where they can go. The rest was the dangerous swamp.
An activist from Capetown who wants to remain anonymous told me this story: The government there is fighting a relentless battle against an invasion- a flower invasion. The invasion is that of certain non-indigenous plants that begin to spread across South Africa. This is a futile battle but has all the same grown into a collective obsession. In South Africa, non-native plants are called Aliens. There is a blacklist of the invasive plants and the Yellow Iris is on that list. a praised saviour in her home country of Belgium, a blacklisted Alien after her migration to South Africa.

 

 

Dandelion

Dandelion, as I told you from the start, the main idea of the European Union is the piece which might embrace all contradictions. Please let s sing together this song! This beautiful hybrid will bring you to the special room where you might relax and sing this song with us!
Now Arthur was only a young cub
A brave lion and merely fifteen
But with the rest of his pack
He was sent to attack
To a war that was cruel and obscene
But those lions fought hard and fought bravely
While the donkeys just grazed in a field
They had no sense of shame for their barbarous game
And the thousands of lions they killed
And when he saw them marching up Whitehall
I remember what old Arthur said
He said the donkeys are all wearing poppies
So I shall wear dandelions instead
Now every Remembrance Sunday
Well I pause at eleven o’clock
And I remember those dandy young lions
And those donkeys and their poppycock
Cos they’ve taken those beautiful poppies
And they use them to glorify war
Well I remember those dandy young lions
And I don’t wear a poppy no more
And when he saw them marching up Whitehall
I remember what old Arthur said
He said the donkeys are all wearing poppies
So I shall wear dandelions instead
Now if you take an old dandelion
And just blow it quite gently he’d say
You can see all the dreams of those soldiers
In the seeds as they just float away
But then the wind takes hold of those seeds
And they rise and quickly they soar
Like the spirit of all those old soldiers
Who believed that their war would end the war
And when he saw them marching up Whitehall
I remember what old Arthur said
He said the donkeys are all wearing poppies
So I shall wear dandelions instead
Cos those lions were dandy young workers
Who those donkeys so cruelly misled
And if the Donkeys are gonna wear poppies
I shall wear dandelions instead
And when he saw them marching up Whitehall
I remember what old Arthur said
He said the donkeys are all wearing poppies
So I shall wear dandelions instead

Info by VFP member Aly Renwick, who served in the British Army from 1960-68.

Posted: June 14th, 2019
Categories: News
Tags:
Comments: No Comments.

Debates on Division in BOZAR Brussels 2019

Posted: April 11th, 2019
Categories: News
Tags:
Comments: No Comments.

Installation of the Utopian Unemployment Union intervention to the Karnevalet – feiring og protest in the Interkulturelt Museum /Oslo

Posted: April 11th, 2019
Categories: News
Tags:
Comments: No Comments.

Van Abbe Museum POSITIONS # 4

POSITIONS # 4

Gluklya, Naeem Mohaiemen and Sandi Hilal & Alessandro Petti

01/12/2018 – 28/04/2019
four artists in dialogue …
Curators: Charles Esche, Diana Franssen

For  Positions # 4  we invited four artists: Gluklya (Natalia Pershina-Jakimanskaya), Naeem Mohaiemen and the duo Sandi Hilal & Alessandro Petti. They all have a bond with art as activism and use art as a basis to address the tensions that arise from historical taxes, injustice and political change.

They show stories about specific parts of the world with film, drawings, architecture, text, education and fashion. Together they sketch a picture of the survival of man in an uncertain world and the way new solutions and possibilities arise. Whether they look at the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries or look at the current situation of refugees in Amsterdam or Bethlehem, the artists try to see historical errors and contemporary conflicts as experiences from which a visitor can derive new inspiration.

Gluklya, Naeem Mohaiemen, Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti teach us about the ability of humans to keep their heads high in difficult times.

Posted: December 21st, 2018
Categories: News
Tags:
Comments: No Comments.

Clothes for the Demonstration Against Valse Vladimir Putin Elections 211-2015 / Venice 56 bienalle

Posted: August 27th, 2018
Categories: News
Tags:
Comments: No Comments.

A CARNIVAL TO OVERCOME ALIENATION

Dorota Michalska, 15 August 2018

A CARNIVAL TO OVERCOME ALIENATION

INTERVIEW WITH GLUKLYA (NATALIA PERSHINA-YAKIMANSKAYA)

Textiles were for decades disregarded as a “female” and “amateurish” kind of craft which stands in sharp contrast to “high art”. In the late 80. you graduated from the Mukhina Academy of Fine Art and Design in St Petersburg. What was the approach to textiles back then in Russia? Were they considered a full-fledged kind of art or relegated to the domain of crafts?

The Mukhina Academy in St Petersburg in the 80s was a very traditional art school where textiles were perceived as craft rather than art. Crafts were a very important element of visual culture in Soviet Russia. In the 70s and 80s artists often supported themselves by working on state commissions such as tapestries, textiles, or, more generally, interior design projects for state building.

My approach to textiles was quite different. It was more conceptual rather than purely aesthetic. I was very lucky because my teacher at that time was Boris Migal – a famous textile artist in Soviet Russia with a more avant-garde approach – who was very tolerant and supported my practice from the beginning. I graduated in 1989, my diploma piece was entitled “The Magic Eye”. It was already a conceptual piece – a sort of deconstructed textile made of grey and brown ropes with fragments of a broken mirror.

In 1995, you co-founded together with your friend Tsaplya “The Factory of Found Clothes”. The 1990s were a time of groundbreaking changes in Russia. How have those events informed your practice?

In the early 90s, I often went to the Puskinskaya Art Center in St Petersburg where a lot of artists from different generations were hanging out. It was there that – together with Tsaplya – we started working on The Factory of Found Clothes and the notion of fragility. In the 1990s everything was changing very quickly, capitalism was being implemented and a lot of people were left disfranchised. In this context, both Tsaplya and I started to explore the notion of fragility to underline how those historical and economic changes were affecting the most marginalised social groups in Russia: the working class, women, LGBT communities. This is also why we decided to work not just generally with textiles or materials, but specifically with clothes. We felt that clothing was a very direct way to approach the most intimate and delicate aspects of the human psyche. Also, in the 1990s in Russia you could experience a real merging of life and art and “dresses” expressed this fusion.

Textiles have a particularly complicated relationship with labor. Friedrich Engels’s and Karl Marx’s theorizations about capitalism were rooted in their observations of textile factories in XIX England. Today’s most of our clothes are produced in Bangladesh, China or Chile. How do you fabricate your clothes? Where do they come from?

Most of the textiles I use were handed down to me by other people. My friends constantly bring to my studio old clothes they don’t need anymore. I don’t really buy new stuff. In the past years, I have only bought some materials from a textile manufacture in the Russian city of Ivanovo. In the XIX century, the city was called the “Russian Manchester” because of its famous manufacturing industry. Ivanovo has also played a very important part in the history of class struggles. The working class movement was always very strong in the city: this is where the first strikes took place in 1905 which soon spread out across the whole country. Nowadays, most factories are struggling financially – indeed most have closed down in recent decades – so for me is especially important to buy those local products.

In the exhibition “Women at Work: Subverting the Feminine in Post-Soviet Russia” at the White Space Gallery in London you display a “shroud” dedicated to Timur Novikov – a key figure in the artistic scene of the 1990s in St Petersburg. Novikov is today mostly known from his fabric motifs which combine a pop sensibility with an avant-garde approach to textiles. What was your relationship with Novikov? Was his approach to materials in the 80s and 90s informative for your own artistic practice? How are those reflected in the “shroud” piece?

In the 1990s Novikov was an established artist both in Russia and on the international scene. Everyone knew him in St Petersburg. The younger generation of artists had an ambivalent relationship with him: he was a “master” figure, but at the same time we felt the need to distantiate ourselves from him. To put it simply our concepts were different, we worked with different subjects. He was this dandy figure, while I was more interested in the social and political context of contemporary art. However, after he went blind in 1997 we with Tsaplya felt the need to support him as our comrade and friend. We did a performance entitled “The Whites visit Timur Novikov”. My friends and I came to his house dressed in white chemical warfare suits with several gifts symbolising our respect to him as a great artist and person.

Textiles have played since decades a very important role in queer and “genderbending” communities as in the case of drag-queens performances or underground theatre troupes. Would you describe your clothes as either queer or camp?

I wouldn’t call my clothes camp or queer. But it is true that a lot of artists involved in textiles in Soviet Russia were gay or challenging the gender divide. My first teacher Boris Migal was gay, he died in the 1990s, I think he had AIDS. No one in Russia at that time spoke really about those things. But I think that textiles – and more generally interior design – was an area of art where a lot of people could find a sort of “refuge” from censorship and state control. This, for instance, was also the case of my father who was an architect interested in the ideas of Le Corbusier and in the Bauhaus. He couldn’t really put those concepts into practice in the Soviet Union so he eventually moved to interior design where he could work on more experimental projects.

Since 2011, you have been working on the project “Carnival of the Oppressed Feelings” which involves staging a carnivalesque parade in different cities in collaboration with immigrants’ communities. How do you see the connection between textiles and migration?

Textiles have a particularly complicated relationship to capitalism and colonialism. Very often the circulation of textiles was linked to mass – often forced – migration of people. During my workshops with refugee and immigrants I attempt to reverse this colonializing tendency: give the clothes back to those historically exploited communities while at the same time freeing the textiles from their original function as mere goods.

My artistic practice has changed a lot in confrontation with the immigrants’ communities in Bologna, Amsterdam and other European cities. I started to perceive working with textiles as almost an architectural practice. I often think of the workshops and the clothes we create in terms of an “invisible house”, a protective space. This is why I am increasingly often using industrial materials, especially isolating foams. Foams play such an interesting role within a construction: they occupy a space in-between, acting like a buffer layer between other materials. They are both resistant and flexible. This is very much related to my latest idea of the New Hybrid Human. Communism aimed to create The New Man, but today we need a different concept, one way more inclusive in terms of genders, identities and nationalities.

The notion of the carnivalesque – coined by Mikhail Bakhtin in his groundbreaking study on the role of the carnival in Middle-Ages societies – has been employed in recent years by many activists’ initiatives such as the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army or the Carnival against Capital. Accordingly to Bakhtin, carnivals had the potential to break down existing boundaries and to enable genuine dialogue. However, don’t you think that nowadays they have been mostly co-opted by capitalism and have turned into a holiday or spectacle?

Exactly. The contemporary carnival has become a dull commercial festival that reminds rather a march of the zombies. Bakhtin described the carnivals taking place in the Middle Ages as moments of profound reinvention, truly life-changing events – in the sense described by Alain Badou – where everyone is equal. They brought hope to people that a different kind of life, a different way of being with others was possible.

In my project, I am trying to go back to the original potential of the carnival. Which is of course very hard, exactly because of the reasons you mentioned. To me, the carnival is supposed to give presence, voice and visibility to immigrants and to imagine a better society. Each of the costumes was designed after months of meetings and discussions with the people taking part in the project. I try to give them space and help them to create their own visual language. The carnivals are also an opportunity to learn from refugees and create connections between them and the rest of society. I want to try to build an event where life and art can influence each other with the common goal to overcome alienation.

Posted: August 26th, 2018
Categories: News, Publications
Tags:
Comments: No Comments.

The Fabric of Felicity

I have been invited to The Fabric of Felicity in Moscow GARAGE , по ссылке вы найдете более подробную информацию о выставке

Posted: August 16th, 2018
Categories: News
Tags:
Comments: No Comments.

Workshop in Palermo

 Gluklya (Natalia Pershina-Yakimanskaya) _ Workshop @ MANIFESTA 12, Palermo /Collaterial events /2018

Together with  TAAK, Amsterdam and NoMade, Rome.The event  hosted by TMO/Teatro Mediterranean Occupato  /COPRESENCE

Gluklya’s Utopian Unemployment Union is a project uniting art, social science, and progressive pedagogy, giving people with all kinds of social backgrounds the opportunity to make art together. Her latest performance is the latest expression of this Union. The Carnival of Oppressed Feeling is the outcome of Gluklya’s encounters with refugees living at Bijlmerbajes, a former prison complex (in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

pastedGraphic.png      pastedGraphic_1.png

Utopian Unemployment Union is a critical space to promote social innovation where thought becomes reality. Through an educational program with meetings and workshops for migrants and refugees, it aims to create and develop a path toward self-initiative and self-determination to escape rejection and exclusion.

The workshop aims to give shape to the implicit emotional experiences of people involved. The working method can be seen as a sort of experimental art therapy; it is defined by the artist herself as “formalization of fragility”, a way to give form to sensations and thoughts. For refugees it can often be difficult to translate thoughts into words, due to the lack of a shared language. During the workshop no traumas will be verbalised, the goal is to create something together and at the same time make the interaction between different groups of people less complicated.

GALLLERIAPIÙ represents Gluklya’s work in Italy. Together with the artist we realized in 2016 the project Utopian Unemployment Union of Bologna: Gluklya along with a small group made up of migrants, refugees and young students of the Fine Arts Academy of Bologna developed a new model to unite and redefine the relationship between the economy, art and social policies.

pastedGraphic_2.png

We now want to help Gluklya in finding motivated and engaged partners for the workshop that will take place at MANIFESTA 12 in Palermo, on 15 and 16 June 2018.

We are looking for:

-a LOCATION for the workshop

-a FILM MAKER for the video documentation

-a WRITER who will observe the workshop and write a text/diary

-PARTICIPANTS for the workshop, especially

NGOs open to experimentation 

Teenagers who believe in the idea to change society 

Refugees/migrants with a creative and open mind; who love drawing, singing, dancing,…

Teachers who are already teaching Italian to refugees

Academics and Students from the Linguistic Departments of the University http://www.unipa.it/strutture/scuolaitalianastranieri/ 

Gluklya’s workshop is something alive, not a product; it is in a state of becoming, which means it really depends on who will be the partners and participants!

Gluklya would be interested in developing UUU Palermo around the unification of Linguistics (academics, students) and Dancing and Music people. To unite people who are dealing with different languages: verbal and non-verbal.

 

 

pastedGraphic_3.png

via del Porto 48 a/b 

40122 Bologna 

+39 (0)51 6449537

www.gallleriapiu.com 

info@gallleriapiu.com

Posted: July 2nd, 2018
Categories: News, Workshop
Tags:
Comments: No Comments.

Interview with Gluklya (Natalia Pershina-Yakimanskaya – Russia)

Interview with Gluklya (Natalia Pershina-Yakimanskaya – Russia), one of the artists selected to participate in the exhibition,All The World’s Futures – Biennale Arte 2015. Exhibited at the Arsenale Corderie.

http://www.labiennale.org/en/mediacenter/video/56-17.html

Posted: September 11th, 2015
Categories: News
Tags:
Comments: No Comments.

All the World’s Futures

until 22 November 2015
GLUKLYA / Natalia Pershina-Yakimanskaya, Clothes for the demonstration against false election of Vladimir Putin, 2011-2015, textile, hand writing, wood, Courtesy AKINCI Amsterdam, sponsored by V-A-C Foundation, Moscow.
http://www.barbaragross.de/

It fills us with pride to say that Okwui Enwezor’s exhibition All the World’s Futures, currently at the Venice Biennale and displaying the work of Gluklya, is appreciated as being “frighteningly necessary.”

Artspace writes the following: In this show, Enwezor has tapped an impressive number of artists who ignore the market enough to speak truth to power—sometimes to the extent that it’s not obvious that what they’re doing is art. Their ethos may be best summarized by the Russian artist known as Gluklya, who co-wrote a 2002 manifesto declaring that “The place of the artist is by the side of the weak.” Her work, featured in the show, has been characterized by an exploration of the nature of public and private space in Putin’s Russia.

Read full article…

(more…)

Posted: May 17th, 2015
Categories: News
Tags:
Comments: No Comments.