area: Video, Performance, Visual Art
areaVideo, Performance, Visual Art
time periodMay 2019 - June 2019
Aliaxey Talstou is an artist, curator and writer based in Minsk, Belarus. Since 2009 he is involved in local contemporary art scene. Talstou is a resident of the gallery for contemporary art Ў in Minsk where his solo exhibitions “Self-control” (2013) and “It`s so beautiful!” (2016) took place. After year 2015 his practice started to shift from oil painting to installation and performance.
One of his best known works is a "Crystal" series (2016) that consists of two total installations “It`s so beautiful!” (gallery Ў, Minsk) and “Shards” (gallery Canteen XYZ, Minsk) as well as two performances in public spaces. The series dealt with issues of state ideology of Belarus, authoritarianism as well as recent consequences of slight neoliberal reforms.
As curator and co-curator, Talstou worked on several shows in Belarus and other countries, such as “Boundaries of the Other” (gallery CECH, Minsk, 2016), “Talking about Politics” (DKDS, Moscow, 2016) and “Fortress Europe. Eastern Bastion.” (KX gallery, Brest, 2016), series “One Can Not be too Careful” (CECH, Minsk 2017; Eve`s ribs, St.Petersburg, 2018; Petersburg/Club der polnischen Versager, Berlin, 2018), and "What unites us?" (KX gallery, Brest, 2018).
Aliaxey is recognised as a specialist who is deeply involved into artistic and cultural activism. His work “Lasunak” ("Delicacy") (2016) became a good known example of institutional critique in the country. Talstou is also known for taking the National centre for contemporary art and Ministry of Culture to court after the institution`s denial to share the public informationton on status of it`s collections. After this he was honoured with the National Rada Awards prize for "strong civil position in art”.
In 2017 he worked as an art director of centre for culture and education CECH (Minsk). Since 2016 he is a curator of exhibitions and cultural projects of "Human Constanta", a human rights defenders organization that works with issues of refugees at Belarusian-Polish border in Brest.
Soup of Time.
Soup of Time is a pretty complex project I'm going to work on for the next couple of years. While in my previous works I dealed mostly with issues of national mythology, social stereotypes, xenophobia and politics as a field of confrontation between grass root activists and elites, here I'd like to slightly change my optics. I see several vectors of input in this work now:
1. Biology and body conditions of contemporarity. Health and medicine and how they are influenced by late capitalism agenda, precarization and acceleration. Biological engineering, deseese curing, future body adjustments and artificial improvements.
2. Technology and globalization. Digital humanity as a new panopticon. Acceleration as a chance for the changes? Levels of acceptance of rapid tech progress and it's influence on the society and politics. Post-truth, right-wing turn as a reaction on the new paradigm of networked world.
3. Mass media and real events. Perception of reality on local and international level. Is today's access to information really empowers and educates people? What are the possibilities for political subjectivity?
4. Classical literature. Poetry. Traditional culture, believes and rituals. Appropriation, adaptation, reinterpretation of narratives.
These topics were coined by works of Franco Berardi, Mark Fisher, Douglas Rushkoff, David Graeber, Matteo Pasquinelly as well as poetry of XX century. The topics will get interact with each other, and not in the way of pure research but more likely they will be used as the base for my work.
I see the project as a pretty complex body of work that consists of exhibitional and process based parts. For the fist one I already have a video work. Also I plan to create a series of graphics inspired by some media images and military conflicts particularly, contradictions of war on terror and neocolonial issues. I think about adding some audio with songs and anthems I'm going to sing, as well as audio installation. Also I work now on introducing some kinetic objects, prepared ready mades.
For the time based part I think about lecture that can be combined with video blog which will translate main line of the work, be more specific and narrow. Also for offline I'd be glad to use puppet theater.
All these medias and approaches are still in draft so I need to work with them for some time to prepare general conceptual shape, to research and then to produce the pieces.
In October – December 2018 I plan to prepare the general concept, do some research, shape the pieces and do sketching. I hope to create the presentation to the end of this period.
For more information about my practice please visit talstou.com.