Slavs and Tatars – 79.89.09
18 Oct 2010


A look at two key modern moments – the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and Poland’s Solidarnosc 1980s movement–as a narrative strategy to read the recent past, 79.89.09 is a talk and part of a multiplatform project called Friendship of Nations, looking at the unlikely hertiage between Iran and Poland.

Slavs and Tatars is a collective devoted to an area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China known as Eurasia. Colliding the polemical, the analytical and the affective in a society that too often sequesters each, Slavs and Tatars excavates stories and legacies at heightened risk of being forgotten and trampled under the guise of progress-cum-westernization.
Based between Brussels and Moscow, the collective’s work spans several media, disciplines, and a broad spectrum of cultural registers (high and low) focusing on an oft-forgotten sphere of influence between SlavsCaucasians and Central Asians.

Standing squarely as bookends to the two major geopolitical narratives of the last and current century–the communist project in the 20th and Islamic modernism in the 21st–these two moments will be explored such incommensurate topics as monobrows, modernity, the Beach Boys and apostasy. A collaboration with Berlin-based bi-annual 032c, this talk has been given as the opening lecture at the Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam, the Museum of Modern Art, WarsawZurich's Corner College/Motto; Berlin’s Felleshuset; New York’s Brucennial; Moscow’s Triumph Gallery

In 2009, Slavs and Tatars published Kidnapping Mountains (Book Works), a celebration of complexity in the Caucasus, and in 2010 Love Me, Love Me Not: Changed Names (onestar press). Slavs and Tatars have exhibited at the Barbican, Netwerk Centre for Contemporary Art, the Goethe Institut, New York, Colette, the Moscow Biennale and are currently preparing work for the Frieze Sculpture Park and the Sharjah Biennale in 2011. Their work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.