Ştefan RUSU

curation / exhibitions

Drifting Identities Exhibition

Drifting Identities
exhibition & colloquium
Location: Zemstvei Museum
Period: 30th of October-13th of November, 2012
Anatoly Belov [UA], Marina Naprushkina [BY], Ivan Mudov [BG], Societe Realiste (Ferenc Gróf and Jean-Baptiste Naudy) [FR/HU], Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkacova [SK], Lucia Nimcova [SK], Dumitru Oboroc [RO/MD], Eliza Ursachi [RO], Ghenadie Popescu [MD], AlteArte - (Pavel Braila [MD], Angelika Herta [RO], Lilia Braila [MD/RO]), Nicoleta Esinencu [MD], Valeria Barbas [MD], Max Kuzmenko [MD], Karine Matsakyan&Sona Abgaryan [AM], Sophia Tabatadze [GE], Nadia Tsulukidze [GE].

Pavel Braila [MD], Susanna Gyulamiryan [AM], Nicoleta Esinencu [MD], Tamara Vardanyan [AM], Irina Solomatina [BL], Tatiana Fiodorova [MD], Julia Popovici [RO], Vitalie Spranceana [MD], Octavian Ticu [MD], Vasile Ernu [RO/MD], Tamara Zlobina [UA], Data Chigholashvili [GE], Lesya Kulchinska [UA], Eliza Ursachi [RO]

Drifting Identities is focused on researching, documenting and archiving the identity phenomena located in the past and the present of post-socialist societies and it was designed to contextualize the identity tendencies (some recent markers, but also some residual), two decades after the dissolution of Eastern bloc.

Thus, the exhibition includes a number of visual art projects as relevant comments on the evolution of the social engineering strategies in its current state. A number of works by Anatoly Belov [UA], Marina Naprushkina [BY], Ivan Mudov [BG], Societe Realiste (Ferenc Gróf and Jean-Baptiste Naudy) [FR/HU], Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkacova [SK], Dumitru Oboroc [RO/MD] deals with such processes (case studies: Bulgaria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Republic of Moldova, Georgia and Armenia).
We noticed that until today we have the countries trapped between Russian geo-political influence and the EU expansion process, such as Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, in some other cases the societies torn between nationalism and the nostalgia for the former regime as it is in Belarus, or not so long time ago in Moldova, as well as between the expansive development of the open market and the aggressiveness of neo-liberal establishment (Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania). Such sorts of tendencies are exemplified trough the works of Eliza Ursachi [RO], Ghenadie Popescu [MD], Nicoleta Esinencu [MD], Valeria Barbas [MD], Max Kuzmenko [MD], Karine Matsakyan&Sona Abgaryan [AM], Sophia Tabatadze [GE].
Part of the exhibition is dedicated to archiving the identity phenomena trough the works by Lucia Nimcova [SK], Nadia Tsulukidze [GE] and the activity by Nicoleta Esinencu [MD] and her initiative Spalatorie(Laundry)Theatre. A particular project developed by AlteArte collective - (Pavel Braila [MD], Angelika Herta [RO], Lilia Braila [MD/RO]) is a documentary titled Talking Letters that deals with roma minorities and its role in the contemporary society.

Beside the exhibition an international colloquium was organized to confront the current agenda behind the official identity discourse and to introduce other voices, independent collectives and groups that develop alternative platforms to the existing state policies in Ukraine, Belorussia, Moldova and Armenia. The aim of the colloquium was to present a wider spectrum, going beyond the exclusively ethnical aspect, towards a broader understanding and debates around the changing notion of identity and its fluid aspects. A number of participants from partner institutions from Armenia, Georgia, and others from the proximity of Moldova such as Ukraine, Belarus, Romania where invited to Chisinau to present their arguments and positions, among them: Susanna Gyulamiryan – curator, art Critic, Director at Art & Cultural Studies Laboratory (ACSL), Armenia, Tamara Vardanyan - a historian (PhD candidate in History) Armenia, David Chigholashvili - a socio-cultural anthropologist based in Tbilisi, Georgia, Tamara Zlobina - independent queer feminist socialist scholar, art critic and curator, Ukraine, Lesya Kulchynska - researcher and exhibition curator, Visual Culture Research Center, Ukraine, Irina Solomatina – curator, art critic from Byelorussia in her presentation Brands of the national identity in Belarus, Iulia Popovici - performing arts critic, curator, Romania and Vitalie Spranceana – sociolog, anthropologist, Moldova and Octavian Ticu – writer, historian (PhD in History), Moldova.
The colloquium took place in the premises of new space of Spalatorie Theatre - a long-term project of challenging ethnic, linguistic, artistic and personal identities through theatre and performance. As part of the colloquium two female artists (Eliza Ursache – visual artist [RO] and Tatiana Fiodorova – visual artist [MD]) presented two performance works “I am” and ”Steaua”. In conclusion the process of drifting identities in post-socialist republics (in Moldova and in some other cases), are the reverberations of unfinished ethnic/nationalistic project during the nation building process from one hand and the existing ethnic routs of this societies from the other. Drifting Identities was part of a series of public events organized by the KSAK Centre in the frame of HEICO, in partnership with the Heinrich-Boell-Foundation Brandenburg/Germany, SPACES/Slovak Republic, the Art Today Association Plovdiv/Bulgaria, the Art&Cultural Studies Laboratory/Armenia and the GeoAIR Association/Georgia.

Drifting Identities Exhibition&Colloquium was curated by Stefan Rusu

Organizer: KSAK-Center for Contemporary Art, Chisinau