Slavs and Tatars

6 May 2017

What does it mean for one east to look to and at another one? Can the romanticized romanticize? From Poles in the service of the Tsar to Persian Presbyterians, "I Utter Other" looks at the curious case of Slavic Orientalism in the Russian Empire and early USSR as well as its German origins. Offering a crucial counterpoint to the received wisdom of Saidian Orientalism, the study of the East in the East complicates notions of identity politics, knowledge in the service of power, and the secularization of scholarship for a coherent post-colonial critique some 60 years avant la lettre.

Founded in 2006, Slavs and Tatars mine the complexities and unexpected affinities across cultures through three axes: publications, lecture performances, and exhibition-making. They have exhibited in major institutions across the globe, including MoMA NY, Tate Modern, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, NYU Abu Dhabi, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Slavs and Tatars have published several books including a translation of the legendary Azeri satire “Molla Nasreddin: the magazine that would’ve could’ve should’ve”, currently in its second edition. The artists work across cycles, where extended periods of research give life to an eco-system of installations, sculptures, lectures, and printed matter that question our understanding of language, ritual and identity. Imbued with humor and a generosity of spirit, their work commonly blends pop visuals with esoteric traditions, oral rituals with scholarly analysis in a way that opens new paths of contemporary discourse.

Date and Location:
Pejman Foundation: Kandovan
Saturday, May 6th, 6 PM
Photos by Mani Lotfizadeh