ARTMargins Online Blog

"For a Permanent Revolution in Switzerland!" Nadya Tolokonnikova presented her Book "How to Start a Revolution" in Zurich

Written by Matthias Meindl

It is eight pm and I am standing in the ballroom of Zurich's Kaufleuten, a chic locale in the 1990's, which has become ever more commercial since. The reading of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova's Anleitung für eine Revolution (Manual for a Revolution) should start in a minute. As most of the readers will recall, Tolokonnikova was one of the three members of the art-activist group Pussy Riot who were convicted for their 'Punk Prayer' in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in February 2012. She was sentenced (as was Mariya Alyokhina) to two years of hard labor for hooliganism and allegedly inciting violence against a social group (the orthodox believers).

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Schooling at Home and Abroad: Chto Delat's School of Engaged Art, or Winter Notes on Summer Impressions

Written by Matthias Meindl

Summer School with guest lecturer Boris Buden in Front of the building of Neues Deutschland

The Art Collective Chto Delat, based in Saint Petersburg, has been around for twelve years and is quite prolific. Members have participated in many of the major art biennales in the world and among others they have had solo shows at the Institute for Contemporary Art (2010), London, and the Vienna Secession (2014). Naturally, such an inexorable career has raised some doubts about the group's self-professed leftist agenda. in the case of the Chto Delat, criticism is, not only inevitable but also useful. Such criticism is inevitable on the one hand, because making left political art is always caught up in dialectical contradictions.

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Before Globalization: Pop as Transnational/Transitional

Written by Godfre Leung

The following text is slightly revised from a talk given at a panel discussion on the catalogue to the 2015 Walker Art Center exhibition International Pop at the Swiss Institute in New York. The exhibition, curated by Darsie Alexander and Bartholomew Ryan, revises the familiar narrative of Pop art as primarily a British and American phenomenon, instead chronicling the emergence and migrations of Pop art from an international perspective. Godfre Leung’s sixty-four-page “Visual Chronology” in International Pop’s catalogue mapped the international circulation of Pop art across more than thirty nation-states over four continents, from the immediate postwar period to the early 1970s. Below, Leung discusses the Chronology’s periodization scheme and methodology.

[Left: Dalila Puzzovio, A Load of Serious Smiles, 1963/1997. View of the exhibition International Pop, 2015 Photo: ©Walker Art Center ]

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Unguarded views

Written by Corina L. Apostol


Xandra Popescu and Adrian Knuppertz’s “You are safe with me” (curated and produced by Larisa Crunțeanu) uses film and photography to explore issues of performativity and (male) authority in Bucharest’s public spaces. The project is an experimental take on the conventional contemplative portrait, offering an unusual window into the private thoughts that keep security guards occupied during their often tedious posts, as well as their public persona. Through the iconic image of the security guard, the artists spark a conversation about the gentrification processes in the capital, as well as processes of inclusion and exclusion in regard to class and ethnicity. 

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