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We're a team of eight artists, curators and critics with a broader network of art professionals on the post-soviet, post-communist and diasporic spaces. With our ability to grasp, to describe and to invert the sensable, we might be your best collaborator.

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Mission

 

TransitoryWhite is an online platform for the connectivity of intersected discourses of local, regional, and global perspectives on art, design and activism. TransitoryWhite is about contemporary art from the blind spots (“white spots”) from Central Asia, Caucasus and Eastern Europe.
 
Despite the territories heterogeneous cultural, historical and religious diversity, the respective countries share a fundamental experience of a realised utopia, which lasted over more than 70 years. In the turbulent time of the 20th century, the political events taking place were differing from those in Europe, which also resulted in an original set of cultural and aesthetic questions. The uniqueness of these questions was underlined by the particular term “Post-Soviet” which was coined to describe the political, economic and artistic transition from the communist regime to the democratic states. While we don’t deny that the initial generalisation was making sense, we claim for the new discussions and discourses for the art from these regions which are not tied by the restrains of its brand. We would love to show video art, bio art, art on the edge of science, communal projects, feminist initiatives, new media performances and much more on our platform and give the possibility for discovering the transnational connections and influences of the artists from these countries. Apart from that, we aim to translate and to publish the new and old texts written by the local art historians, art theoreticians and curators, which are usually expelled from the contemporary art discourse.
 
Crucial to our investigation of those regions is furthermore, the representation of artists and theoreticians from any ethnic, religious, sexual and even political minorities as an opposition to the accumulating national discourse. We’re dedicated to exploring any transnational networks as well as limits of connection within and on the borders.
 
TransitoryWhite is the White Noise of the post-post-Soviet, a constant disturbance, a random signal, cacophony, turbulence, restlessness, which - contrary to the musical White Noise - is not constant, but is in fluctuation and transition.

Contributors

Alex Ulko, art critic and art historian. Lives and works in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

People

Irina Konyukhova

Ira Konyukhova is an artist, writer, curator, feminist activist and the founder of TransitoryWhite. In her practice, she explores the connection between female sexuality, pop-resilience, death as well as colonial technological practices. As an artist, her works have been presented on various international festivals and exhibitions, including DocLisboa, Athens Biennale, Teneriffa Espacio del Arte, Exground Film Festival e.t. Her latest article on the early 2000s Russian lesbian stars T.a.T.u. And their influence on queer politics has been recently published by Pop-Zeitschrift by University Siegen. Ira was a grantee of BS Projects Artist-in-Residence scholarship Programm and lives and works in Berlin.

Lene Vollhardt

Lene Vollhardt-Wongrowska is an artist, filmmaker, triple Gemini, and speculative pragmatist based in Berlin and London. Through various media, her work undermines the classical juxtaposition between conceptuality and corporeality. Fascinated by the cultural signification of the female body as a processing site for transfer of value and valuation, she conceives shapeshifting, liquid counter-processes in alliance with people across various backgrounds – philosophers, human rights activists, intuits, sex workers, economists, and so on.
Vollhardt's interest in the implied aesthetic of political negotiation and its proprietary tactics of performative gaslighting is reflected in her works. She explores this in transposition with the embodiment of herself as an environment and remote viewing the weather. She has exhibited and screened at many institutions: LOOP Barcelona, Vitra Museum Basel with BlessBerlin, Athens Digital Arts Festival, European Days of Culture Karlsruhe, and Toronto Arthouse Film Festival. She has received the scholarship from the German National Foundation and the Art Foundation Baden-Wuerttemberg, and her works have received the Nikolaj Kunsthal Fokus Award (DK) and Hong Kong Arthouse Award (HK).

Pavel Metelitsyn

Pavel Metelitsyn is a software engineer and developer focusing on interactive data presentation, user interfaces and web technologies. He is driven by the idea of making the information more accessible through interactivity and gamification. Working together with creative agencies he implemented interactive multimedia stations for Neues Historisches Museum, Frankfurt/Main, made a kiosk app for a permanent exhibition at Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, Frankfurt/Main. Besides that, he works with a wide range of clients from FinTech Startups to national research institutions, helping them to collect, process and present the business information. Pavel holds an M.Sc. in Mathematics.

Willi Reinecke

Willi Reinecke is a film director, writer, and researcher on Lev Vygotsky's Psychology of Art at the Institute for East European Studies (Freie Universität Berlin). He is teaching at Szondi-Institute for Comparative Literature and Institute for East European Studies. He worked as assistant director of the documentary film "Familienleben" which premiered at Berlinale 2018. The film was nominated for German Documentary Film Award and was awarded prizes at Saratov Sufferings Festival (RU) and Neisse Filmfestival (GER). He's currently working on documentary films for Institute of Contemporary Art Yerevan and Deutsche Gesellschaft e.V.

Sascia Reibel

Sascia Reibel is a graphic and product designer. Her focus lays on printed matter, especially books and posters, with a strong dedication for typography. She engages in projects within the field of culture, art, and education. She studies communication design at the University of Art and Design Karlsruhe and has also studied in the design master program of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, China. Her work has been honoured with several awards, including «Most Beautiful Swiss Books», «Most Beautiful Books from all over the world», «Bronze Nail, ADC», as well as the «Badge of Typographic Excellence, TDC New York.

Thibaut de Ruyter

Thibaut de Ruyter is a French curator and critic who lives and works in Berlin since 2001. In the last ten years, he has organized exhibitions at Kunstmuseum Bochum, Museum Kunstpalais Düsseldorf, Museum of Applied Arts in Frankfurt, HMKV in Dortmund, EIGEN + ART Lab and CTM in Berlin, Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź and CRP / in Douchy-les -Mines. One of his latest projects is a travelling exhibition co-curated with Inke Arns for the Goethe-Institut: The Frontier that calls into question the dividing line between Asia and Europe in the former Soviet states. Since 2017 this exhibition has been exhibited in St Petersburg, Moscow, Tashkent, Almaty, Krasnoyarsk (u.A.) and will open in Erevan in May 2019. His areas of interest range from new media to spiritualism to "exhibitions that are not exhibitions". Most of his projects are related to everyday, pop or underground culture. He has been the German correspondent for the French magazine artpress since 2003.

Lioudmila Voropai

Lioudmila Voropai is a curator, art critic and media artist. She studied philosophy at the Russian State University for the Humanities (RGGU) in Moscow and New Media Art at the Academy of Media Arts (KHM) in Cologne. Her curatorial and artistic projects are mainly focused on issues related to institutional critique and fake as an artistic strategy. As an art critic, she contributes to XZ Moscow Art Magazine, Art Issue, Logos and other periodicals. She is also a translator and editor of the Russian translations of Jürgen Habermas (Legitimation Crisis), Slavoj Zizek (Parallax View), Giorgio Agamben (State of Exception), Michael Walzer (The Company of Critics) among others. Lioudmila Voropai is an adjunct professor for Media Theory and Philosophy at Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design.

Ina Hildebrandt

Ina Hildebrandt is an art historian and cultural journalist. Born in Kazakhstan, she grew up as a so-called Russian-German in the south of Germany. After spending years of total assimilation she developed a strong interest in her cultural roots. Several long travels and stays took her to Easter-Europe over Russia to Central-Asia. Thereby she started to focus more on those regions also as art historian and journalist. She lives and works in Berlin. 

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This document was last updated on March 10, 2019

12th July 2019

When there are no opputurnities, create your own Giardini

article

The first alternative art project from Azerbaijan in Venice
Asli Samadova

1st July 2019

Juggling Dinosaurs

article

The precariousness of motherhood in arts
Anna Kamay

24th June 2019

Interview with Elene Abashidze

interview

14th June 2019

Unfortunately, we cannot pay for your flight and accommodation

article

Thibaut de Ruyter

28th May 2019

Ich liebe dich!

article

Antonina Stebur

17th May 2019

Interview with Anna Vahrami

interview

23rd April 2019

Artist Portrait: Anastasia Akhvlediani

portrait

13th April 2019

Artist Portrait: Alisa Berger

article

Thibaut de Ruyter

21st March 2019

Faig Ahmed

interview

Interview geführt von Ira Konyukhova und Pavel Metelitsyn

18th March 2019

There Is Sex After Soviet Union!

article

Irina Konyukhova

11th March 2019

Interview mit Samvel Saghatelian

interview

Geführt von Ira Konyukhova

8th March 2019

Artist Portrait: Salome Dumbadze

portrait

4th March 2019

Interview mit Chinara Majidova

interview

Geführt von Ira Konyukhova

26th February 2019

East Wind - Art in the Former Soviet Republics

article

Thibaut de Ruyter
Chianara Majidova, 2018 in Baku
Foto von Pavel Metelitsyn
Fotoserie "Italienische Hinterhöfe", Baku, 2017
by Chinara Majidova
Ausstellung "Mehelle"
Foto von Chinara Majidova
Ausstellung "Mehelle"
Foto von Chinara Majidova
Ausstellung "Mehelle"
Foto von Chinara Majidova
Men Only (Women Don't Be Ashamed), Video, 2017
Video still

Interview mit Chinara Majidova

Geführt von Ira Konyukhova

4th March 2019

Wir trafen uns mit der aserbaidschanischen Fotografin und Anwältin Chinara aus der Hauptstadt Baku, um über ihre dokumentarische Arbeit sowie die Zerstörung des Sovetskij-Bezirk zu sprechen. Die “Umbau”-Maßnahmen des Bezirks, die seit 2014 durchgeführt werden, sind ein grandioses Gentrifizierungsprojekt, das von der Regierung finanziert wird und die Anbindung des post-sowjietischen Aserbaidschans an die Golf-Elite demonstrieren muss.

 

Chianara Majidova, 2018 in Baku
Foto von Pavel Metelitsyn

Transitory White

Chinara, guten Tag. Wie begann dein Interesse für die Fotografie?

Chinara Majidova

Ich habe einen Hochschulabschluss als internationale Anwältin, arbeite aber schon sehr lange als Fotografin, obwohl ich noch nie die Möglichkeit hatte, Fotografie zu studieren.

Fotoserie "Italienische Hinterhöfe", Baku, 2017
by Chinara Majidova

Es begann mit einem Besuch der Workshops, die Yarat Contemporary Art Centre organisierte. Ich habe mich auch in Gedichten versucht, war mit Collagen beschäftigt. Lange Zeit hatte ich keine Kamera. Da viele von uns KünstlerInnen in Baku keine formale Ausbildung vorweisen können, investieren wir in die autodidaktische Entwicklung. 80 Workshops, die ich in Baku besuchte, wurden von Yarat gehalten, kostenlos. Aber im Moment habe ich viele Projekte an denen ich alleine oder mit den anderen KünstlerInnen zusammen arbeite.

Transitory White

Bitte erzähl uns etwas über „Dalan 7“, das Dokumentarprojekt in Kollaboration mit dem amerikanischen Regisseur Mike Raybourn ?

Chinara Majidova

Es konzentriert sich um die Sovetskaya Street in Baku, in der fünfzigtausend Menschen lebten, auf denen sich mehr als zweihundert Baudenkmäler aus den frühen 19. Jahrhundert befanden. Dort wo sich jetzt der Winter Park befindet, gab es auch ein Gebiet mit einer Vielzahl von Baudenkmälern. Das ganze Viertel wurde abgerissen, die Menschen umgesiedelt. Jetzt ist die dritte Reinigungsphase im Gange, sodass alle Menschen bereits in andere Häuser umgesiedelt wurden. Wenn wir Eurovision, Islamische Spiele oder Formel 1 hätten, würden sie in der Regel den Bau einstellen. Bis Dezember dieses Jahres soll der Park fertiggestellt sein.

Wir beobachteten dort den Abriss von Häusern und führten Interviews mit Bewohnern. Dort lebten hauptsächlich Ureinwohner von Baku, die jedoch keinen hohen sozialen Status hatten, es war die Arbeiterklasse. Oft bauten die Menschen selbst zwei Jahrhunderte lang ihre Häuser, jedoch unter eher schlechten Lebensbedingungen: teilweise lebten bis zu 10 Personen in einem Raum. Als sie umgesiedelt wurden, bekamen sie zwar eine Summe Geld, jedoch konnten sie dafür keine anständigen Wohnungen erwerben.

Ausstellung "Mehelle"
Foto von Chinara Majidova

Meine Großmutter wohnte dort gemeinsam mit ihrer Tante. Daher war dies für mich ein emotionaler Moment, als dieses Haus, in dem sie lebte, abgerissen wurde. Sie sind gerade in eine abgelegene Gegend in eine neuenWohnung gezogen. Sie hat gerade zur gleichen Zeit ihren Job aus gesundheitlichen Gründen aufgegeben. Und das ist alles: Sie ist seit drei Jahren nicht mehr aus dem Haus gegangen. Es ist offensichtlich, dass sie deprimiert ist. Sie hat niemanden, mit dem sie reden kann. Sie hat Schwierigkeiten, sich zu bewegen, und sie wohnt jetzt in einem höheren Stockwerk. Ja, und wir leben an zwei verschiedenen Enden der Stadt. Früher konnte ich einfach wissen, dass ich um 6 Uhr in die Stadt gehen würde und nach der Arbeit konnte ich für eine Stunde dorthin gehen.

Transitory White

Und in dieser Straße befand sich anscheinend eine der ältesten Moscheen der Stadt.

Chinara Majidova

Ja, die hieß Haji Cavad und wurde letztes Jahr abgerissen.

Transitory White

Gab es Proteste von der Seite der Bevölkerung?

Chinara Majidova

Das gab es. Mike und ich filmten sie. Während der Dreharbeiten wurde er von der Polizei immer wieder gestört. Dieses Material veröffentlichten wir auf Ajam Media. Danach gestalteten wir die Ausstellung “Mehelle” im ARTIM, für die wir ein Budget bekamen, und so konnten wir das Projekt unabhängig von Medien so gestalten, wie wir es wollten.

Transitory White

Was bedeutet dieser Name wörtlich?

Chinara Majidova

Mehelle kann von aserbaidschanisch als “ein Hof” übersetzt werden – aber nicht der Hof eines Hauses, sondern der Hof von mehreren Häusern, die von mehreren Familien bewohnt sind. Menschen verschiedener Generationen, die sich schon lange kennen. Es gab viele solcher Höfe auf der Sovetskaja Straße, sie bestanden aus Dalans - gemeinsamen Korridoren, die in verschiedene Höfe führen, zudem konnten zwei oder drei Familien um den Hof herum wohnen.

In einem der Räume zeigen wir Fotos, die Menschen gemacht haben, die ihre Häuser verlassen haben oder dorthin gebracht wurden. Der angrenzende Raum war der Zukunft des Parks gewidmet, die in Zukunft auf sowjetischem Gebiet entstehen sollte. Der Raum war in Pink gemalt und hatte eine verzerrte Projektion des Brunnens an der Decke.

Ausstellung "Mehelle"
Foto von Chinara Majidova

Transitory White

Warum habt ihr einen Brunnen benutzt?

Chinara Majidova

Aus irgendeinem Grund geht uns allen der Brunnen auf die Nerven, dies ist eine Art Fetisch in Baku. In allen Parks gibt es Springbrunnen, aber im Sommer funktionieren sie oft nicht, manchmal aber im Winter, was natürlich absurd ist. Und wir haben dem Klang des Brunnens zwei weitere Bauprojekte auferlegt, da bisher noch kein Park angelegt wurde, dort wurden fiktive Häuser und Fassaden errichtet.

Wir haben auch eine Performance gemacht. Für aserbaidschanische Häuser war es wichtig, einen Teppich zu haben, weil er ein Symbol des Lebens ist und oft an die Wand gehängt wurde.

Im letzten Raum gab es 10 Videos, die drei Jahre lang gedreht wurden. Das war Mikes Arbeit.

Ausstellung "Mehelle"
Foto von Chinara Majidova

Transitory White

Die Ausstellung wurde in einem Ort organisiert, das von der Yarat Center finanziell unterstützt wird.  Es ist auch bekannt, dass Yarat eine Organisation ist, die offiziell von der Familie des Präsidenten von Aserbaidschan unterstützt wird. Kann man dann im Kontext solcher Ausstellungen über die Appropriation der Kritik an der politischen und sozialen Situation des Landes sprechen?

Chinara Majidova

Schwer zu sagen. Am Tag nach der Eröffnung führten wir eine Tour für die Kuratorin Yarat Suad Garayeva, und wir erhielten konstruktive Kritik, mit der wir weiter arbeiten konnten. Es war ein sehr positiver Moment des Austauschs. Anschließend erweiterte sie sogar die Ausstellung und stellte ein zusätzliches Budget für das Abschließen einiger Details und das Abschlusskonzert bereit - Meykhana. Meykhana wird immer live aufgeführt und wir konnten gute Darsteller einladen.

Eines meiner Werke, welches eine große Resonanz hervorriefen, ist Men Only (Women Not Be Ashamed). Ich habe es mit der Dichterin Leyli Salayeva gemacht, und in dieser Arbeit geht es darum, wie Frauen auf der Straße behandelt werden. Aufgrund der großen Anzahl von Schimpfwörtern, die in dieser Arbeit verwendet wurden, war es nicht einfach zu zeigen. Wir begannen mit einer Studie darüber, was Männer am häufigsten zu unbekannten Frauen auf der Straße sagen. Natürlich haben wir diese Ausdrücke nicht verwendet, wir haben sie gemildert, aber selbst sie haben eine große Resonanz ausgelöst. Die Idee war anfangs narrativ: Der Mann folgt einem unbekannten Mädchen die Straße entlang und spricht hinter ihr verschiedene sexistische Phrasen. Irgendwann dreht sich das Mädchen um und der Mann merkt, dass sie schwanger ist. Er schämt sich, er verurteilt sich durch frühere Gedanken und Worte.

Men Only (Women Don't Be Ashamed), Video, 2017
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Wir haben darauf ziemlich aggressive Reaktionen von den Männern bekommen. Viele Plattformen haben das Video verbreitet, auf Facebook ist es viral geworden. Und die Reaktion der Männer war oft auf die äußere Unattraktivität der Mädchen gerichtet, die wir im Video zeigen, und deshalb kommentierten sie oft, dass sie einem solchen Mädchen keine Komplimente machen würden. Das heißt, solche Männer meinen, dass er durch solch eine obszöne Bemerkung dem Mädchen ein Kompliment machen.

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War es leicht, die Frauen zu finden, die für die Aufnahme bereit waren?

Chinara Majidova

Nein. Viele lehnten es ab, als sie den Text sahen, weil es nicht typisch für ein Mädchen in Aserbaidschan ist, solche Sätze auszusprechen. Im Grunde waren es meine Freundinnen, die zugestimmt haben.

Ein anderes Video mit einem ähnlichen Thema - Voice - habe ich dieses Jahr vollendet. Für dieses Projekt war es auch nicht leicht, die Protagonistin zu finden. Vor allem Frauen, die auf dem Markt arbeiten, fanden die Idee des Videos gut. Aber als ich sie fragte, ob sie daran teilnehmen wollten, sagten sie, sie sollten die Erlaubnis ihres Mannes oder Sohnes einholen. Also arbeiten sie jeden Tag 10-12 Stunden, und Ehemänner bleiben oft zu Hause. Natürlich hat sich das Leben verändert und wir leben nicht mehr so patriarchalisch wie früher. Aber eine Frau darf immer noch nicht spät nach Hause kommen, rauchen, trinken, sie darf und muss aber auf dem Markt arbeiten. Und wenn sie in einen Video auftreten will, muss sie die Erlaubnis ihres Sohnes einholen, der höchstwahrscheinlich nichts tut.

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An welchem ​​Projekt arbeitest du gerade?

Chinara Majidova

Jetzt mache ich zwei Projekte mit Asli Samadova. Einer befasst sich mit dem deutschen architektonischen Erbe in Aserbaidschan, das andere mit dem kulturellen Erbe Aserbaidschans. Ich habe dazu noch ein anderes Projekt über Meykhana, Volksmusik, die immer von Männern gespielt und gesungen wird. Wir haben hier ein Begriff der Zelten-Hochzeit, diese finden in Vororten von Baku oft statt. Dies ist die traditionelle Form einer Hochzeit in Aserbaidschan - zuerst für die Frauen und dann für die zweite für die Männer. Solche Hochzeiten werden auch in den Regionen gefeiert, meistens jedoch in den Vororten von Baku. Und auf den Hochzeiten der Männer singen Männer Meykhana, die wie eine Rap-Battle abläuft. Ich habe aber eine Frau gefunden, die zu Meykhana singt. Und sie würde ich gerne zu Hochzeiten begleiten und filmen.

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Wir sind gespannt auf die Ergebnisse. Chinara, vielen Dank für Ihre Zeit und Ihr Gespräch.

 

Redakteur*innen: Lene Vollhadt, Willi Reinecke

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