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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.

How to contact us

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

Victoria Kravtsova

Ira Konyukhova

Thibaut de Ruyter

Asli Samadova

Antonina Stebur

Alex Ulko

Katharina Wiedlack

People

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. 

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.

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.

Daria Prydybailo

Daria Prydybailo is a curator, researcher, founder of the TRSHCHN platform and co-founder of the NGO Art Matters Ukraine. Her background includes +7 years in leading cultural institutions of Ukraine such as National museum complex Art Arsenal and CCA PinchukArtCentre, as well as independent curatorial practice with a strong focus on the body in contemporary art, sensual turn, sound art, and in-situ projects. She worked on large-scale international projects such as International forum Art Kyiv, the First Kyiv Biennale of contemporary art ARSENALE 2012, and Ukrainian Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale. During 2013-2015 she curated online-platform & collective of artists, curators and writers  (wo)manorial, who contemplate the ever-changing concept of femininity. Her latest research is focused on love and intimacy in the context of emotional capitalism. Originally from Kyiv currently she lives and works in Berlin. 

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.

Kundry Reif

Kundry Reif grew up in Vienna, Austria. Whilst studying cultural studies at university in Berlin she started to work in art collectives and galleries. Last year she went to work at the Goethe Institute in Tashkent, Uzbekistan for a year. Having never heard a lot about Central Asia before, this year abroad sparked her interest. Being back now, she misses Central Asian Kurt, and has decided that her favorite museum of all times is the Sawitsky Museum in Nukus, Uzbekistan. 

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.

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.

Alexandra Vetter

Alexandra Vetter is a film maker currently based in Berlin. In 2010, she achieved a Master Degree in theatre, film and media studies at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. She then specialized in creating documentary films and shorts, filming in Germany, the UK, Russia, Italy and Ireland. During her stay in Dublin from 2013-2019, she was co-organiser of an independent film group Dublin Filmmakers Collective, where she regularly held film-making events, workshops as well as film screenings. Her works have been screened at several film festivals including REFLECTA – Rethink Your World, Frankensteiner Film Festival, Open Film Festival Weiterstadt, International Theatre Festival Frankfurt am Main "Sommerwerft" and Underground Cinema Film Festival in Dublin. Her video works were shown at the Historische Museum Frankfurt, at the World Cultural Museum and the exhibition hall 1A in Frankfurt. More recently she has been exploring the topic of age and ageing.

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.

17th January 2020

On the loop

interview

en

23rd December 2019

"Мы сёння знаходзімся ў іншай вытворчай драме"

interview

Работай Больше! Отдыхай Больше!
by

5th December 2019

Another production drama

interview

Interview with WORK HARD! PLAY HARD! working group
en

20th November 2019

Wandering poetics of Central Asian mestizas

interview

Interview with Krëlex Zentre
en

6th November 2019

Conversation with Julieta Aranda and Anna Kamay

interview

en

29th October 2019

Where the roses grow

interview

Interview with Almagul Menlibaeva
en

25th October 2019

On language of supremacy: Medina Bazargali in conversation

interview

en

16th October 2019

Interiors

portrait

Exhibition by Xenia Fink In Ta(r)dino 6 Baku
en

10th October 2019

Madina Tlostanova on decolonizing the post-Soviet, exotization and political imagination(s)

interview

part two
en

26th September 2019

Madina Tlostanova on feminism, coloniality, returned pasts and reimagined futures

interview

part one
en

6th September 2019

It is more important to make films queerly than to make queer films

interview

en

12th July 2019

When there are no opputurnities, create your own Giardini

article

Asli Samadova
en

1st July 2019

Juggling Dinosaurs

article

The precariousness of motherhood in arts
Anna Kamay
en

24th June 2019

Interview with Elene Abashidze

interview

en

14th June 2019

Unfortunately, we cannot pay for your flight and accommodation

article

Thibaut de Ruyter
en

28th May 2019

Ich liebe dich!

article

Antonina Stebur
de

17th May 2019

Interview with Anna Vahrami

interview

en

23rd April 2019

Artist Portrait: Anastasia Akhvlediani

portrait

en

13th April 2019

Artist Portrait: Alisa Berger

article

Thibaut de Ruyter
en

21st March 2019

Faig Ahmed

interview

Interview geführt von Ira Konyukhova und Pavel Metelitsyn
de

18th March 2019

There Is Sex After Soviet Union!

article

Irina Konyukhova
en

11th March 2019

Interview mit Samvel Saghatelian

interview

Geführt von Ira Konyukhova
de

8th March 2019

Artist Portrait: Salome Dumbadze

portrait

en

4th March 2019

Interview mit Chinara Majidova

interview

Geführt von Ira Konyukhova
de

26th February 2019

East Wind - Art in the Former Soviet Republics

article

Thibaut de Ruyter
en
Edgeryders conference, Tbilisi 2014
Photo by Leonid Mujiri
Edgeryders conference, Tbilisi 2014
Photo by Leonid Mujiri
Opening of "Femme In East" exhibition in Odessa 2019
Photo by Melikset Panosian
Presentation of works by Rebecca Sylvia ICA Yerevan
Photo by Anke Koks

Juggling Dinosaurs

The precariousness of motherhood in arts

Anna Kamay

1st July 2019

People, particularly women, lose significant control over their daily lives when they become parents. Daycare won’t take kids with fevers. Bad weather, bank holidays, a sick babysitter—any of these can require a quick change in a working mother’s day.

Our society, patriarchal as its gaze invariably is, does not give motherhood the credit, motherhood and children are still seen as additions (e.g. “Actor and mother…” and “She’s also a mother”, etc). Of course, mothers and children are amazing, they are considered “sacred” in our culture…but when we treat parenting as a post-it stuck onto the end of a resume of REAL work or achievements, we are neglecting something fundamental. Something fundamentally feminist.

Edgeryders conference, Tbilisi 2014
Photo by Leonid Mujiri

As an article by Rebecca Traister notes: “The tight knot for women in politics (and perhaps in life) has been, will always be, this: Everything associated with motherhood has been coded as faintly embarrassing and less than — from mom jeans to mommy brain.” A recent survey in the US shows that 85% of mothers don’t think the society understands or supports motherhood.

The art world isn’t particularly child-friendly either: people openly scoff at children at openings or ignore them at best, museums and galleries are not child-friendly, there are few kid-friendly residencies, and most art events are in the evenings and don’t provide childcare in Armenia. There’s a long-standing myth that parenthood and art are incompatible, or that one needs to be sacrificed for the other to thrive ( see statements by Marina Abramovic, Tracey Emin). There’s a cliche that if one is going to address art and motherhood, they have to make sure they do it in a way that’s interesting and relevant. It’s almost as if motherhood isn’t an inherently interesting subject matter.

WHAT DIVERSITY LOOKS LIKE IN THE ART WORLD VS. BEHIND THE SCENES 

A recent research in Ireland among artist-parents shows that 83% of respondents were primary carers to their children as well as professional artists; 76% turned down opportunities due to lack of childcare; 70% did the majority of their artistic work after bedtime, between 9 pm and 12 am; and 70% worked from a shared space in the home. This disconnect between what diversity looks like in the art world versus behind the scenes occurs everywhere, and it is not confined to the relative privilege of the curatorial ranks. It is endemic in our field, and it’s the way most art institutions run. In the post-Soviet countries and Eastern Europe, we are lagging behind the West in terms of self-organized grassroots initiatives and collectives created by mothers in arts as a support network pushing for a change for women juggling motherhood and artistic careers on the institutionalized level. In post-Soviet space, there is a lack of a collective of individuals and organizations committed to family-friendly practices in the contemporary art sphere that would stimulate conversation to break barriers and stigmas of parenthood in contemporary art sphere while promoting and generating solutions and initiatives. Actually, the only example of self-organized movement I can recall was during Electric Yerevan protests in 2015 and the Velvet Revolution in 2018: there were attempts to create a group of parents-activists who would take turns babysitting the children, enabling the parents to be out at the demonstrations (i was one of the initiators) but it did not become popular.

In fact, in Armenia contemporary art is still quite a CIS hetero male-dominated sphere, and even though the majority of students in the art schools are females, once they graduate, they disappear from the art scene mostly after marrying and becoming mothers, since there is no platform for them to be present, to be able to exercise their art without being deprived of the possibility to take care of their children.

Edgeryders conference, Tbilisi 2014
Photo by Leonid Mujiri

Although feminism is an inclusive movement, motherhood being not only a personal but a political decision (we are upbringing the next generation), the feminist circles in Armenia are mostly childfree, and one feels somehow excluded from and unrelatable to the discourse simply for being a mother. Recently one of the most prominent feminists in Armenia became a mother, and I saw on Facebook that she brought her child to a feminist gathering, and I was so happy, rubbing hands like, okay, it's starting!

But parenting hasn’t always been this traumatic, isolating thing that our generation is often finding it. During USSR, even though women were pushed to work three shifts, there was a care system in place, a kind of a safety net for mothers in form of kindergartens, free healthcare and social benefits, as well as pensions to support single mothers, etc. whereas after the collapse of the USSR there is but little support for women who try to juggle motherhood, a full-time job, activism and artistic practices. As the old support systems have broken down, the pressures on parents become greater.

THE PARENT/ARTIST RELATIONSHIP

With all the roles imposed on a woman in our society, how is a mother supposed to cope with it all without a safety network - a community, the village which is not there anymore? Some may rely on their parents, but usually, they are the ones who need our support, and this traditional model does not work any more; current educational system is not optimal/desirable if we want our children to grow into creative, independent freethinkers, so what are the existing/possible alternatives? How can one combine being a single mother and a woman, an activist and an artist, working full time and wanting to be pivotal in growing one’s own kids in this reality?

The parent/artist relationship often overlooked in contemporary art needs to be acknowledged, and a precedent should be set that one can still be an artist and a mother/father/carer and that these roles can conflate. We, as mothers in art, need to raise awareness of mother-artist obstacles and create work-life balance interventions, healthy work culture, stable protocols, and accessible pathways to employment.

Opening of "Femme In East" exhibition in Odessa 2019
Photo by Melikset Panosian

We should insist on being identified as mother/female artists, and we can not say it doesn’t matter because that is how erasure works. Until the dinosaurs are eradicated, we won’t have the freedom of just existing as male artists do. We live in a world that institutionally and violently upholds male artists, so it’s important to state that I am a female and mother in the arts. We need to start from somewhere if we really believe in access, diversity, inclusion, and all the buzzwords of the 21st-century art world. We should stand up and speak out in support of our colleagues when they fight for these rights.

We have to get comfortable with motherhood, in the first place if we need more women in decision-making positions and a more welcoming and flexible environment for them to work and thrive in their professional life. To the extent art and cultural institutions can meet the needs of mothers in arts, they are well-positioned to retain female talent and enjoy the advantages of a diverse leadership team.

Presentation of works by Rebecca Sylvia ICA Yerevan
Photo by Anke Koks

 

Anna Kamay is an independent curator and cultural manager hailing from Yerevan, Armenia. Anna organizes community-based art projects with the goal of using public space and art to meet local needs and manages Nest Artist Residency and Community Center at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Yerevan.

 

 

This Interview is a part of the first TransitoryWhite publication, supported by Freie Universität Berlin, Ost-Europäische Institut. 

 

 

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