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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
Plug it, 2018, silicone, leather, metal; size variable
Photo: Alina Kopytsa
The interior, 300x400x100cm, 2018
Photo: Alina Kopytsa
The Wedding Dress, 2015
Photo: Alexey Kubasov
The Wedding Dress, 2015
Photo:

There Is Sex After Soviet Union!

Irina Konyukhova

18th March 2019

 

There is sex after the Soviet Union!

This text was written in connection with the exhibition "The Border" of the Goethe-Institut Moscow, which was curated by Thibaut de Ruyter and Inke Arns. In this essay, I discuss the works of Ukrainian-Swiss artist Alina Kopytsa (b 1983 in Poliske, Kyiv region, Ukraine), whose work Wedding Dress can be seen in the exhibition.

 

There is this famous phrase that, before it was taken out of context like many of such sequences, originally meant something else: There is no sex in the Soviet Union Of course, that was not exactly what it meant. Actually, that phrase was the answer to the question of whether sexualized bodies of women are used in the Soviet Union’s advertising, too. It was not only a meaningful answer to Americans watching the program, but also to the many Soviet citizens who related the political system’s stubbornness to an absence of spontaneity, excess and experimentation in their own sex lives. The Soviet media at that time pretended that this did not exist. Almost 30 years after the system collapsed, sex has certainly found its way into advertising, publications and public discussions.

 

It is often assumed and even proven by various studies that after the collapse of the Soviet Union gender roles were practised in orientation towards traditional manners throughout the whole post-Soviet space. While according to the Soviet ideology the equality between men and women has had actual value, afterwards in the face of the new capitalist order, many institutional and also economic elements in support of the family and education of children have collapsed. Several studies show that men and women nowadays see their roles traditionally divided within their families and in the marketplace. However, as Tanja Rands revealed in her research on the actual division of Russian families, such ideas often were practised in spite of family models that appear as non-coherent to that framework. In almost all the families she interviewed and analyzed, women were employed and also conceived their work not only as a merit but as a necessary part of their individuality in the same way as men did. Almost all men who advocated patriarchal views have self-evidently shared their power with their wives, in spite of their position as heads of the family meanwhile often taking back a seat on certain issues in which they did not feel powerful or even capable. For most men surveyed influencing their wifes’ work life by way of a ban was unthinkable. Thus, at the end of her research, Tanja Rands Lyon states that the patriarchal structures - which are based on the nuclear family and are certainly present in Russia and in the vast post-Soviet space - are not to be equated with Western structures. She calls it "soft patriarchy”, which pretty much describes the state between the sexes in the young states.

 

 

Keyword: Nuclear family. In Europe too, this construction is conceived as the supporting element in society. A man and a woman, possibly with children, both clearly heterosexual, monogamous and faithful. When Alina meets her future husband neither she nor he is convinced of the idea of such a make. They both want open relationships but they still want to live together. They want closeness and belonging, and possibly one family – but they want the family of a kind that works on different principles. One that may perhaps embody the only visible results of the 1968 protests. Her partner lives in Switzerland and soon realizes that if both want to live (and experiment) together in this country, they must prove the Swiss authorities that their coexistence is in line with the nuclear family / true love standards. The emails they exchange, which are often sexually charged and contain intimate descriptions must be submitted, documented and archived. Later, Alina Kopytsa creates a work out of those by tailoring a wedding dress out of these countless writings. I ask myself: Did they perform a drama then and hacked the system by showing their love and passion to each other in an exaggerated way? I do not know. A bureaucratic system is one that, triggered through standards conducts automatically, and makes a distinct decision if there are enough matching keywords.

 

I also ask myself: Does such an imposed exhibitionism have no consequences for the sexuality and the conception of intimacy of the individual? What effect does this transgression of the state border (ie the penetration of an individual of a state) towards the individual have in regards to the private (the penetration of a state into the personal of an individual), in regards to the identity of a woman (a man / a man)? Which effect will it have on her actions, her sexual life and accordingly, on her art?

 

As a feminist and advocate of open-mindedness, Alina has also done some textile works in Ukraine, which address the promiscuous, negated, hidden, overlooked nature of female sexuality. In the work "Diaries About Berlin", a woman turns from one sexual experience to another, each time more exciting, more unusual than the previous one. She does not always know the names of her lovers, she changes them several times a day, she also enjoys sex with women, gets involved in BDSM and sex in public places, she is erotomaniac, open-minded, enjoys her own objectification, or maybe she is just dreaming about it?

 

Keyword: Objectivation. I remember Hannah Wilke's famous work "So Help Me Hannah”. A photo series in which she is nude, in sexualized positions, often with her legs spread – quite provocatively at that time. Referring to this series, she said she wanted to "respect the objecthood of a body." Respect objecthood? Someone who is proficient in feminist issues knows that the word object is only used offendlingly in relation to women. An object is something that is not alive, something which has a material condition, but it does not have an actual will on their own, nor the ability to express it. The object as such is associated with the value in the capitalist world, be it symbolic or financial. It can be bought and owned. Hannah Wilke reverses that logic into another one: Object for her means "something that is looking, touching or that is capable of being seen, touched, or otherwise sensed". To her, it is pure existence; the possibility of being perceived, but not in an active, rather in a passive way. This I recall – passivity is not a negative thing per se. It is only becoming a negative thing in a patriarchal paradigm.

 

Even in Zurich Alina has made some objects which she exhibits under the title Plug It, which he also uses for performances. The eyes of the randomly selected audience members in the performance must be blindfolded and the performers must be undressed as far as possible. They can not see each other, neither visually nor intellectually relate to each other. They can only smell, feel or touch each other - so that they become objects. The sexual connotations of the art objects of Alina become extensions of the bodies and are thus part of a game that overrides sexuality, as well as the concepts of passivity and activity. Everyone is there to be an object of the other. And if all of them are objects, then we finally are all human. I find it interesting on further consideration that Alina in this work is not only taking a stance towards her own sexuality, that she is also letting go of alter-egos, blurring a boundary here between an art object and a sex toy.

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