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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.

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28th May 2019

Ich liebe dich!

article

Antonina Stebur
de
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

We met Kutaisi-born artist and filmmaker Giorgi Gago Gagoshidze to talk about his recent work MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: BELANCIEGE, which was created in collaboration with Hito Steyerl and Miloš Trakilović for Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) in Berlin. The lecture-performance places luxury fashion brand Balenciaga at the centre of a reflection on political and cultural developments in Europe after the fall of the iron curtain. And the question: who is catching up with whom?

 

 

TransitoryWhite

How did it come to the collaboration with Hito Steyerl and Miloš Trakilović?

Giorgi Gago Gagoshidze


Miloš Trakilović and I studied together in Hito’s class at UDK and in different ways we were both assisting in her productions. At the moment Miloš and I are sharing a Studio where we also run a small bar. At dot.comm bar, we invite guests once in a while and we started with Hito Steyerl and Boris Buden. We had been talking about post ’89 era, the collapse of the Soviet Union, post-Yugoslav conflicts and fall of the Berlin wall and how those events paved the way to the current political and economic conditions. The condition in which fashion brands like Balenciaga and Vetements retroactively source and capitalize the aesthetics that have been generated by the collapse of economic systems. After this conversation, we started thinking of working together and giving it a form of lecture-performance. Soon after, Hito offered us to produce it together for her current solo show at nbk.

TransitoryWhite

Nowadays it seems like art loves fashion and fashion loves art like never before …

Giorgi Gago Gagoshidze

Since I am not an expert on fashion I can not speak of historic facts but I can talk about things that I see and observe around me. An interesting point is how these two disciplines source from each other's tactics. And this fusion is being institutionally supported. 

For example, art exhibitions and performances more and more turned into fashion shows. Social gatherings in an art context become a catwalk where fashion skills like representing yourself are rather more important than the work you do. 

Those self-rebranding skills do not only apply to physical spaces but rather more on the representation of self-image in social media. Their marriage is so solid that it becomes almost impossible to distinguish their practices. 

TransitoryWhite

Is it interesting for you to draw a line between the two fields?

Giorgi Gago Gagoshidze

Even though lately they have been crossing each other's way more often, for me there is a fundamental difference between those disciplines. Fashion is a commercially driven discipline that designs a body to separate it from other bodies, emphasizing its social status.

That can not be a case of art practice. It should not separate bodies but build a common ground instead.

TransitoryWhite

Why did you build your lecture-performance around the brand Balenciaga?

Giorgi Gago Gagoshidze

As we have decisively repeated it several times in the lecture: this work is not about Balenciaga as a fashion brand! But it is about Balenciaga as an ultimate method of privatization. This method does not actually create but curates already existing resources. It captures, accumulates, commodifies and privatizes the ‘unprivatizeable’. 

This brand’s aesthetics are very much rooted in post-1989 time. Besides the very important fact that it is vividly sourcing the aesthetic from the poverty following the collapse of the Soviet politics and economy, it is basically an optimized version of privatization wave that hit Post-Soviet states.

TransitoryWhite

Could you elaborate a bit more on the process of privatization in Post-Soviet countries?

Giorgi Gago Gagoshidze

Soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union a new class appeared, the so-called New Russians, New Georgians and so on. This oligarchy system was created based on the total privatization of the public sphere and natural resources. 

This process generated the drastic growth of the gap between the rich and the poor, which led to a certain kind of aesthetics in the lower class that was representing the poverty and hopelessness of the fallen class. 

This is the aesthetics which later has been picked up and privatized by those luxury brands.

TransitoryWhite

Another aspect I found very interesting in Mission Accomplished: Belanciege is the idea of being on a loop and trying to keep up. Would you say that in Post-Soviet countries, let’s take your home country Georgia, the tendency to keep up with the West is still so strong?

Giorgi Gago Gagoshidze

Being on a loop is a constant mood of catching up with the standards which are imposed by others. A standard that was supposed to guarantee a better way of living, easy way of solving problems and dealing with existing challenges. This is the reality where Georgia found itself. Most of these kinds of standards are coming from the West. The feeling of affiliation towards Europe is strong in Georgia. Standardization of life there is referring to Western-European countries. 

So, it is always seen as a question of keeping up. But if we are on a loop it might not be clear what direction we are heading, or whether we are ahead or not. And indeed, we found ourselves ahead in privatization and oligo-kleptocracy.

If there are certain things in European countries kept national - we just went beyond it.

TransitoryWhite

Let’s talk about the cultural sphere. I have the impression that there is a tendency among artists in former Soviet states not being interested anymore in „keeping up with the West“ but in doing something that by no means is copying Western cultural tendencies.

Giorgi Gago Gagoshidze

In the case of Georgia, there is nothing more regressive than so-called liberal “alternative”, “progressive” dominant cultural class. The class that religiously treating the free-market economy and viciously instrumentalizes ambiguous notions such as freedom, alternative, identity and so on. Those words have been massively dominated and fetishized by the liberal discourse which has always been a very strong policy of the country after Soviet.

So-called “alternative” culture has very much placed and formed itself in this dominant neoliberal framework - which barely leaves space for real critical alternative perspectives.

TransitoryWhite

You are living in Berlin for 10 years now. Did you have or do you still have this feeling of catching up? 

Giorgi Gago Gagoshidze

Definitely. I did. The reason why I came here was to study and understand this culture I was following remotely. The main idea of being a student here was to understand how things function in Europe. I believe I was catching up. 

TransitoryWhite

Do have the feeling that as an artist coming from Georgia you are supposed to deal with certain topics that relate to your ethnic background?

Giorgi Gago Gagoshidze

No. Probably there are some expectations such as wrapping up the ethnic drama for the western eye and sell it to a certain segment of the art market. But I try to ignore them and think about my art practice how it should operate in a global context.

TransitoryWhite

Nevertheless, in your artistic practice, you deal with where you are coming from. Let’s take the work The invisible hand of my father where, in short, you tell the story of your father going to the West for work, losing his arm on the job in Portugal and coming back home again.

Giorgi Gago Gagoshidze

My father was part of the massive labour movement which resulted in the collapse of the Soviet Union. He emigrated to Western Europe, trying to find a job to support his family. 

There is this body of my father who lived in both, Soviet and capitalist times. This body carries all that information and functions as a kind of map of these two different political and economic systems.

I had no artistic interest with only showing my fathers personal drama but rather I think that this particular story has potential if analyzing it properly it could bring us to the angle from where we could view a global picture of the present time.  

 

 

Giorgi Gago Gagoshidze (1983, Kutaisi, Georgia) lives and works in Berlin. He studied at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts, continued his studies at KABK in The Hague and received his Meisterschüler Diploma in the New Media class of Hito Steyerl at the University of Arts in Berlin in 2016. His work is focused on the moving image, the politics of its production, distribution and circulation. It centers on the architecture of the social body: economic conditions of its construction, the political nature of its transmission, and the set of aesthetical relations therein. Gagoshidze participated in numerous shows in Europe and beyond. Recent exhibitions:  n.b.k / Mission Accomplished: BELANCIEGE, Berlin;  steirischer herbst ‘19: Grand Hotel Abyss, Graz;  ViZ Laboratory for Visual Culture, Athens;  Transacciones Informales / Cinemateka, Bogotá.

 

 

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