Event
'Transliterative Tease', 2013–present, lecture-performance, Toronto. Photo by Yuula Benivolsk.

Lecture-Performance: ‘Transliterative Tease’ by Slavs and Tatars

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When
from
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27
June
2024
18:00 - 19:30
Book Tickets

Through the lens of phonetic, semantic, and theological slippage, 'Transliterative Tease' explores the potential for transliteration – the conversion of scripts – to function as a strategy of both resistance and research into notions of identity politics, colonialism, and faith. The lecture-performance focuses on the Turkic languages of the former Soviet Union, as well as the eastern and western frontiers of the Turkic sphere, namely Anatolia and Xinjiang/Uyghuristan. Lenin believed that the revolution of the East begins with the Latinisation of the alphabets of all Muslim subjects of the USSR. The march of alphabets has always accompanied that of empires – Arabic with the rise of Islam, Latin with that of Roman Catholicism, and Cyrillic with the Orthodox Church and, subsequently, communism. This lecture-performance attempts to emancipate not peoples or nations but rather the sounds rolling off our tongues.

Following the lecture-performance, Slavs and Tatars will engage in a conversation with Xiaowen Zhu, Director of esea contemporary, to delve deeper into the realm of transliteration, multiplicity, voices, and how the act of counter-archiving could destabilise the embodied power and projected authority of archives.

'Molla Nasreddin the antimodern', 2012,  fibreglass, lacquer paint, steel, 180 × 180 × 80 cm. Installation view at Yinchuan Biennale, 2016.
'Transliterative Tease', 2013–present, lecture-performance.
'Transliterative Tease', 2013–present, lecture-performance, Toronto. Photo by Yuula Benivolsk.
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Slavs and Tatars is an internationally renowned art collective devoted to an area East of the former Berlin Wall and West of the Great Wall of China, known as Eurasia. Since its inception in 2006, the collective has shown a keen grasp of polemical issues in society, clearing new paths for contemporary discourse via a wholly idiosyncratic form of knowledge production. This includes exploration of popular culture, spiritual and esoteric traditions, oral histories, modern myths, as well as scholarly research. Their work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions across the globe, including the Vienna Secession, the MoMA in New York, Salt in Istanbul, and the Albertinum Dresden, amongst others. The collective’s practice is based on three activities: exhibitions, publications, and lecture-performances. To date, the collective has published more than twelve books, including most recently Лук Бук (Look Book) with Distanz Verlag. In 2020, Slavs and Tatars opened Pickle Bar, a Slavic aperitivo bar-cum-project space a few doors down from their studio in the Moabit district of Berlin.

This event is part of esea contemporary's Summer Programme ‘From (Counter-)Archives to Activation.’ Convened by Xiaowen Zhu, the programme aims to explore, through the lens of archives and counter-archives, in collaboration with our extensive network of collaborators and co-workers. Who holds the right to speak, to be documented, to exist not solely as statistics but as lived human experiences? What influences, supports, and undermines archival strategies and models within our society? What is the meaning of authenticity, subjectivity, and hegemony in this context? Can oral history facilitate intertextuality and counter-archiving to re-evaluate the narratives entrenched within institutional structures?

Throughout our summer programme, from May to August, 2024, we will actively listen to, engage with, speak out about, write down, touch upon, and look into a diverse array of archival and counter-archival materials. This journey aims to highlight a multiplicity of perspectives while charting a course towards a more outward- and forward-looking framework. As we explore these materials, we remain attuned to the complexities of power dynamics, acknowledging the agency to navigate these exchanges with openness and respect. Through our collaboration with artists, curators, thinkers, scholars, and communities, we seek to foreground pluralistic narratives and empower individuals to shape their own histories.

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From (Counter-)Archives to Activation
Project
From (Counter-)Archives to Activation
from
4
May
2024
until
31
August
2024
2024-05-04
Through our collaboration with artists, curators, thinkers, scholars, and communities, we seek to foreground pluralistic narratives and empower individuals to shape their own histories.