STILL HERE: humour in post-communist performative video

Azorro, Kuba Bakowski, Olga Chernysheva, Oskar Dawicki, Esto Tv, Gints Gabrans, Arunas Gudaitis, Evaldas Jansas, Gabriel Lester, Marko Lulic, Dainius Liskevicius, Marko Maetamm, Mindaugas Navakas, Katrina Neiburga, Reinis Petersons, Arturas Raila, Kriss Salmanis, Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas

Curated by Simon Rees

Exhibition Dates
26 October - 17 November 2007

According to the old ruby, "laughter is the best medicine". Considering that humour often mixes anxiety and aggression it might be thought of like chemotherapy—a bastard child of mustard gas warfare—part killer and part cure.

Overview

According to the old ruby, "laughter is the best medicine". Considering that humour often mixes anxiety and aggression it might be thought of like chemotherapy—a bastard child of mustard gas warfare—part killer and part cure. Its affects are unpredictable and oftentimes uncontrollable. Sounds like the perfect antidote if control is the disease. There is a sense in which eastern European artists who have made their career in the post-communist 1990s are survivors who continue to self-administer their cure as the classic symptoms of (their) social disease remain and new forms of the malaise continue to be diagnosed, including: consumerism, cronyism, class divide, cultural disavowal, nationalism, nostalgia, artistic and political recidivism, and poverty.

 

Joined by a colleague, senior Lithuanian artist Mindaugas Navakas jigs and jogs on the spot in an exhibition space. The two artists visibly feel the effects of their age as they dance. They are the last remaining members of a firebrand group of artists associated with the soviet independence movement-15 years on their comrades have succumbed to conservatism (and even aligned themselves with the former enemy). By the end of the performance the artists are puffed but defiantly-still here.  

 

Still Here presented work by artists from Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine. 

'STILL HERE: humour in post-communist performative video', installation view, Artspace, 2007