Talking about politics. Belarusian critical art of 10s.

According to the myth of the state ideology Belarus today is a continuation of the soviet past tight with an image of strong independent country, everlasting victory over the fascism and stability of hardworking peaceful nation. Obviously it is just a facade. It hides the well running mechanism of the authoritarian capitalism, corporation that includes the whole country ruled by the unchangeable president for the third decade. Such situation caused not only by repressions that the government conduct but also by the skilled maneuvering between two big political and economical powers – Brussels and Moscow. A minimal economic sustainability supported by the state control can hold a discontent of the electorate.

In these circumstances unofficial belarusian culture mostly works on a creation of an alternative field in which instead of a streight and precise critics the non-engaged statements from the safe distant are more preferable. Political art of the last years is not really radical. It discusses the situation, reacts on a main events, comments, asks uncomfortable questions. On one hand this leaves a place for a dialogue, on the other there is a lack of bright media events created within the art sphere. Such guerrilla tactics spread widely and engage even those who do not label themselves like a “political” or “critical” artists but just keep their distance to the state ruled institutions.

One of the most important issues of contemporary belarusian political art that can be found in a works of the younger generation of artists is an attempts to overcome the dual stereotype, uncritical division between “the bad state” and “the good democratic society”. Corrupted power and big busyness have merged together far long ago. This makes any particularly critics hard and that because it usually addresses president and the government in general. At the same time an alternative to the official discourse is traditionally a liberal-nationalistic, which combines the nationalism and the idea of european integration. This is a default base to criticize from and usually is not discussible, that is obviously limits the art like a social power.

The goal of this exhibition is to show selected works that touch the political aspect of today’s Belarus, bring together different practises and present the authors with different views and backgrounds. It should be noticed that during the last two years one can feel a tendency to changes in the country. The language of art is starts to change too. Anyway these works can give an overview on those processes and events that took place in Belarus during the first half of 10s.

The exhibition includes the works by Uladzimir Hramovich, Alesia Zhitkevich, Lipovyi Tsvet art group, Maxim Sarychau, Anton Sarokin, Olia Sosnovskaya, Aliaxey Talstou.

Curator Aliaxey Talstou