TriPostal, Lille, FRANCE
March 14th - June 12th 2009
Abilsait Atabekov, Chto Delat, Danica Dakic, Igor Eskinja, Igor Grubic, Sejla Kameric, Jamshed Kholikov, Elena Kovylina, Gulnara Kasmalieva/Muratbek Djumaliev, David Maljkovic, Erbossyn Meldibekov, Marjetica Potrc, Stealth. UNLIMITED, Sophia Tabatadze, Milica Tomic, Alexander Ugay, Christoph Weber
curated by Elena Sorokina
The multiple meanings of the notion "scene" provide a pattern for this exhibition. “Scene” spans from a general view - something seen - to more a formal theatrical sense, whereby a scene is a structural unit of a play or a film. The term can become altogether dramatic when used in real life, as in “the scene of a crime” or “scene of an accident”. But first and foremost, “scene” relates to a constructed experience; it is essentially incomplete, partial, unfinished. The works of the exhibition can be considered scenes related to different stories or plays, which may be part of larger narratives, yet explicitly tied to specific geographical or historical contexts.
The exhibition gathers projects which insist on their own constructedness and artifice, playing with and abundantly using theatrical and cinematic conventions. All the projects featured mobilize devices of artifice as critical and deconstructive tools. The exhibition further analyzes several different degrees of distancing introduced by the artists in their videos, which pay close attention to both the actors’ performances and to camera work. Although using theatrical and cinematic conventions, the works selected are far from such traditional theatrical concerns as crisis or climax, intrigue or character development, and the actual narrations are more interested in politics than in magic. For some projects of “Scénes Centrales”, the connection between the works’ narratives and historically charged architecture, sometimes used as a stage or a set, is particularly important.
Scénes Centrales is accompanied by a catalog as part of the entire presentation entitled “Frontières Invisibles” at the TriPostal exhibition space. Essays included in the section of Scénes Centrales relate to the exhibition’s concerns on two different levels. The essay by Rastko Mocnik, “Will the East’s Past be the West’s Future?”, provides crucial insights into recent European history. Challenging the traditional insistence upon “immanent features of historical socialisms,” he analyzes the dramas of the social state, setting aside standard assumptions about the differences of East and West and creating an integrated historical account. In “Politics of Theatre,” Keti Chukhrov discusses the difference between theatre and performance art, ascribing the former a political potential often used as a model by the latter.