‘Projects’ Category

PARTNERS LETTER

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Dear …

We, artist-researcher Natalia Gluklya (FFC Chto Delat’?) and sociologist Olga Sezneva (Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies, Universitet of Amsterdam), are developing a collaborative project with working title ‘Utopian Unemployment Union’. At this stage we are looking for partners who would like to work with us on ideas, their development and realization, and public dissemination of the project. One aim that we are pursuing now is funding. We are interested in applying for 1mln NOW-HERA grant ‘Cultural Encounter’ from the European Union.

Let us tell you about our initial idea, and the grant itself. We hope that if you find these ideas interesting, you would participate in applying for the grant.

Our basic concept is to explore cultural encounter through the interaction between two different groups, one elite and another precarious and marginalized. For example, in Russia we are planning to bring together ballerinas and construction workers. Russian classical ballet by many is perceived as the quintessence of Russian cultural tradition, and a major cultural ‘export’. As an art form, it is characterized by the desire for order, beauty and harmony. As a cultural phenomenon, however, ballet incorporates the idea of empire, power and discipline. As an institution, it continue to be dominated by ethnic Russians. Construction work, to the opposite, is perceived as polluted, disorderly, and undesirable activity. Like in many other countries, construction workers come from undocumented migrant background, and are received with disrespect and exclusion.

In the case of Russia, we would like to make these groups to collaborate: ballerinas will come to construction sites and to observe and participate in the work done there. They will be trained and supervised by construction workers. The migrant workers from construction sites will visit Vaganov School where they, in turn, will learn the language of ballet. Each set of participants will produce an item – a dance, an installation – expressive of the difference in professions and life styles of the groups. The process will be filmed and participants interviewed after each session.

We would like to invite you to become our partners in this project. This would mean working with us on adaptation and development of the general concept, as described above, to the specific context of your country, thinking about its possible output — performance, installation, seminar, conference, publication, etc.; and applying for funding.

Right now we are working on the grant application for NOW (Dutch National Research fund). The HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) Network just announced a new Joint Research Programme (JRP) on Cultural Encounters (CE). Nineteen research councils from 18 countries and the European Commission are making up to €18.5 million available. The research programme will fund new and exciting humanities-centred projects on Cultural Encounters involving researchers from three or more participating countries. Funding is available for research projects addressing the theme of Cultural Encounters that involve at least three researchers from three different eligible countries. More about this grant can be found on: http://heranet.info/hera-joint-research-programme-2

If you are interested in partnering with us, please, email us immediately. The deadline for stage 1, project outline, is May 4. By that date we have to submit:

A list of participant.

A brief description of the project.

Project budget.

To be able to submit an initial project description, we will need from you a concept and a budget, together with a list of participants and their short CVs.

You can get in touch with us any time via email:

Olga Sezneva: o.sezneva@uva.nl

Natalia Gluklya: gluklya@gmail.com

Sincerely yours,

Natalia and Olga

UTOPIAN UNEMPLOYMENT UNION N1

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Our project has its origin in a real story. Our friend has told us about her husband who had been fired and was so terrified that run away to his mother’s place. He was ashamed to look in his wife’s and children’s eyes as it is said: ‘A man without a job is like a horse without a saddle’. The wife and children kept telling him: ‘We love you the way you are, we don’t care if you’ve got a job or not’. But he was devastated. He started drinking and nearly became a drunkard, but suddenly a miracle happened. He found a new job, his wife started working too and the story had a happy ending.. (more…)

MISTER GREY ADVENTURE

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research on love

THE GREATEST IDIOT OF NEW ZEALAND

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Dear Friends,

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VIDEO-INSTALLATION ZOO. CONTEMPORARY CITY FOUNDATION, MOSCOW 2008

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STRANGE PEOPLE NEVER SURENDER

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1th Prague Biennial – curator Aleksandra Arhipova, Moscow

The Strange Never Give Up

Installation, 2005

The installation consists of a) a table with photographs of the “Strange”. Notes and commentaries, written by hand, b) a clothes-hanger with clothes of a special design, projected to reflect the inner world of the “Strange”. Strolling around Narvskaya Zastava, you can find them everywhere. They are everpresent, coursing through the world’s capillaries like blood cells. Usually, the beauty of the “Strange” goes unnoticed, even if there are far more of them than people who live on the borderline, who have nothing left in common with society at large, such as the homeless, lying around on the asphalt, the “Full-Blues”*, who are hardly strange at all; instead, they provoke feelings of horror, pinching sorrow, pity, or anger. The “Strange”, however, provoke a feelings of surprise and exaltation, maybe because these people continue to exist, despite the inescapable poverty of their fate. Just look at how they dress! Their clothing is armored plating, designed to defend us from the heaviness of reality! There can be little doubt that the life of the Strange is reflected in their costumes. I swear: these people are far freer than the “Full-Blues” or that the “Well-Dressed”. The slight madness of the Strange eloquently tells us that they live in their own world; often, they march forward at a determined pace, busily carrying their burden in an elegant plastic bag…

INSTALLATION OF THE CLOTHES’ CAFE

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