The main focus of the group’s research is the hidden or private lives of artists whose life is mostly unknown and invisible both to the public and artistic community. What about other social roles of artists – being a son/ a daughter, a wife/ a husband, a mother/ a father etc.? What is the conditions of their everyday life? The aim of the group is to deconstruct the stereotypical overview that the Belarusian society has about being an artist and to present a non-public image of the cultural worker. The poor economical situation in the art field will be reflected through analysis of the work the artist performs that is not related to art but which generates the main income for artists and creates the opportunity to make art in the first place. That activity mostly is hidden and not presented in artistic CVs and bios because the forces of the art market could consider this as a ‘shameful’ part of their biographies that undermines the sparkling figure of ‘real’ artist. The group Hidden Life will also touch on concepts of work and labor in Post-Soviet and Capitalist societies. The work of the group includes research, text-based, and visual contributions.
Tania Arcimovich, Maksim Sarychau
Heritage making – the creation and recreation of cultural and historical meaning and identity – is done by different actors and at different levels, from institutions, museums, their visitors, to common people. In the collective project Heritagization, the group focuses on different forms of heritagization that emerge parallel and/or in conflict with official and authorized forms of heritage making. In particular, the group is interested in highlighting, enacting and performing alternative processes of heritage-making in individual and collective ways, through art practice and activism in urban public spaces.
The project is composed of different parts that dialogue and build on one another to explore how art and activism can make heritage in Belarus and Sweden. The work of the group is based on academic research, artistic-based research and performative methodologies.
Alina Dzeravianka, Ingrid Falk, Linda Tedsdotter, Chiara Valli, Elina Vidarsson
Linda Tedsdotter is a visual artist based in Göteborg, Sweden. Her works have been displayed since 1998 in several museums of Modern Art, festivals and galleries, such as the Kaohsiung International Arts Festival in Taiwan (China, 2003), the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb (Croatia, 2004), Moderna Museet in Stockholm (Sweden, 2006), Palais de Tokyo in Paris (France, 2013), and OFF Biennale Cairo (Egypt, 2018).
Tedsdotter’s artworks are site-specific or related in some way or another to the situation and the context they make up. Using small-scale, visual means her sculptural installations entice the viewer to participate in a way that is perceptibly controlled. Her interventions in the environment have their origins in the artist’s close relationship to the northern countryside, and they grab the viewers senses and attention.
Besides being an artist, Tedsdotter also works as an independent curator and is the International Coordinator at the residence program at Konstepidemin in Göteborg, Sweden. Tedsdotter has been a board member of several art institutions such as Röda Sten, which is the main organization behind GIBCA, Göteborg International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Göteborg, the art magazine Paletten, and the artist run gallery Box.
Maxim Sarychau is a photojournalist and visual artist, based in Minsk, Belarus. Sarychau works on long-term visual projects where he refers to the topics of violence of various forms and levels, both from authoritarian societies or within traditional society. He focuses on political and human dimensions of collective memory and history. Sarychau graduated from various photography educational courses and programs in Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, and Russia.
He has been exhibited internationally: Fotomuseum Winterthur (Switzerland), Art Museum of Chóngqìng (China), Museum of Genocide Victims (Lithuania), Contemporary Art Space (Georgia), Tbilisi History Museum (Georgia), Gallery of Classic Photography (Russia), Pavlov’s dog gallery (Germany).
Ingrid Falk is an artist with a pedagogical interest towards society who is based in Stockholm, Sweden and Barcelona, Spain. She works with participatory, Contemporary Art in public space. She holds a Ph Mag from Stockholm University Department of Education in Arts and Professions and is a tutor at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design. She is a co-creator of FA+ where the sign + stands for collaboration and collective making. Her project, THE UNIVERSAL LIBRARY, is an ongoing endless street art project. Falk has made reports for the Swedish national board for culture and for the Stockholm City Cultural Department and has initiated education programs for artists to work in schools and with public art. FA+ is represented in collections in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Argentina and Cuba.
Alina Dzeravianka is a cultural manager based in Brest, Belarus. She is a project director at Brest Fortress Development Foundation, lecturer at the European College of Liberal Arts in Belarus and teacher the course Art and Social Change. She was a coordinator of the artist in residency program in 2018 at the independent cultural venue, Prastora KH. Dzeravianka worked as a Country Coordinator for Belarus for the EU project Culture and Creativity (2015-18), she was a project manager at Association of Cultural Managers in Moscow, Russia (2010-13), a coordinator at the architectural festival Archstoyanie in Russia (2011-12), and a coordinator at the international art residency program in Nikola-Lenivets, Russia (2012), among others. Dzeravianka holds a MA degree in Cultural management from MSSES (Moscow, Russia) and a MA in Comparative History from EHU (Vilnius, Lithuania). She is a member of ICOM Belarus, Association of Cultural Managers (Russia).
Nils Claesson is an artist based in Stockholm, Sweden. Claesson works with animation, text, film and contemporary art. Since 2011, he participated in the building of an environment for artistic research in Sweden. In September 2011, he received his PhD in Fine Arts from The Film and Media Department at Stockholm University of the Arts. For the moment he is employed as a researcher at the Royal Institute of Art in a project named Workawork: a cross-disciplinary research about the role of work in a society where machines and artificial intelligence is challenging the traditional form of work.
Claesson has a history in making projects in dialogue with Eastern Europe. Between 1998-2009, he led several projects with the aim of bringing artists together and creating a dialogue between artists from the Baltic states, Belarus, Russia, and the Ukraine. He participated in a group-show at the gallery of The Art Academy in Minsk with a work named The Contract, where he hired a Belarusian artist for one month who was tasked with not making art.
Nicolay Spesivtsev is an artist and researcher based in Moscow, Russia. With a technical background as a computer scientist, Spesivtsev combines a critical approach to computer science that is interwoven with computational economies and queer futurism. He works with imaginations born from overlapping technological, economical, and political landscapes in present day culture.
His interests include solidarity born from affective labor, critical approaches to emancipation of joy from assemblages of bodies of living subjects (human and non-human), and systems based on computation, digital decolonialism in Eastern Europe, among many others.
He is part of the group eeefff and Flying Cooperation. He co-organizes the annual event WORK HARD! PLAY HARD! in Minsk.