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Slavs and Tatars

Slavs and Tatars: Not Moscow Not Mecca

Off-Site Program:
Talk for Slavs and Tatars: Never Give Up The Fruit
Abrons Arts Center
466 Grand Street, New York
October 4, 2012


Forever & Today, Inc. announces "Not Moscow Not Mecca," a talk by the international artist collective Slavs and Tatars. Combining academic field research, history, languages, and culture with a sense of humor, Slavs and Tatars' multi-disciplinary work spans installations, publications, printed materials, artist talks, lectures, and events. Their work is self-described as a "faction of polemics and intimacies devoted to an area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China known as Eurasia."

Slavs and Tatars' talk at Abrons Arts Center, "Not Moscow Not Mecca" discusses the notions of triangulation, substitution, and the particularly progressive approach to Islam found in Central Asia.

According to Slavs and Tatars: When the Muslim world is defined or imagined today—by the West or Muslims alike—it often includes countries from North Africa to South East Asia, strangely skipping a heartbeat over the former Soviet sphere. As part of Slavs and Tatars' solo exhibition at Forever & Today, Inc., "Not Moscow Not Mecca" looks at Central Asia's particularly progressive approach to Islam, from its syncretism to Sufi grrrl power, shrine veneration to demodernization.

Organized in association with Never Give Up The Fruit (October 6-November 18, 2012), a newly commissioned installation by Slavs and Tatars, curated by Ingrid Chu and Savannah Gorton and exhibited at Forever & Today, Inc.'s Chinatown/Lower East Side storefront, "Not Moscow Not Mecca" is one of several public programs being hosted by education programs partner Abrons Arts Center. Additional programs include a children's storytelling and coloring session featuring the popular Uyghur children's tales of Molla Nasreddin among others.

Slavs and Tatars' solo exhibitions include Künstlerhaus, Stuttgart (2013); Presentation House, Vancouver (2013); REDCAT, Los Angeles (2013); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012); Secession, Vienna (2012); Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen (2011); and Netwerk Center for Contemporary Art, Aalst (2009); among others. Group exhibitions include 9th Gwangju Biennial, Gwangju (2012); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012); New Museum, New York (2012, 2009); 10th Sharjah Bienniale, UAE (2011); Konsthall C, Stockholm (2011); Kunstverein München, Munich (2011); Salt Beyoğlu, Istanbul (2011); Tate Modern, London (2011); Witte de With, Rotterdam (2011); ARGOS centre for art and media, Brussels (2010); BAIBAKOV art projects, Moscow (2010); Frieze Art Fair Sculpture Park, London (2010); Goethe-Institut, New York (2009); Casco Projects, Utrecht (2008, 2006); NCCA, Moscow Biennale of Young Artists, Moscow (2008); Art Metropole, Toronto (2007); Colette, Paris (2007); Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2007); and Printed Matter, Inc., New York (2007); among others. Their work has been featured in publications including 032c, Art Asia Pacific, Artforum, ArtReview, Bidoun, Fillip, frieze, The Guardian, Kaleidoscope, Manifesta Journal, Metropolis M, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, and The New York Times among others. Slavs and Tatars have published several books including Kidnapping Mountains (Book Works, 2009), Love Me, Love Me Not: Changed Names (onestar press, 2010), Not Moscow Not Mecca (Revolver/Secession, 2012), and Khhhhhhh (Mousse/Moravia Gallery, 2012), as well as their translation of the legendary Azeri satire Molla Nasreddin: the magazine that would've, could've, should've (JRP-Ringier, 2011). Their works are in collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York and Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE, among others.

Slavs and Tatars: "Not Moscow Not Mecca" is made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Additional support provided by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Forever & Today, Inc.'s education programs partner is Abrons Arts Center.

Slavs and Tatars: "Not Moscow Not Mecca" is organized by Ingrid Chu and Savannah Gorton.

Special thanks to Jonathan Durham and Carolyn Sickles, Abrons Arts Center.