performance by Karolina Kubik and Tanel Rander
Creature Live Art 2014, Kaunas
(photos by Creature Live Art festival)
COLONIAL WOUND, SOLIDARITY AND EASTERN EUROPE
discussion in 17.10.2014
UP Gallery, Berlin
Documentation of performance by Karolina Kubik and Tanel Rander, 31st of May 2014 in Kaunas. 150 plates of mamaliga were symbolically served, referring to 150 NATO soldiers sent to each Baltic state. Mamaliga is a cheap East European peasant food, now mostly forgotten, but known as polenta, through the global marketing of Italian cuisine. Beside mamaliga, 150 stones were served. This serving was followed by struggle with car, its Polish registration plate was covered with military camouflage. The anonymous and militarized civil car was pushed by Tanel Rander, while Karolina Kubik stopped it with a wooden stick. Mamaliga, stones and sticks is what we have. We want to discuss how to use them!
Colonial wound is what unites Eastern Europe and the former 3rd world. Colonial wound is what makes a difference between the East and the West. As coloniality affects people, it affects places. The wound includes human body and its location, and has different layers.
Layer 1: We come from Eastern Europe that occurred after the collapse of the Berlin Wall as a huge post-catastrophic space, facing underdevelopment, radical reforms, wars, instability.
Layer 2: After 2004, when most of the Eastern countries joined the EU, this reality was forgotten. Eastern Europe became “the former East”, a white and civilized area, acting like Western countries, using foreign labor, participating in the Western war machine, behaving as superior power in respect of this Eastern Europe that was left outside the EU.
Layer 3: Since 2014 Eastern Europe is back. Nobody uses the term “the former East”, when talking about sending NATO troops to the Baltics, Poland and Romania. War in Ukraine is called as “war in Europe”. The fear of war and death is now a reality in Eastern Europe.
We want to raise the following questions:
What is the task of culture and arts, while the society is being militarized, while politicians and the elite are turning people against each other? No doubt that the imperial war machine is expanding in the East and in the West. What is the task of us, artists? What should happen in art galleries during such situation?
We want to develop the culture of solidarity! Eastern Europe has been spectralized – there are single countries, that don't notice each other. It is a set of dependancy between the East and the West that works through singularity. There is war in the place, where we live – the post-Socialist politicians have failed. The imperialist politics has failed. How strong is the culture? Are we producing illustrations for imperialist politics and global coloniality?
Russian artists – our countries, your politicians and ours are turning people against each other. And not only – our countries are being militarized, as if there are preparations for huge war. What can we do about it? Where is the cultural response that stands for humanity? Dadaism is not the way out of it.