The last chapter of Meeting Points 7 takes place in the Institute for African Studies in Moscow with the exhibition Ten thousand wiles and a hundred thousand tricks, where the work of 20 contemporary artists is presented in the unique location of a working scientific institution that does not lend itself easily to the demands of the white cube, but neither to site-specificity rooted in its physical location or the temporality of its scientific, cultural and political roles.
Resisting the drive towards nostalgic celebration of international solidarities during the times of anti-colonial liberation struggles and the symbolic capital that the Institute for African Studies in Moscow entails, the exhibition rather acknowledges its own status as a temporary intruder, pushing the agenda of anti-colonialism towards contemporary class struggles. It takes a stance against the processes described by David Harvey as “accumulation by dispossession,” colonial replays, the revival of Cold War rhetoric and stereotypes, the neo-imperialism of multinationals and international organizations, and the renewed imperial aspirations of states as they play out in present geo-political constellations.
Meeting Points 7, a multidisciplinary contemporary arts festival focused on artistic production from the Arab World, began in 2012 in the aftermath of the shockwaves of popular rebellion that had been reverberating across Arab World countries since 2011, alongside the prolonged economic crisis and various anti-capitalist movements across the world that have dented the myths of neoliberalism and delegitimized the existing social and economic order. Two years later, the apparent stifling of these movements still keeps their assessment open. On one hand, celebrated as novel political movements, without hegemonic organizations and leaders, indicating alternative means of emancipation, and on the other, denounced as failed revolutions that allowed for a speedy conservative restoration of intact coercive apparatuses or, even worse, that led to a descent into chaos and the rise of ethnic and religious strife, these movements reopened the question of how to regard revolutions historically and politically, and pushed forward the idea of international solidarities and an awareness of the mutual conditioning of social battles in different regions of the world.
Under the title Ten thousand wiles and a hundred thousand tricks, a quote taken from Wretched of the Earth (1961) by Frantz Fanon, a philosopher and a revolutionary, written as a reflection on the Algerian Revolution and taking its title from the opening lines of the “Internationale,” the song of the world workers’ movement, Meeting Points 7 was conceptualized as a dialogue whose non-linear chapters digress, continue, complete and contradict each other.
Starting from the context of artistic production in the Arab World, but looking for routes of escape from the games of national or ethnic representations, Meeting Points 7 was devised as an international exhibition taking place in different geographic locations, whose artists, artworks and conceptual focuses shifted in response to the local contexts in which it was realized: Zagreb (Gallery Nova, September 2013), Antwerp (MuHKA, October 2013), Cairo (Contemporary Image Collective, February 2014), Hong Kong (Para Site, March 2014), Beirut (Beirut Art Center, April 2014), and Vienna (21er Haus, in partnership with Wiener Festwochen, May 2014).
Meeting Points 7 is supported by the Ford Foundation and the Flemish Authorities.
With: Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Chto Delat, DAAR (Sandi Hilal, Alessandro Petti, Eyal Weizman, Nicola Perugini), Karpo Godina, Iman Issa, Sanja Ivekovi?, Maryam Jafri, Nikita Kadan, Rajkamal Kahlon, Anton Kannemeyer, Vlad Kruchinsky, Runo Lagomarsino, Victoria Lomasko, Maha Maamoun, Tom Nicholson, Trevor Paglen, Darinka Pop-Miti?, Mykola Ridnyi, Maxim Spivakov, David Ter-Oganyan
Curated by What, How and for Whom / WHW
Organisers: Young Arab Theatre Fund/YATF
Production: V-A-C Foundation
Hosts: Institute for African Studies
Thursday 3 July
mobile platform for communication between Russian and Ukrainian cultural workers, Between a rock and a hard place, initiated by Chto Delat
2–6pm at the Institute for African Studies
7–9pm at Moscow curatorial summer school (Pushkin Art Museum, Museion Centre)
Monday 7 July
6pm live audio essay by Lawrence Abu Hamdan Aural Contract: the voice before the law
7–9pm exhibition opening
Tuesday 8 July
4–6pm panel discussion Soviet institutions and liberation movements: places of memory or memory of the places? participants: Viktor Misiano, Alexandr Panov and Vladimir Shubin; concept and moderation Ilya Budraitskis
In collaboration with Africa Screening Cinema Club, films by Kianoush Ayari, Eron Davidson & Ana Nogueira, Dara Kell & Christopher Nizza, Alexander Markov and Azzedine Meddour will be shown during the exhibition.
Individual visitors are not allowed entry due to the academic functioning of the Institute. To attend the exhibition, please join one of the guided group tours.
The tours schedule is available on the following sites:
www.v-a-c.ru / www.meetingpoints.org / www.inafran.ru
Institute for African Studies
30/1, Spiridonovka Street