Art for Social Change:
Art Training

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photo: Zhanna Kadyrova, exit, 2010

One of eight winning projects selected in the Art for Social Change competition conducted by the National Audiovisual Institute as part of the preparations for the European Culture Congress.

“Art Training” is an invitation to participate in an artist-created urban game, the instructions for which will pop up all over Wrocław during the European Culture Congress in the form of posters and postcards.

The instructions have been prepared by a group of four Polish and Ukrainian artists (Nikita Kadan, Zhanna Kadyrova, Anna Ostoya, and Janek Simon). The creators want to provoke the city’s inhabitants and visitors to engage in critical thinking about the way that city spaces function. They are also very interested in seeing how art influences reality.

The Polish-Ukrainian partnership is not a coincidence. This analysis of public spaces is supposed to facilitate mutual learning experiences and build good relations between the neighboring nations. It is also supposed to remind us that we have a common, local, Central European background.

One of the most important problems facing our cities today is the accessibility of public spaces. Public space, and thus city space, is generally understood as a common good and an area where citizens can take action. That is why “Art Training” wants to step out the traditional “exhibition spaces,” and thus include as many participants in the project as possible.

The artists decided to organize the project as an urban game because of its potential for participation and performance. This strategy is a tool commonly used in cultural education, understood as critical practice.

We encourage all of you to seek out the instructions during walks or other activities, and to follow the artists’ suggestions.

The project is organized by the SPLOT Foundation (Krakow, Poland) jointly with the Alternative Visual Studies Foundation (Kiev, Ukraine) and Art fo Art Foundation (Krakow) .

Artists: Nikita Kadan, Zhanna Kadyrova, Anna Ostoya, Janek Simon
Curated by: Beata Seweryn
With a cooperation of: Liudmila Motsiuk, Natalia Manzhali
Coordinator: Małgorzata Swaryczewska
Partners: Arteon, Nowa Europa Wschodnia, Przekrój, Obieg, Kultura natychMIASTOwa

Schedule for Saturday 10th September

13:00 — “Freedom walk” by artist Zhanna Kadyrowa

meeting point: the fountain at the Market Square

A road sign symbolizes a rule. The door that we open in front of a human figure is an opportunity to set oneself free from limitations. Every door leads to another one. The route marked by the road signs leads us from the enclosed centre of the city where everyone follows established rules to the river – the realm of nature and freedom. Take a 10-minute walk along that route. Look into the doors – find your way to freedom.

13:30 — “Picnic on freedom island” (near Wyspa Słodowa)

17:00 — Opening of the project at Festival Club (presentation of artists and their projects)

17:15 — “Agoraphilia or agoraphobia? City 2012. Poland –Ukraine” - a panel discussion

Panelists: Zhanna Kadyrowa, Natalia Manzhali, Ludmila Motsiuk, Anna Ostoya, Beata Seweryn
Moderator: Paweł Brożyński

THE WORKS OF THE ARTISTS:

Anna Ostoya, "untitled (today)", 2011
Stimulation of imagination offered by Anna Ostoya is based on her own text. It takes the form of a fiery manifesto which draws on best practices of its species. Referring to universal values such as equality and justice, an unknown entity puts us in the presence of transformations in progress. Utopian demands of the manifesto clash with reality and raise doubts concerning the intentions of its author. Are they an expression of naivete, improper optimism or bitter irony? The text becomes a litmus test of our willingness and participation in the game is about acceptance or rejection of a political attitude.

You are welcome to act upon the manifesto. Ballots and ballot boxes will be available for four days in the congress halls. We encourage you to vote (on this important matter)!

Janek Simon
The game instructions developed by Janek Simon are a proposal of a simple albeit radical exercise. The instructions apply to the most prosaic activity i.e. movement. The contemporary flâneur should maintain a dynamic pace typical of the period. Backward movement constitutes an innovative element of the game. Participation in the race gives you a chance to gain a new perspective and vary your daily routine. Warning! This exercise entails a risk of injuries and painful exposure to ridicule or misunderstanding by the public.

An honest man asks the Audience not to take his lyrical divergence from the reality as senseless extravagance (Franciszka and Stefan Themerson, “An adventure of an honest man”, 10 min., Warsaw, 1937)

Zhanna Kadyrova
A road sign symbolizes a rule.
The door that we open in front of a human figure is an opportunity to set oneself free from limitations.
Every door leads to another one. The route marked by the road signs leads us from the enclosed center of the city where everyone follows the established rules to the river – the realm of nature and freedom. Take a 10-minute walk down that route. Look into the doors – find your way to freedom.

Nikita Kadan
The focal point of Nikita Kadan's instruction is the Sky Tower building. It acts like a giant sundial. The artist offers us a game with the shadow cast by the skyscraper which dominates the neighbouring area. How far does the shadow of the tower reach? Do you prefer to hide in the shadow or expose your face to sunlight?

ARTISTS:

Nikita Kadan (born 1982) graduated from the Art Academy in Kiev. Since  2004 he is a member of the artistic group  R.E.P  (Rewolucyjnyj Eksperymentalnyj Prostir – Rewolutionary Experimental Space). In 2008 he co-founded the group HUDRADA. He often co-operates with architects, human rights activists and sociologists. Installations and graphics artist, author of murals and posters. Lives in Kiev.

Zhanna Kadyrova (born 1981) graduated from Taras Scevchenko State Artistic Middle School In Kiev. A memeber of the artistic groups:  R.E.P , Penoplast, 8=8, The Conquered City, City of Winners, and New History. Sculpter, painter and installations artist.  Since 1993 she lives in Kiev.

Janek Simon (born1977) studied sociology and psychology at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. He is a film maker, creates installations, works as a curator. In his artistic activity he refers to conceptual art and political  issues. Co-founder of the Goldex Poldex Cooperative. Lives in Krakow.

Anna Ostoya (1978) studied at Parsons Paris School of Art + Design and at Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. A multidisciplinary artist who combines critical reflection and references to the 20th century avant-garde in her works. She lives in New York.

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TAGS: art training, art for social change