At the same time with Manifesta 10 On Board an interesting symposium is organised in St. Petersburg. What is Monumental Today? symposium is open for anyone interested in the topic and is co-organised by the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts/University of the Arts Helsinki in collaboration with Chto Delat, Smolny Institute and EARN (European Artistic Research Network).
What is Monumental Today? Symposium on the politics of memory in St. Petersburg
October 10–11, 2014
How can the groups that are excluded from the public sphere voice material and performative forms of commemoration nowadays? What kind of tangible structures and rituals could be developed to counter the imposed monumentality of power? In a two day meeting of international artists and intellectuals these issues will be discussed from the different perspectives that lie at the basis of our dangerous situations.
This project is the next step in the on-going Chto Delat project. It takes position in the debate on the politics of memory and monumentality. The reader for the conference can be downloaded here.
How can the groups that are excluded from the public sphere voice material and performative forms of commemoration nowadays? What kind of tangible structures and rituals could be developed to counter the imposed monumentality of power?
Without the politics of commemoration any political struggle is impossible. Only through rituals located around certain spaces and through the symbolic representation of past struggles can the next generation empower itself in a dialogue with the dead and get inspiration and lessons for the future. But how can we proceed with this urgent matter if the people’s movements have very limited opportunity to produce and structure space, and their spatial practices are limited to temporal structures relocated around the city maps? And at the same time the celebration of tacticality/temporality very much limits the popular desire for change.
Those in power retain a rigid monumentality that celebrates their force and a pseudo-unity of the people. What could be an answer? What is monumental today?
In a two day meeting of international artists and intellectuals these issues will be discussed from the different perspectives that lie at the basis of our dangerous situations.
Friday: October 10
19.00: Floating Ghost #2, curated by Jussi Koitela
Video works: Wywrotka (Capsizing) by Tero Nauha, Virtual War by Pekka Niskanen and Rigmaroles by Anna Johansson. The program investigates the neoliberal condition of freedom and the current challenges of living conditions and the development of geo-political and immaterial communication in Northern and Eastern Europe. Thus it articulates alternative modes of monumentality from the perspective of current practices of exclusion. Screening followed by discussion with curator and artists. Moderator: Henk Slager
Saturday: October 11
10.00-11.00: Ilya Orlov: Excursion, Memorial “Victims of the Revolution” at the Marsovo Polje (The Field of Mars Square)
11.00-12.30: Lunch and gathering at Smolny College
Moderator: Johan Öberg
13.00-13.15: Dmitry Vilensky, Introduction
13.15-14.00: Barbara Vanderlinden, Monumental Manifesta
14.00-14.45: Artyon Magum, The role of historical memory in current Russian politics
Moderator: Jan Kaila
15.15-16.00: Janos Sugar, Power is Invisible until you provoke it
16.00-16.45: Oxana Timofeeva, The Theater for the Dead
17.00-18:30: The Ghosts of the Monument
Video works of Lapidari (Viktor Gjika, Esat Ibro), Scene for New Heritage Part I (David Maljkovic), A farewell to the monument (Kaya Behkala, Egypt), Partisan Songspiel, (Chto Delat), Lost Monument (Stefanos Tsivopoulos). This program is questioning the presence of monuments in the life of our communities.
Final Session (after short break)
18.30-20:00: Nora Sternfeld, Dmitry Vilensky, Discussion. Q&A with all participants
What is Monumental Today? – Symposium on the politics of memory at the moment of danger
October 10–11, 2014
Location: Smolny Institute, ул. Смольного, 1, St Petersburg, Russia, 191124
Organized by Dmitry Vilensky, Jan Kaila and Henk Slager
Study Coordinator Henri Wegelius, Doctoral Studies Programme, Academy of Fine Arts: firstname.lastname@example.org