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Announcement
October 20, 2017

The Guggenheim Museum’s Middle Eastern Circle Presents an Evening with Slavs and Tatars

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Still from Slavs and Tatars, I Utter Other, 2014–. Lecture-performance. Photo: Courtesy the artist 

On Wednesday, November 1, the Guggenheim Museum presents the New York premiere of I Utter Other (2014–), a lecture-performance by Berlin-based artist collective Slavs and Tatars. Organized by curators Sara Raza and Nat Trotman, with assistant curator Amara Antilla, the evening marks the second program supported by the Guggenheim’s Middle Eastern Circle, which is dedicated to enhancing the museum’s contemporary art activities with a focus on the Middle East region.

In this new iteration of I Utter Other, Slavs and Tatars weave together scholarship, satire, and popular culture to address the often-overlooked legacy of Orientalism, as put forward by renowned scholar Edward Said, within a Russian and Soviet context. Asking what it means when “one East looks to another East,” Slavs and Tatars explore myriad assumptions that accompany public communication, translation, and historical remembering. I Utter Other explores this terrain in the context of 20th- and 21st-century geopolitical challenges and the sometimes antagonistic relationship between communism and the politics of Islam.

Founded in 2006, Slavs and Tatars is an art collective whose work incorporates sculpture, installation, publications and lecture-performances. The artists examine the subtleties of identity, language, and geography by bringing together seemingly incoherent bodies of knowledge to produce new readings. Tracing the layered presence of communist, Islamic, and pre- and post-Soviet influences, their work combines high and low culture to explore unlikely shared religious, political, and ideological histories that transgress regional and national borders, especially in the imagined geography that stretches from the Berlin Wall to the Great Wall of China. Slavs and Tatars’ work resides in international museum collections and has been the subject of solo presentations at the Secession, Vienna; Museum of Modern Art, New York (both 2012); Dallas Museum of Art; Kunsthalle Zürich (both 2014); Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2015); and Blaffer Art Museum, Houston (2016). A midcareer survey of their work was recently on view at Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania, following presentations at Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw; SALT, Istanbul; and the Pejman Foundation, Tehran. They have published more than a half dozen books, including their 2011 translation of Molla Nasreddin, the legendary early 20th-century Azeri satirical magazine.

A conversation with the artists and a reception will follow the performance. Tickets are required, and free for students with RSVP. Funding is provided by members of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Middle Eastern Circle.

About the Middle Eastern Circle
The Middle Eastern Circle is made up of thoughtful art collectors and enthusiasts who serve as ambassadors dedicated to furthering the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s mission of collecting, preserving, and interpreting the art of our time in a global context. With a special focus on contemporary art activities and initiatives in the Middle East, the group specifically raises awareness and helps support meaningful public programs, acquisitions, and exhibitions by Middle Eastern artists each year at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. The Guggenheim network that began in the 1970s when the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, was joined by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, has since expanded to include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (opened 1997) and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (currently in development). The Guggenheim Foundation continues to forge international collaborations that celebrate contemporary art, architecture, and design within and beyond the walls of the museum, including the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative and The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative.

More information about the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation can be found at guggenheim.org.

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