DRIFTING IDENTITIES (Exhibition & Colloquium)

KSA:K – Center for Contemporary Art, Chisinau


(Exhibition & Colloquium) curated by Stefan Rusu
30. 10. - 13. 11. 2012
Zemstvei Museum, Organizer: KSA:K-Center for Contemporary Art,
Chisinau, Republic of Moldova

DRIFTING IDENTITIES is focused on researching, documenting and archiving the identity phenomena located in the past and the present of post-socialist societies. It was designed to contextualize the identity tendencies two decades after the dissolution of the Eastern bloc.

The exhibition includes a number of visual art projects that state relevant comments on the evolution of the social engineering strategies in its current state. A number of works deal with such processes (case studies: Bulgaria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Republic of Moldova, Georgia and Armenia). We noticed that until today there are countries, which are trapped between the Russian geo-political influence and the EU expansion process, such as Ukraine, Georgia or Moldova. In some other cases, the societies are torn between nationalism and nostalgia for the former regime as it is the case in Belarus or until recently in Moldova. Others stand in between the expanding development of the open market and the aggressiveness of the neo-liberal establishment (Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania).

A part of the exhibition deals with the identity phenomena: p.e. a particular project is a documentary titled Talking Letters that deals with Roma minorities and their role in the contemporary society. In addition to the exhibition, an international colloquium was organized to confront the current agenda behind the official identity discourse and to introduce other voices like independent collectives and groups that develop alternative platforms to the existing state policies in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and
Armenia. The aim of the colloquium was to present a wider spectrum, going beyond the exclusively ethnical aspect towards a broader understanding, and to debate the changing notion of identity and its fluid aspects. A number of participants from partner institutions from Armenia, Georgia and others from the proximity of Moldova such as Ukraine, Belarus, Romania were invited to Chisinau to present their arguments and positions. The colloquium took place in the premises of Theatre-Laundry - a long-term project of challenging ethnic, linguistic, artistic and personal identities through theatre and performance.

As a part of the colloquium, two female artists (Eliza Ursache – visual artist [RO] and Tatiana Fiodorova – visual artist [MD]) presented two performance works “I AM” and “STEAUA”. In conclusion, the process of DRIFTING IDENTITIES in post-socialist republics (in Moldova and in some other cases) is both the reverberation of unfinished ethnic projects during the nation building process and the existing ethnic roots
of those societies.

Stefan Rusu – project curator