In this interview, IU art professor Andréa Stanislav talks with Anna Bitkina, independent Russian curator and co-founder of TOK. Bitkina discusses the intersection of art and politics, the challenges of creating art exhibits in the age of COVID-19 -- especially exhibits that rely on the importance of a physical presence -- and the relevance of politics and in her art exhibits. She also reveals a newfound interest in science and biology as a consequence of the pandemic, entertaining the possibilities that such an interest may inspire.
Andréa Stanislav's creative research and visual arts practice is split between Bloomington, IN, New York City and St. Petersburg, RU. Her hybrid practice spans sculpture, multimedia installation, and public art. More about Stanislav can be found at https://rsw.indiana.edu/about/faculty....
Anna Bitkina, according to an interview by the Museum of Non-Visible Art project "...sees curatorial practice as a multidisciplinary process that connects theory, science, philosophy, and politics in order to generate knowledge about the contemporary reality where art has an ability to articulate socio-political conditions and foster social changes. Her curatorial research often lay between historical analysis and the political imaginary where she combines her cultural background with current life experience. In her practice, Anna explores post-Soviet conditions in contemporary Russia and remnants of Soviet history in different social spheres like public space, local governance, educational and youth policies, media landscape. She is also interested in local and global implications caused by the accelerated capitalism in the region. More about Anna can be found at the Dutch Art Institute and at the Museum of Modern Art.
TOK’s projects have a strong social component and deal with current issues that are widely discussed both in Russia and internationally such as migration, public space and citizens, development of education, deprivation of social resources, forming collective memory, use of natural resources, growing role of the media in the global society, changing political climate and many others. TOK curators have also always been largely interested in exploring the concept of public space in post-Soviet Russia and the former Soviet Union, as well as perception, understanding and mechanisms of use of public spaces and open areas by residents of post-Soviet cities. One of the current interests of TOK is reaction of the media to global sociolopolitical processes. More about TOK can be found at http://tok-spb.org/new/en/about-tok or at on the TOK Facebook page.