Ivor Stodolsky is a curator, writer and the co-founding director of the ‘Perpetuum Mobile’ curatorial group based in Germany, Finland and France. He actively curates exhibitions, conferences and events where art and politics are discussed internationally. Engaged in practical, theoretical and literary fields, he is also an editor of diverse publications and films. Recent initiatives include ‘Pluriculturalism’ (Moderna Museet, Malmø); the newspaper ‘The Square’, ‘Back To Square 1’ and ‘To The Square 2’ (Checkpoint Helsinki); ‘The Fourth Roma Gypsy Pavilion’ (Cineromani Berlin); ‘Re-Public’ (Urb Festival, Kiasma, Helsinki); ‘Re-Aligned Art from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus’ (Tromsø Kunstforening); ‘Re-Aligned/Media Impact’ (Moscow Biennale), as well as many other ‘Perpetuum Mobile’ projects. ‘Perpetuum Mobile’ is a curatorial vehicle he founded together with Marita Muukkonen in 2007. Its ongoing umbrella-projects include the ‘Re-Aligned Project’, the ‘Perpetual Pavilion’, ‘Residencies for Artists at Risk’, ‘Perpetuum Labs’, ‘The Arts Assembly’, ‘SINO-FI’ and the ‘Outside Insiders Project’ (Moderna Museet, Malmø). www.PerpetualMobile.org
As in previous times of transnational public upheavals such as 1968 and 1989, artistic advocates of freedom, from circa 2011 onward, have taken their ideas into full public view. One can point to the prominent role artists played in the revolts that shook the Arab world, as much as in the creative milieu of the Indignados/15M movement in Spain, and the global phenomena of Occupy. Dissenting artistic agents of change have sparked public debate in countries as far apart as China, the US and Europe. Russian contemporary art, too, has figured prominently.
This presentation takes a historical and comparative look at these synchronicities and their structural parallels. Firstly, it discusses the historical inversion of ideological markers in the post-Soviet period, which has enabled a global, largely unspoken re-alignment between anti-authoritarian intellectuals. Secondly, it outlines a series of structural parallels between diverse socio-political and cultural contexts, drawing on examples of politicized artists and their work under repressive regimes in Russia, Egypt, Palestine, China and Europe, encountered in the Re-Aligned Project (www.re-aligned.net). If time allows, we will also readdress the issues of the writing of history and the canon and discuss the question of universality with regard to the plural narratives of our time.