ilyabildeTuesday 13. May. 2014 at 19:00 at HKS, Hordaland Art Centre, Klosteret 17, Nordnes, Bergen

Based on his own practice artist, curator and historian Ilya Budraitskis will look closer at how history is re-interpreted and actively used as a political tool in Russia today. This lecture is organised in collaboration with Hordaland Kunstsenter and follows the exhibition The Structure and Properties of Matter

From the beginning of Vladimir Putin’s third presidential term the question of ’values’ and references to the ‘our great past’ moved to the centre of the political language of Russian elite. The Soviet history has been an important source of this new ‘politics of value’, but the soviet legacy is much more complicated and meaningful than just a puppet in the hands of the new constructors of history. Somehow, contemporary art appeared at the front of a constructed battle between the patriotic ‘silent majority’ and the liberal ‘internal migrants’.

The extensive project Pedagogical Poem by Ilya Budraitskis, in collaboration with Arseny Zhilyaev, was an interdisciplinary project consisting of over 100 lectures and seminars throughout 2012 with international and Russian artists, historians and cultural theorists that culminated with the exhibition The Archive of the Future Museum of History at Presnya Historical Museum in Moscow. Budraitskis will present the project and the recently published book Pedagogical Poem – The Archive of the Future Museum of History (Marsilio Editori, 2014). With this project and his work at the State Museum of Contemporary History of Russia as a backdrop, he will examine the possible liberating role an old museum may have, based on the story of ‘the revolutionary memory’ from 1905 and 1917.

Ilya Budraitskis participates in the exhibition The Structure and Properties of Matter with the work The Grenelle Agreements. This video work is made by Learning Film Group, which Budraitskis is part of, and which takes as its starting point the historic agreement that was negotiated during the riots in France in 1968.

The exhibition The Structure and Properties of Matter, curated by Frans Jacobi and Åse Løvgren, investigates different approaches to historic legacy, as conveyed through the media, materials, stories, fantasies and dreams. It is part of the discussion of how history is conveyed, interpreted and used as in our understanding of the world, but also as a political tool to describe conflicts, contradictions and how policies are formulated.

The lecture will be in English.

Ilya Budraitskis (1981) is an artist, theorist and historian. Since 2010 he has been on the editorial board of Moscow Art Magazine. Since 2013 he is working in the National Center of Contemporary Art (Moscow). During 2012-2013 worked as scientific fellow in the State Central Museum for Contemporary History of Russia.

He was an editor and contributor (together with Ekaterina Degot and Marta Dzievanska) of a book Post-post-Soviet? Art, politics and society in Russia at the turn of the decade (Chicago University Press, 2013).

This lecture is presented in collaboration between Hordaland Kunstsenter,  Bergen Academy of Art and Design and is also supported by Nordland County Council.

The Grenelle Agreements, film by Learning Film Group


POPULAR unrest


Still from Popular Unrest

Monday, April 28, 19h, 2014 at KHiB, 8th floor, C.Sundtsgaten 53

Since the economic crisis began in 2008, artist Melanie Gilligan has created three narrative episodic video works, Crisis in the Credit SystemSelf-Capital and Popular Unrest which reflect on the economics and politics of capital’s current ongoing crisis. Gilligan’s talk will focus on the third of these three works, Popular Unrest, and will center around its particular perspective on the present.

Melanie Gilligan is an artist and writer based in London and New York. Gilligan has written for magazines and journals such as Texte zur KunstMuteArtforum, and Grey Room. In 2008, Gilligan released Crisis in the Credit System, a four-part fictional mini-drama, made specifically for internet viewing. Popular Unrest, is a multi-episode drama set in a future much like the present. Here, however, all exchange transactions and social interactions are overseen by a system called ‘the Spirit’. A rash of unexplained killings have broken out across the globe. They often take place in public but witnesses never see an assailant. Just as mysteriously, groups of unrelated people are suddenly coming together everywhere, amassing new members rapidly. Unaccountably, they feel a deep and persistent sense of connection to one another.

The lecture will be followed by soup and discussions.

The video-works of Melanie Gilligan is online here:






Foto: Hans Breder with student

Thursday, April 10, 5pm, 2014,  KHiB, 8th floor, C.Sundtsgate 53

Cornelia Schmidt-Bleek will be talking about the exhibition Anti-Academy, first presented at the John Hansard Gallery in Southampton/England, 2013. The show examines the ideas, processes, workshops and legacies of three radical educational models in 1960s Japan, the USA and Denmark. Comprised of three installations, each relating to one of these school’s programmes, Anti-Academy explores life at Bigakko, Tokyo, The Intermedia Program at the University of Iowa, and Ex-School, Copenhagen.

Schmidt-Bleek curated the Intermedia section of the exhibition, a program that was established by the German artist Hans Breder in 1968. At Intermedia, students experienced workshops by various visiting artists with an emphasis on exploring ‘the boundaries between media, between artistic and scholarly practices, between genres, between social and political universes, between viewer and artist’.  The Iowa program was characterized by an innovative use of media and technology. Key to its early years was the involvement of visiting artists who developed work with student participation, including creations by Robert Wilson and Allan Kaprow amongst others. There was an emphasis on development of a collaborative relationship with the local community and the utilisation of the local landscape as site for the making of student work. Anti-Academy includes works made with students (notably with the year group of students that included Ana Mendieta and Charles Ray) by Elaine Summers, Mary Beth Edelson and Vito Acconci, alongside a broader review of the archive. This program will be the focal point of the talk.

The lecture will be followed by soup and discussions.

Anti-Academy is organised in collaboration with Heidi Nicolaisen.


By Reason or By Force

image001Thursday, February 6th, 6pm, 2014 at Stiftelsen 3,14, Vaagsallmenningen 12, 5014 Bergen

In Chile, in recent years there have been renewed forms of demonstration and protest. Through the occupation of public space (physical and virtual), social movements have used creative and poetic practices for disturbing public order, questioning the neoliberal model implemented during the dictatorship, deepened by recent governments and the democratic crisis. One of the important features of these manifestations is the appropriation of resources, strategies and aesthetic borrowed from advertising, film and pop culture in general, along with the use of technology and media.

The lecture will show some of the most representative examples of these actions, trying to understand them within its political context and its symbolic dimension, tracing their connections to conceptual practices carried out since the 70’s and 80’s in Chile and Latin America.

Valentina Montero is a Chilean journalist, curator and researcher. PhD candidate in Advanced Productions in Art (Barcelona University); Master in Curatorial and Cultural Practices in Art and New Media; BA in Journalism and Social Communications and Aesthetic.

Her first professional steps were on the NGO Taller de Acción Cultural (tac), on developing social projects in urban and rural fields. Since 2002 she has worked as cultural producer, curator and teacher of history of arts and aesthetic, focusing on photography, media arts and gender studies. She has curated exhibitions for MNBA (National Fine Art of Santiago de Chile), Biennial of Video and New Media (Chile), Biennial VideoAkt (Spain), Drap-Art (Spain), CINUSP (Brazil), among others.

Currently her research is on the relation between media arts and politics through participative actions, hybrid practices and non-conventional art in Chile and Latin America.

She has published articles and papers in Interartive, Artnodes e-journal, Aisthesis academic journal, the book Of Bridges & Border, and several catalogues of artists.

She is author of By Reason or By Force (Errant Bodies, 2013)


Do you see any possibilities and need to reconsider a spirit of revolutionary romanticism in relations to the current situation of the global struggle for democracy?


Chto delat?, film still from “The Tower: A Songspiel,” 2010

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 at 13-17.30 at KHiB/Bergen Academy of Art and Design, C.Sundtsgt 53, 8.etg

13-15:  Dmitry Vilensky/Olga Egorova presents the work of CHTO DELAT?

The platform Chto delat? (What is to be done?) was founded in early 2003 in St Petersburg by a group of artists, critics, philosophers and writers from St Petersburg, Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod with the goal of merging political theory, art and activism. Since then Chto delat? has been producing works in video, installations, public actions, radio programmes and artistic examinations of urban space, and publishes an English-Russian newspaper on issues central to activist culture, with a special focus on the relationship between the repoliticisation of Russian intellectual culture and the broader international context. Chto delat? (What is to be done?) takes part in Bergen Assembly, opening on August 31.

15.30 – 17.30:  Do you see any possibilities and need to reconsider a spirit of revolutionary romanticism in relations to the current situation of the global struggle for democracy? with Dmitry Vilensky, Olga Egorova, Brandon LaBelle and Frans Jacobi

Elaborating on a question posed in a current work by Chto Delat? this micro-seminar will discuss certain aspects of the political practice of art and activism.