Curatorial Intro to the Every Day. Art. Solidarity. Resistance ExhibitionAbout Us

Curatorial Intro to the Every Day. Art. Solidarity. Resistance Exhibition

Куратарскі тэкст для выставы «Кожны дзень. Мастацтва. Салідарнасць. Супраціў»
Кураторський текст до виставки «Кожны дзень. Мистецтво. Солідарність. Спротив»

“Every day” is the slogan protesters in Belarus shout to emphasize the duration and rhythm of the resistance, to express confidence that the protests will continue tomorrow, that they will not end. Since the first nights of police violence and days of mass mobilization in early August 2020, this phrase has reflected the temporality of the struggle. Amid the ongoing political crisis, the phrase “every day” unites people in a joint promise to take to the streets. The exhibition borrows this slogan and focuses on exploring solidarity, “weak” resistance tactics, revolutionary poetics, technological infrastructures, mechanisms of state violence, the emotional landscape, spatial and architectural dimensions of the protests.

 Every Day. Art. Solidarity. Resistance  exhibition draws upon artistic practices that resonate with the history and present moment of protest movements and solidarity networks. The emancipatory potential of art is manifested in the variety of forms and techniques. The art in the exhibition explores, models, and tests political reality, it becomes a direct criticism of power, an act of dissent. Engagement, involvement, and opposition to official ideology is a principled position of many cultural workers in Belarus.

The social fabric is being strengthened through increased solidarity, volunteering, mutual assistance, and neighborhood self-organization. Even before the presidential election, civil society had begun to undertake government functions by helping doctors cope with the first wave of Covid-19. After the election, numerous civic initiatives began building an infrastructure to help those who had been unfairly and unlawfully dismissed from their jobs, beaten or arrested. The wave of solidarity, support and care was strengthened through IT and digital platforms, crowdsourcing, and citizen journalism. Contemporary art — both professional artistic practices and anonymous activist gestures — helped to create a distinct critical language.

Outraged by the falsification of the election results, people across the country took to the streets to protest against the state violence, which resulted in legal default. The resistance movement began spontaneously and remains decentralized. It is arranged like a net, like water, like the endless process of embroidery. Unlike tactics of occupation, the mass actions are aimed at filling the space like molecules. In the absence of distinct leaders, marches by women, pensioners and people with disabilities, strikes, student demonstrations, and doctors’ solidarity chains are being organized. A new social sculpture is emerging that is self-forming and removes the hierarchy between professional art and grassroots creativity, where a street statement can become more pointed and accurate than an artistic project.

Like this protest movement, which does not have a center, this exhibition — its architecture, concept and curation — does not have a rigid linear structure. The space is organized along a series of conceptual nodes running through the whole exhibition that represent the ten terms in the exhibition glossary. They form “gravitational fields” that help to contextualize the artistic processes that are emerging against the backdrop of a deep systemic crisis. All the artworks in the exhibition are networked through these terms. The exhibition’s variable, mobile architecture echoes the dynamics of the unpredictable political situation in the country.

Being a gesture of solidarity with the revolutionary processes in Belarus, this exhibition presents a cross-section of contemporary art that constructs and manifests pulsating forms of interaction, resistance, collectiveness, and a future that we are already living today — every day.