SLAVS AND TATARS: MAY YOU LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES: LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA
Dillio Plaza is an immersive installation where visitors can rest and regenerate from visual onslaught of the Arsenale or, simply, the sensual decadence of Venice. From the latest cycle of Slavs and Tatars’ work – Pickle Politics – the artists unearth the cultural and political heritage of fermentation. With their trademark humor and hospitality, Dillio Plaza reclaims the Turkic origins of fermentation, first used to preserve nutrition amongst nomadic tribes, those very foreign and ‘barbarian’ cultures against which Western Civilization has historically defined itself, from Herodotus to Hitler. Dillio Plaza challenges of the self through the unlikely relationship with bacteria and the microbe, the original Other or foreigner.
Through the seemingly anodyne platform of pickle juice one can see this schizophrenic swing of the pendulum and the accompanying habits thought processes and politics that accompany the ride we call ‘culture’. How we consume it embodies the very different approaches to time, and being in the east and west before and after. While in Slavic countries it is used as a common cure for hangovers, in the West, it’s a newly faddish energy-enhancing performance drink replete with crucial electrolytes. In either case, pickle-juice serves to rehydrate the body and thus engages with these very ideologies from a necessarily different position: one of after-math post-facto.
Slavs and Tatars also presents an installation of 15 works from their Tranny Tease series. Each of these works explores a unique instance of transliteration or alphabet politics. The bastardized polyglot cousins of Marcel Broodthaers’ “Poèmes industriels”, the Tranny Tease works address issues as diverse as power and identity and Polish nasal phonemes via the alphabets that accompany empires.