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The Art Holiday. Narva-88 – seminar on non-official art

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Date: 21–30 May, 1988

Participants: Artists from Belarus, Russia, Georgia, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan. Belarusian artists Andrej Bialou, Aliaksander Zabauchyk, Ihar Kashkurevich, Yauhen Kirylau, Artur Klinau, Uladzimir Lapo, Valer Martynchyk, Viktar Piatrou, Vital Razhkou, Ludmila Rusava, and  Dzmitry Yarmilau.

Organizer: Department of Culture of Narva Gorispolkom (the city’s Executive Committee) of Estonian SSR, and curator Ninel Ziterava

Location: Narva, Estonia

The USSR seminar on non-official art that took place in in Narva, Estonia, was titled “The Art Holiday. Narva-88,” and was organized by the Department of Culture of Narva Gorispolkom (the city’s Executive Committee) of Estonian SSR and curator Ninel Ziterava. Participants included artists from Belarus, Russia, Georgia, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan. The seminar included individual performances by artists, spontaneous collaborations between artists to make outdoor installations, site-specific sculptures, and other forms of visual art. It was first time that Belarusian avant-garde artists had participated in a large art festival in the Soviet Union—this was made possible thanks to Perestroika, a political movement for reformation. During the festival, Belarusian artists who usually felt isolated from those artists working in other Soviet countries, were able to introduce their artwork to their peers from other parts of the USSR, to make connections, and to become part of the larger network of non-official, avant-garde artists. Some fruitful, international collaborations between artists formed at this historic festival stayed viable for many years after.


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Kazimir Malevich-110 – group exhibition

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Date: 4 November–4 December 1988

Participants: the association of Vitebsk artists known as Kvadrat (“Square”); Pluralis”; Ihar Kashkurevich; Ludmila Rusava; the artist collective Komi-Kon; Association of Experimental Visual Arts (SEVA, Leningrad)

Location: Union of Artists, Vitebsk

The opening featured performances by the collaborative duo Ihar Kashkurevich and Ludmila Rusava, and was dedicated to the 110th anniversary of Malevich’s death. The event was the first in a series of ritualistic performances exploring Malevich’s legacy in Belarus (other exhibitions included “Kazimir’s Revival” in Minsk, 1988 , and “Suprematist Kazimir Revival” in Moscow, 1990). This exhibition also marked the beginning of artistic collaborations between performance artists Kashkurevich and Rusava.

Source: Volha Archipava. Belarusian Avant-garde of the 1980s. ‘pARTisan’s Collection’ series. Minsk 2012.


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