Belarusian artists in Germany: 28 – 29 Okt 2011

A group of Belarusian artists visited us to perform together with German colleagues: The musicians, performance artists, and photographers could be watched in action at the Steinhaus in Bautzen on Friday, October 28, and at the Scheune in Dresden on Saturday, October 29! The artists taking part were GURZUF, SANDOW.creature, Darya Sitnikava, Maxim Zhbankou, Igor Savchenko, Sergei Pukst, Matthias Schumann, Michail Gulin, and Johanna and Michael Dobbelt.

When a band from Germany and a band from Belarus perform together it is also a clash of two worlds. It also was that way with GURZUF and SANDOW.creature. While the Belarusian duo GURZUF out of the seeming minimalism of an accordion and a set of drums developed an inferno of feelings mixing folk with rock and Drum’n’Bass, the side project of the Cottbus legend Sandow is the birth of a bastard, which is formed with a chainsaw. An electroacoustic soundtrack and a video show form the background of a sensual-elementary performance. In Bautzen the chainsaw unfortunately had to be left out, instead, however, there was the original E-guitar of Sandow.

Additionally Darya Sitinikava, Maxim Zhbakou, Igor Savchenko, and Segei Pukst from Minsk presented a supremely interesting cross over installation project with black-and-white photographs, a video installation and live guitar sounds. With the theme “The End of the Word/Konez slowa” they ably addressed the difficult situation of writers in today’s Belarus.

Johanna and Michael Dobbelt made the audience choose “I am voting for …” and thus included them in their interactive e-mail-art installation project. This was aimed at pointing out that elections are not a mechanised process, but an expression of real wishes and hopes.

The photographer Matthias Schuhmann (Dresden, Cambridge) displayed the post card series “Schöne Grüße aus Drensk” (“Greetings from Drensk”), in which the viewers could puzzle over whether the motifs were from Dresden or from Minsk.
The performance artist Michail Gulin presented his street performances from Minsk, where he would for example appear in a transvestite outfit and a sign reading “Я НЕ ГЕЙ” (“I am not gay”). In Dresden he surprised the unhurried and sedate Dresden natives with “Applause!” which initiated just this sedate applause by some promenaders.

The concerts and presentations were organised as part of the project “SHOW EUROPE – SHOW BELARUS”, which lets Belarusian artists perform together with local colleagues in Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania, Germany, and Portugal. |

This project has been funded with support of the European Commission.