(Re)configuring Territories Talk
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TOK Curators: On the Verge of Post-Industrial Routine. In search for an alternative planetary set-up and trajectories of degrowth
June 16th, 2021
@ Narva Art Residency and online
The starting point for this conversation was the prevailing industrial and economical conditions of the city of Narva and beyond, which TOK curators explored during their residency (Re)configuring Territories in May and June 2021. By discussing a variety of post-industrial contexts and sites, the talk aimed to integrate the economic, manufacturing and architectural processes of decay of the Ida-Viru region into a wider geographical and conceptual framework.
Heavy industrial processes have left often irreparable marks and traces on local landscapes, demographics, health and memory of human and non-human inhabitants of regions, whose environments were affected by the rise and fall of the industrial economy. Changing conditions of industries, exhaustion of resources, and new requirements of ecological policies have led to closure of many production sites which made many people relocate and reconsider and reconfigure their dreams, hopes and future prospects at the territories that now serve as markers of post-industrial capitalism. The event will aim at revisiting several art and research projects from different geopolitical locations that deal with the questions of social and economical aftermath of industrial processes, post-colonial economies, environmental damages and political ecology in order to create sensory and intellectual response to radical breaking of life.
The Creative Association of Curators TOK is a curatorial duo founded in St. Petersburg by Anna Bitkina and Maria Veits in 2010 as a platform for research projects at the intersection of contemporary art, social sciences and socially oriented design. As a nomadic collective working between Russia and Europe, the Middle East and the United States, TOK curators place their practice between historical analysis and political imagination. Their multilayered, durational and cross-disciplinary projects generate new knowledge about the causes and consequences of changing political realities.
Maria Kapajeva is an artist who works between the UK and Estonia. Her work often highlights peripheral histories and unspoken stories, focusing on the representation of women. Her artist book Dream Is Wonderful, Yet Unclear, published by Milda Books in 2020, got Krazsna-Krausz Photo Book Award.
Ann Mirjam Vaikla is an artist and curator and was the director of Narva Art Residency (NART) from 2017 to 2021. Her practice lies in the intersection of performing and visual arts working within various contexts at galleries, theatres and public spaces in Estonia and internationally.
The event was in English with Estonian and Russian introduction. See the recording below.