Slavs and Tatars Biography

Slavs and Tatars is a collective of artists who identify “the area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China”—a vast landmass where Europe and Asia merge—as the focus of their work. First organized as a reading group in 2006, the group has lived and traveled in the region, which has been realigning itself since the collapse of Soviet Communism and has experienced escalating tensions between Eastern and Western identities—here, populations, allegiances, and languages are all in transition. In exploring the area’s expansive historical narratives and transnational relationships, Slavs and Tatars forgoes a strictly analytical stance for something more associative, intimate, and playful. Their projects stage unlikely combinations of mediums, cultural references, and modes of address; books and printed matter figure prominently in their work, as do contemplative, librarylike installations where visitors may consider their publications. 

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Slavs and Tatars has had solo exhibitions at major institutions including MoMA, NY; Secession, Vienna; REDCAT, Los Angeles; and upcoming solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Zurich, Dallas Museum of Art, and GfZK, Leipzig. Group exhibitions include Centre Pompidou, Paris; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Palais de Beaux Arts, Paris; Tate Modern, London; Salt, Istanbul; Istanbul Modern, Istanbul; and 10th Sharjah, 3rd Mercosul, and 9th Gwangju Biennials, and the upcoming Whitney Biennial and Berlin Biennale in 2014.

Slavs and Tatars has published Kidnapping Mountains (Book Works, 2009), Love Me, Love Me Not: Changed Names  (onestar press, 2010),  Not Moscow Not Mecca (Revolver/Secession, 2012), Khhhhhhh (Mousse/Moravia Gallery, 2012) as well as their translation of the legendary Azeri satire Molla Nasreddin: the magazine that would've, could've, should've (JRP-Ringier, 2011); and most recently Friendship of Nations: Polish Shi’ite Showbiz (Bookworks/Sharjah Art Foundation, 2013).

Their works are in collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; Re Rebaudengo Foundation, Turin and The Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE, among others.

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