Slavs and Tatars Transliterative Tease

Slavs and Tatars is an internationally-renowned art collective devoted to issues of language in an area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China known as Eurasia. This lecture-performance focuses on the Turkic languages of the former Soviet Union, as well as the eastern and western frontiers of the Turkic sphere, namely Anatolia and Xinjiang/Uighuristan. Through the lens of phonetic, semantic, and theological slippage, Transliterative Tease explores the potential for transliteration – the conversion of scripts – as a strategy equally of resistance and research into notions such as identity politics, colonialism, and faith. This lecture-performance attempts not to emancipate peoples or nations but rather the sounds rolling off our tongues.

In collaboration with Backlit

On Translations series

Slavs and Tatars’ work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Salt, Istanbul; Vienna Secession, Kunsthalle Zurich and Ujazdowski Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, among others. They have participated in the 10th Sharjah, 8th Berlin, and 9th Gwangju Biennales. The collective’s practice is based on three activities: exhibitions, publications and lecture-performances. In addition to their translation of the legendary Azerbaijani satirical periodical Molla Nasreddin (currently in its 2nd edition with I.B Tauris), Slavs and Tatars have published eight books to date, most recently Wripped Scripped (Hatje Cantz, 2018), on alphabet politics and transliteration. The largest presentation to date of their work, "Made in Dschermany" is currently on view at the Albertinum in Dresden thru October 14, 2018.

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