Ten Thousand Wiles and a Hundred Thousand Tricks

The exhibition Ten Thousand Wiles and a Hundred Thousand Tricks at the Institute for African Studies was the final chapter of the  Meeting Points 7 festival of contemporary art.

The project, organized in collaboration with the Young Arab Theatre Fund, presents the works of twenty artists at the dynamic research institute. The venue of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute for African Studies does not easily correspond to the requirements of the “white cube” gallery space, and the organizers were faced with the task of avoiding associations with the symbolic capital of this institution, to ensure that the exhibition did not look like a nostalgic celebration of international solidarity during the anti-colonial liberation struggle.

The title of the project is taken from a quote from The Wretched of the Earth (1961), the book by philosopher and revolutionary Frantz Fanon which was written as a reflection on the Algerian Revolution. Ten thousand Wiles and a Hundred Thousand Tricks was conceptually designed as a dialogue whose non-linear parts proceed, contradicting and completing each other.

The exhibition openly acknowledges its own status as a temporary intruder in academic institutions and attempts to reconcile anti-colonial issues with the contemporary class struggle. The exposition, curated by the What, How & for Whom (WHW) curators symbolically takes a stance against the process of “accumulation by dispossession”, described by David Harvey, the restoration of colonialist relations, the renewal of the stereotypes and rhetoric of the Cold War era, the neo-imperialism of transnational and international organisations, the imperial ambitions of states as they play out in the contemporary geopolitical constellation.

Participating Artists
Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Chto Delat, DAAR (Sandi Hilal, Alessandro Petti, Eyal Weizman, Nicola Perugini), Karpo Godina, Iman Issa, Sanja Iveković, Maryam Jafri, Nikita Kadan, Rajkamal Kahlon, Anton Kannemeyer, Vlad Kruchinsky, Runo Lagomarsino, Victoria Lomasko, Maha Maamoun, Tom Nicholson, Trevor Paglen, Darinka Pop-Mitić, Mykola Ridnyi, Maxim Spivakov, David Ter Oganyan.

Meeting Points 7 is a multidisciplinary contemporary arts festival emerging in 2012 as a reaction to the shockwaves provoked by the popular rebellions shaking the Arab world. It coincided with the prolonged economic crisis and the rise of global anticapitalist movements which dented the neoliberal myths and delegitimized the existing social and economic system.

Events held during the Ten Thousand Wiles and a Hundred Thousand Tricks exhibition

3 July 2014

Between a Rock and a Hard Place. Mobile communication platform between Russian and Ukrainian cultural workers (initiated by the Chto Delat group)

In the context of the political crisis between the two countries, the organizers considered it expedient to start small and promote a dialogue between artists and other cultural figures of Ukraine and Russia, prompting a joint analysis of the situation and the search for a poetics corresponding to the historical moment. Participant figures: Ilya Budraitskis, Nikita Kadan, Miroslav Kul’chitskiy, Victoria Lomasko, Kirill Medvedev, lada Nakonechnaya, Nikolay Oleynnikov, Nikolai Ridnyi, David Rief, Haim Sokol, Larisa Venediktov, Dmitriy Vilensky.

7 July 2014

Aural Contract: The Voice Before the Law. Performance and live audio essay by Lawrence Abu Hamdan

8 July 2014

Soviet Institutions and Liberation Movements: Places of Memory or Memory of the Places? Panel discussion

Participants: Viktor Misiano, Alexander Panov and Vladimir Shubin. Concept and Moderation Ilya Budraitskis.

8 July — 22 August 2014

Film Screenings

As a joint programme with the Africa Showscine club, films by the following directors were screened during the exhibition: Kianoush Ayari, Eron Davidson and Ana Noguiera, Dara Kell and Christopher Nizza, Alexander Markov and Azzedine Meddour.