In 2019, Kaunas Artists’ House residency programme “Unlearning Eastern Europe”* invites guest curators from Baltic countries and aims to reconsider the contemporary issues of the region, ranging from decolonialisation options to the politics of public spaces. During April KAH will host its first resident in 2019 – curator, artist Tanel Rander (EE). His residency will include two public lectures – “A Mole, Larger in Size than Ever Before”, taking place on the 18th of April, 6 pm, and “Unlearning Eastern Europe”, which will be held on the 25th of April, 6 pm (more info will be announced shortly).
„For the last 8 years my work has been based on research on Eastern Europe and decolonial options. I have gained knowledge and experience mostly from the decolonial movement, also from authors with ex-Yugoslavian and former Third World background, but my work context has mostly been the Baltic states. I am currently interested in subaltern histories of the Baltics, as well as in the concept of non-colonial Europe, therefore I see East Europe partly as a misleading concept that needs to be critically reviewed and unlearned.“ (Tanel Rander)
The lecture “A Mole, Larger in Size Than Ever Seen Before“ is based on Tanel Radner’s latest curatorial project that was part of his 2-year collective research in Estonian/Latvian border town Valga/Valka, where he also ran an art space – “Brivibas galerija“. The title comes from Franz Kafka’s short story “The Village School Master” and the project mostly deals with the notion of provinciality – the core of the subordinate position of Eastern Europe. In this context he is interested in psychologies and personal stories that are related with dwelling in places or regions that have been considered peripheral, underdeveloped, marginal, etc. Part of unlearning Eastern Europe is dropping the hegemonic and geopolitical terminologies and focus on our own subjectivities.
The format of this year’s residency programme responds to the need for curatorial residencies and encourages to explore the potential of curatorship. The participant curators link their curatorial and artistic practices with activism, explore the various sociopolitical contexts of the Baltic region and possible new scenario activations. The KAH residency programme aims to provide a supportive environment for critical discourse, curator-conducted research, its discussions within the framework of Kaunas, involving local artists, students, activists, academics and other city participants.
The KAH residency programme was launched in 2018 with the aim to present the most relevant contemporary artists, curators and cultural researchers working in Lithuania and abroad to the residents and guests of Kaunas city. The residency programme aims to foster intercultural, cross-institutional and cross-sectoral cooperation, to provide artists and cultural producers with the opportunity to become acquainted with the historical and cultural context of the city during their residency, to facilitate their cooperation with other artists or cultural producers and local communities.
Tanel Rander (b. 1980) is an artist, curator, and writer, whose creative work includes experimental practices based in language and psychology, and critical study of Eastern-European discourse and decoloniality. The focus of Rander’s work is the tension between subjectivity and the modifying pressure it experiences between interior and exterior. From late 2016 to late 2018 he conducted a collective research on borders in Estonian/Latvian twin town Valga/Valka, where he also ran the art space Brivibas galerija.
Attending the event is free of charge and it will be held in English.
* The title “Unlearning Eastern Europe” is inspired research conducted by the programme’s first resident, Tanel Rander (EE).