Deprivation – The Rise of Eastern Culture / Another Dimension 2014 / Arsenal Gallery, Bialystok

Deprivation is the title of an exhibition staged by the Arsenal Gallery in Białystok (Poland) as part of the festival “The Rise of Eastern Culture / Another Dimension 2014”. Curated by Monika Szewczyk, the group show features 27 artists from 11 countries. Deprivation constitutes a continuation and an extension of artistic activities by creators coming from the Eastern Partnership countries, initiated by the Arsenal Gallery in 2011 with the exhibition “The Journey to the East”, organized to accompany the Polish Presidency of the EU.

Deprivation revolves around migration and its political, social, economical and psychological aspects. “The exhibition has been inspired by the social situation prevailing in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc but also by the European discourse on the Eastern Partnership. These questions seem particularly significant in the context of the Schengen Area. Contradictions and inequalities are too conspicuous to remain unnoticed, including difficulty in obtaining visas, high fees and long waiting times. An Armenian person has to pay for a Polish visa twenty times as much as a Polish person for an Armenian visa. These disproportions and bureaucratic absurdities call our declarations of cooperation into question.” (press text).

The exhibition also deals with the dramatic change in one’s personal life that’s caused by moving to another country – regardless of whether it is voluntary or forced. “It often entails loss or infringement of civil rights, separation from one’s kith and kin, identity conflicts and language barriers. This is a problem well-known in Poland and the former republics of the USSR. Although in a reversed fashion, Western Europe – flooded with immigrants from all over the world – is also affected by this. Immigrating to earn money or to enjoy political or spiritual freedom, chasing dreams of a better life, escaping from persecution, displacement, uprooting – these are the many aspects of migration approached by artists partaking in the exhibition.”

Deprivation – The Rise of Eastern Culture / Another Dimension 2014 / Arsenal Gallery, Bialystok, August 2014.

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Featured artists: Yeşim Ağaoğlu, Vahram Aghasyan, Babi Badalov, Anatoly Belov, Tatiana Fiodorova, Ghazel, Oxana Gourinovitch, Dominik Jałowiński, Tigran Khachatryan, Aleksander Komarov, Anna Konik, Yulia Kostereva & Yuriy Kruchak, Volodymyr Kuznetsov, Victoria Lomasko, Lada Nakonechna, Anna Okrasko, Nini Palavandishvili & Data Chigholashvili /GeoAIR, R.E.P., Mykola Ridnyi, Sabina Shikhlinskaya, Société Réaliste (Ferenc Gróf, Jean-Baptiste Naudy), Vladimir Us, Julita Wójcik, Piotr Wysocki, Martin Zet.

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