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Long-Legged Linguistics

Saturday, September 20, 11 am
at the Birmingham Museum of Art

2000 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr. Boulevard
Birmingham, AL 35203
map + directions

Co-presented by the Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama.

Slavs and Tatars joins ART PAPERS and the Birmingham Museum of Art to explore the potential of language—and particularly, of transliteration, or the conversion of scripts—as a strategy of both resistance and research into notions of identity politics, colonialism, and faith.

Long-Legged Linguistics is one in a series of lecture-performances in the collective's latest cycle of work, which examines the ever-changing and always powerful alphabets of Eurasia—where Arabic accompanied the rise of Islam, Latin that of Roman Catholicism, and Cyrillic that of the Orthodox Church and, later, communism. Long-Legged Linguistics attempts not to emancipate particular peoples of notions, but rather the sounds rolling off our collective tongues, in any region of the world.

Slavs and Tatars is a faction of polemics and intimacies devoted to an area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China known as Eurasia. The collective's work spans several media, disciplines, and a broad spectrum of cultural registers (high and low) focusing on an oft-forgotten sphere of influence between Slavs, Caucasians and Central Asians. They have exhibited in major institutions across the Middle East, Europe and North America, including the Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, 10th Sharjah, 8th Berlin, 3rd Thessaloniki, and 9th Gwangju Biennials. Select solo engagements include MoMA, NY (2012), Secession, Vienna (2012), K¨nstlerhaus Stuttgart (2013), Dallas Museum of Art (2014), Kunsthalle Zurich (2014) and GfZK, Leipzig (2014). Slavs and Tatars has published six books, including 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), Friendship of Nations: Polish Shi'ite Showbiz (Book Works, 2013) as well as their translation of the legendary Azeri satire Molla Nasreddin: the magazine that would've, could've, should've (JRP-Ringier, 2011).

Slavs and Tatars' sculpture Rahle for Richard (2013) will be on view in the BMA's Contemporary Galleries from September 2014.


Johnathan Short
One Consulting Group, Inc.
PennHouse Productions
W Atlanta-Downtown

The Andy Warhol Foundation
for the Visual Arts, Inc.
Major funding for ART PAPERS is provided by the Fulton County Commission, Atlanta, Georgia, under the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. ART PAPERS is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations for the Georgia General Assembly. The Council is a Partner Agency for the National Endowment of the Arts. ART PAPERS gratefully acknowledges the generosity of other private, corporate and individual donors.

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