August 26, 2014 - Arsenal Gallery - Deprivation
August 26, 2014


Société Réaliste (Ferenc Gróf, Jean-Baptiste Naudy), Greater Europe, 2008–09. Print.

August 29–November 6, 2014

Arsenal Gallery
2 A. Mickiewicza St.

Arsenal Gallery power station
13 Elektryczna St.

Curator: Monika Szewczyk

Deprivation is an exhibition staged by the Arsenal Gallery in Bialystok (Poland) as part of the festival The Rise of Eastern Culture / Another Dimension 2014. 27 artists from 11 countries have been invited to participate in the show, which is 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.

The main problem addressed by Deprivation revolves around migration and its political, social, economical and psychological aspects. The exhibition has been inspired by 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 20 times as much as a Polish person for an Armenian visa. These disproportions and bureaucratic absurdities call our declarations of cooperation into question.

It is not only custom procedures and the troublesomeness of crossing borders that the exhibition focuses on. A decision to emigrate tends to bring about a dramatic change in one’s personal life. Moving to another country—regardless of whether it is voluntary or forced—requires a redefinition of oneself as a citizen, one’s national identity, habitat and language. 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.

Accompanying events include a discussion panel with the participation of social and political activists, curators, artists, social scientists and social observers, performative activities, workshops, concert and lectures.

Artists participating in the exhibition:
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

Arsenal Gallery
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