The European Biennial of Contemporary Art

28 June 31 October 2014

St. Petersburg, Russia The State Hermitage Museum

Slavs and Tatars

The Tranny Tease

Slavs and Tatars, The Tranny Tease, 2014 
Lecture Performance at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, June 28, 2013
Commissioned for the Public Program of MANIFESTA 10
With the support of the Polish Institute in St. Petersburg


Founded 2006, Eurasia

Through the lens of phonetic, semantic, and theological slippage, The Tranny Tease explores the potential for transliteration—the conversion of scripts as a strategy of resistance and research into notions such as identity politics, colonialism, and faith. Lenin believed that the revolution of the East began with the Latinization of all the Arabic scripts used in the USSR. Set within the hallowed halls of St. Petersburg’s Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, known for its Soviet orientalism, the event explores instances when language and its organs—the tongue, ears, nose, and throat—have been instrumentalized in empire-building exercises, be they in the eighteenth century or in the early twenty-first.

Slavs and Tatars is a faction of polemics and intimacies devoted to the 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 always on an oft-forgotten sphere of influence between Slavs, Caucasians, and Central Asians. Slavs and Tatars has had solo exhibitions at major institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Secession, Vienna; REDCAT, Los Angeles; as well as upcoming solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Zürich, Dallas Museum of Art, and Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig. Group exhibitions have included Centre Pompidou, Paris; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; the third Mercosul Biennial (2001); the ninth Gwangju Biennale (2012); and the eighth Berlin Biennale (2014).

The Tranny Tease. Lecture Performance
The Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences,
Palace Quay, 18
June 28
7:00 p.m. (in English)
July 1
7:00 p.m. (in Russian)

Seats are limited. Pre-registration is required. To register, please, send an email with your name and the subject "Slavs and Tatars" to: