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Beyond Nonsense: What Slavs and Tatars Make

Slavs and Tatars, Not Moscow Not Mecca, 2012, publication, Revolver Verlag/Secession, off-set print, 23x31cm, 108 pages. Courtesy the artists
Anders Krueger is intrigued by Slavs and Tatars’ focus on Eurasian geo-politics but questions their use of style and the coherence of their politics. When I first came across the name Slavs and Tatars, four or five years ago, I thought they must be one of the newly popular, of-the-moment artists’ groups in Russia, perhaps from some place not normally included in the international contemporary art circuit — perhaps even from one of the proud cities on the Volga where Slavs and Tatars have been coexisting for centuries: Nizhni Novgorod, Kazan, Samara, Astrakhan… I assumed, without knowing anything about the work, that the collective addressed a crucial in-built complication in Russian culture.