Chto delat?/What is to be done?, 2011

The Russian collective Chto delat? has been invited to realise a project within the framework of the Production-in-Residence programme at BAC. This programme aims to support any aspect of an artistic process, to experiment with how to understand artistic production, and to reflect on the conditions for producing art.

Chto delat? has chosen to use this invitation to realise an alternative summer school in Visby hosted by BAC with a number of invited international participants. The summer school takes place August 8.- 12. and hereby coincides with The Medieval Week on Gotland. During this week a large-scale re-enactment of the medieval times takes place on the island with Visby, being a well-preserved medieval town and a Unesco World Heritage Site, as the epicentre. In this context, the Chto delat? summer school will pose the question: “What Is Our Contemporary?” – a question that constitutes the guiding line for all seminars, lectures and talks throughout the week. The outset for the project is a text by Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben: “What is the Contemporary?”, in which he contends that to be properly of one’s time means to acknowledge the element in the present that will always evade us.

The summer school is an opportunity to share knowledge and explore the potentials for collective learning. Chto delat? describes the motivation for the project as follows:

How should we grasp this contemporary moment, marked by the crisis of neoliberal capitalism and, at the same time, by the uncertainty of an alternative? As the recent Mediterranean revolutions and the European revival of students and precarious workers’ struggles have demonstrated, we are, perhaps, at the threshold of different times, when the crisis will be resolved in a new cycle of contestations of global neoliberal regime and its final decomposition. We need to think through this “contemporariness” in order to get a strategic orientation in our struggles.”

Chto delat?/What is to be done? is a group of artists, philosophers and writers from St. Petersburg and Moscow. The platform Chto delat? was founded with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism in early 2003 in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

The Production-in-Residence programme is kindly supported by Stiftelsen Framtidens Kultur