1989: The Postcollapse in Art and Culture

1989 as glowing numbers in the clouds

1989: The Postcollapse in Art and Culture

August 29, 2022 - October 6, 2022
Panel Discussion: August 29, 2022 @ 6PM in Person & via Zoom (RSVP to receive Zoom link)
Opening Reception: August 29, 2022 @ 7-9PM

The Cerritos College Art Gallery, in collaboration with The MinEastry of Postcollapse Art and Culture (MPAC), is pleased to present 1989: The Postcollapse in Art and Culture, an international group exhibition featuring twenty-four artists and art collectives working across multiple media. 

To speak of 1989 is to speak of revolutions. 

For some, it marks the end of history as the last chapter of a long-winded ideological battle; victors promising flashy freedoms. For others, it marks the beginning of a renewed era of force; control societies marching forward in clanking servitude. To speak of 1989 is to speak of collapse. It is to speak of the many befores and the many afters across multiple centers and peripheries. From the fringes of the former West to the afterworlds of an emergent East and across the global South, 1989 rips through the primacy of borders, speaking instead to the absurd and the absolute, the fantastic and the fragmented, that permeate our ever shifting contemporary ground. 

This exhibition brings together established and emerging artists from Russia, Poland, Czechia, Switzerland, Germany, Romania, Moldova, Croatia, Serbia, Kosovo, Turkey, Iran, Mexico, Cuba, Suriname, Hong Kong, China, New Zealand, and the USA. Through a diverse collection of painting, drawing, installation art, sculpture, photography, conceptual emptiness, video art, digital art, and textile, each artist engages the aesthetic, political, and psychological aspects of collapse. Taken together, the exhibition designates postcollapse as a critical framework for contextualizing the contemporary practices of artists from these dynamic regions since 1989.

Guest Curators: MPAC (lknur Demirkoparan and Vuslat D. Katsanis)

Participating Artists: Silvia Amancei and Bogdan Armanu; Music X Habitat X Art (Amelie Jiang, Yaoyue Huang, Scott Lowell Sherman; Peter Christenson with Marta Stražičić and Tea Stražičić; Fung Yee Lick Eric; Lenka Holíková; Hagen Klennert; Vladan Kuzmanović; Naomi Middelmann; Esra Nesipoğulları; Frank Lahera O’Callaghan; Stas Orlovski; Kasia Ozga; Nathaniel C. Praska; Rodrigo Prian-García; Hamed Shafie; Monica Sheets; Maciek Stępniewski; Anna Syarova; Valdrin Thaqi; Igor Vaganov; Kate Walker; Charles Edward Williams; Klara Woźniak; and Keoni K. Wright

Ink drawing of people with red blotch

Hagen Klennert, Crimson Cloud, 1997

Painting of Officers holding a man in a chokehold

Charles Edward Williams, Chokehold (Detail), 2022

Video Still of woman wearing white mask on a bus

Valdrin Thaqi, A Divine Image (Video Still), 2020

Video Still of Person with Hidden Face

Hamed Shafie, The Fool (Video Still), 2021

The MinEastry of Postcollapse Art and Culture (MPAC) is an artist-run space and think tank dedicated to exploring our global contemporary from the vantage of postcollapse art and theory. Their frames of reference begin with the human experiences from “the East” since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and permeate to every corner of the diasporic world-presence. MPAC was founded in Portland, Oregon and is currently based in Zurich, Switzerland. For more information, see https://mpac.postcollapse.art/

Silvia Amancei & Bogdan Armanu, @_silvia.amancei.bogdan.armanu (b. Romania),  also known as s.a.b.a., is an artist couple working together since 2012. They both graduated from the University of Arts in Iași, with a focus on mural art (Silvia) and painting (Bogdan), which they transgress with the physical and discursive limits of the object (and the labour inscribed in it) within the conceptual framework of new-media. Sitting at the intersection of social studies and visual art, their work examines how art can be instrumentalised to look beyond capitalism and create a (common) future.
Music X Habitat X Art, @musicxhabitatxart, is a collective founded on the idea of “the livable and breathable “habitat” that is created from the marriage of the visual and the auditory: exploring the lines between the digital, concrete, and the subconscious by Scott Lowell Sherman (b. USA), Yaoyue Huang (b. China), and Amelie Jiang (b. China). Sherman and Huang are performing classical pianists; Amelie Jiang is an exhibiting photographer and curator. Sherman works in digital & video art, Huang in digital manipulation. MHA seeks to create new ways to experience contemporary art, classical music, and film, where the need for human connection through collective experience brings a sense of community and belonging.
Peter Christenson (b. USA) is a conceptual artist working across emergent and antiquated media, psycho-social sculpture, and immersive installation. He is co-founder of Left of Centre, the catalyst behind Null Set, and the Director of the Guest House Cultural Capital Residency scholar program. Christenson works with Marta Stražičić and Tea Stražičić (b. Croatia) also known as Schwesternsisters (SwS) @schwesternsisters, a radical and futuristic duo based in Zagreb, Croatia. Using a variety of digital and mixed technologies, the sisters create immersive videos, visuals, environments.
Fung Yee Lick Eric, @fungyeelick (b. Hong Kong) holds an MA Fine Arts CUHK & Museum Studies Leicester. He is a mixed media and ink artist with a particular interest in exploring and understanding the origins of human consciousness and their perspective of seeing things. He seeks to respond to the contemporary issues of human senses, identity and history through art practice He was awarded multiple recognitions and recently shortlisted for the The Hong Kong Human Rights and Asia Art Future prizes.
Lenka Holíková, @lenkaholikova7 (b. Czechia) is a visual artist, illustrator and professor. She studied at Hradec Králové University and held numerous international residencies. Solo exhibitions include In the Realm of Memory at Galería Garco, After Desire at Espacio Anarquista (Puebla, Mexico) and at the Embassy of the Czech Republic, and Proyecto Masaryk at Instituto Cultural México-Israel (Mexico City, Mexico). She was recently recognized by the Ministry of Culture, Puebla, MX.
Hagen Klennert, (b. Erfurt, GDR) escaped from East to West-Germany in 1985, and started solo exhibitions and collaborations with the composer Helmut Oehring. Klennert lives and works in Berlin.
Vladan Kuzmanović, @vladan.kuzmanovic5 (b. Serbia) is a conceptual artist, avant-garde poet, musician and theorist. He explores transparency and non-medium.
Naomi Middelmann, @naomimiddelmann (b. Switzerland) holds degrees in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins and Art from the Visual Art School in Basel in 2009. Middelmann’s interest in the ambiguity of perception and in what we think we know, as well as in how artists can contribute to the scientific study of perception have led her to collaborate and design projects with leading neuroscientists. Her work has been shown in over 50 solo and group shows in galleries and art fairs in Europe and USA.
Esra Nesipoğulları, @esra_nesipogullari (b. Turkey) is an architect/ multidisciplinary artist based in Italy. She started her professional practice in the art and curatorial field in 2019. Her works often respond to personal stories in cultural and political contexts. She is cofounder of Ambaradan Think Tank and a member of Art Dream Collective. 
Frank Lahera O’Callaghan, @probetafilmscuba (b. Cuba) is an artist based in Santiago, Cuba. His work spans photography, video, performance, installations, and NFT in pursuit of the social and spiritual questions. Often taking the form of a meditation of a singular idea, his work reflects on the issues of brevity of life within the larger national and international political contexts. 
Stas Orlovski, @stasorlovski (b. Moldova) is a Los Angeles based visual artist working in painting, drawing and time-based media. When he was a child, his family fled the Soviet Union to Tel Aviv, then Paris and eventually settled in Toronto, Canada. Orlovski holds a BFA from York University, a B.Ed from the University of Toronto and an MFA from the University of Southern California.
Kasia Ozga, @kasiaozgaart (b. Poland) is a Polish French American sculptor born in Warsaw shortly after the collapse of communism. She reanimates mass-produced materials into singular artworks. Ozga holds a Ph.D. from the University of Paris 8, an M.F.A. from the Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow.
Nathaniel C. Praska, @nathaniel_c_praska (b. USA) explores the myth of the American Dream through large, textural paintings that combine expressive styles with graffiti. Praska won several residencies and awards, including the Calligram Foundations Fellowship.
Rodrigo Prian-García, @rodpriangarcia (b. Mexico) is a multimedia and photography artist. He graduated in Visual Arts from UNAM, and has numerous international solo and group exhibitions and awards. He investigates different forms of absence in objects and actions, resorting to erasure as a technique.
Hamed Shafie, @iamnotshafie (b. Iran) is an artist based in Tehran, Iran. With a focus on video and book art, his work can be characterized as experimental journeys that traverse existing and emerging expressive forms. He is particularly fascinated by the critical juncture of when the work leaves the artist and finds meaning with the audience.
Monica Sheets, (b. USA) creates platforms for direct community participation to understand what it means to be an engaged citizen in the world beyond traditional forms of activism. Sheets studied Photography at the Cleveland Institute of Art and holds an MFA in Public Art and New Artistic Strategies from the Bauhaus-University Weimar, Germany. Her first solo museum exhibition will open in November 2022 at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
Maciek Stępniewski, @_mstepniewski (b. Poland) is a Warsaw-based audiovisual artist focusing on digital, abstract and generative design, animation and music. He holds a BA and MA at Polish-Japanese Academy Of Information Technology, new media arts department. His work has been shown in Punto Y Raja, Athens Digital Art Festival, AniFilm, Interference, Patchlab, among others. His albums were released by local netlabels Trzy Szóstki and Nagrania Somnambuliczne.
Anna Syarova, @annasyarova_art (b. USSR) has changed two citizenships, and identifies as Russian, Bulgarian and Ukrainian. Her work is informed by national history and iconography. She has exhibited her work widely, and lives and works in Moscow.
Valdrin Thaqi, @valdrinnthaqi (b. Kosovo) is a visual artist based in Berlin. Studying at the Academy of the Arts, Prishtina, his practice shifts between experimental painting, sculpture, installation and intervention. Realistic, dreamy, poetic and intuitive in its content, his work points out personal as well as collective emotions. Thaqi likes to treat absurdity in his artwork, existentialism and social stereotypes.
Igor Vaganov, (b. USSR) is a Russian rock journalist, visual artist, filmmaker, radio presenter, organizer, and participant of a number of media and art projects in Russia and abroad. His extensive body of work has been shown widely and garnered critical international acclaim.
Kate Walker, @hoopnz (b. New Zealand) is based in the United States. Her work encompasses painting, performance and video, often in collaboration with community, and includes choreographed performances or staged events that speak to contemporary social issues. Recent projects focus on queer bodies, and utopian and dystopian imaginings in popular culture. Disaster Karaoke has been supported by The Idaho Commission on the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts and The Idaho Film Collection.
Charles Edward Williams, @charlesedwill84 (b. USA), is a contemporary visual artist from Georgetown, SC. He holds a BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design and an MFA from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Solo traveling exhibitions include Polk Museum of Art, Gibbes Museum of Art, and Residency Art gallery. His work was also recently exhibited at Aqua and Scope Art Fair / Art Basel (Miami, FL) and Texas Contemporary Art Fair. Williams is the 2022 recipient of the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts Grant.
Klara Woźniak @klara.wozniak (b.Poland) explores social and political concerns through imagined worlds. Working primarily in computer generated short video form, Woźniak merges the real with the surreal to juxtapose absurdities in the world around us.
Keoni K. Wright @spirit_engaging (b. USA) is a Boston-born visual artist and filmmaker who has shed light on the tiny Amazonian nation of Suriname since 2018, often with an experimental lens. His non-linear portrayal of six Afro-Surinamese artists, entitled “ReleaseD,” was nominated for Virginia Tech University’s 2020 Virginia Dares Cinematic Arts Awards for Decolonizing Film and Media.