Mail

Storming the Winter Palace (for JE), 2013 was made and presented in the Showroom in December 2013, 30 copies were distributed internationally though mail service.

A4 Photocopies 10 pages are line copies from a book with full text of Guy Debord’s films.

Space Flower, 2016

Cut-out poetry from April 2016, distributed across south London mainly SE14, SE15 postcodes. A4  photocopy, edition of 20.

 

Exchange with Robert Carter resulted in a form of a co-curated blog that gets deleted sometimes.

 

Ceramics

Since summer 2016 I have been a resident artist in Ceramics Studio Co-op that Anna Baskakova and I have co-founded in May 2014.

This page has some highlights from these years of my work with ceramics, the medium which intricacies now define so many aspects of my livelihood and art practice.

My first steps in ceramics were made under the watch of Anna Baskakova and Tessa Eastman, who trained me at classes at the first months. Lately I work in much more independent manner sometimes collaborating with Anna on our studio range basic wares: mugs, jars and bowls.

Tessa Eastman (right) and Anna Baskakova (left) mixing glazes in Ceramics Studio Co-op, 2014

My latest work from 2016 includes work with terracotta and coloured slips and exploration of different clays and clay decoration. Mostly my ceramics process is slow and it means I practice about 6 hours p/week. I do not rush at making many pieces, and mostly focus on developing aesthetic language that is mostly about developing my relationship with clay and glazing and is militantly focused quality in making and technical challenge to my skill.

Nicola Adams, Rio flyweight gold, 2016
Nicola Adams, Rio flyweight gold, 2016

 

Recent ceramics projects:

Terracotta, for Rob Carter 2016 (ongoing)

Terracotta

towers - tatiana baskakova 2016 Since July 2016 I took on a position of a resident artist in Ceramics Studio Co-op. After 2 initial years of casually exploring ceramics, ceramics process and establishing a working process for our co-operative studio first time I had time to focus on my own work, and explore developing themes. These are the images of some results.

I focused on work with terracotta and slip. Some of this work and its specific colour palette was prompted by conversations and mail art exchange with Manchester-based artist and friend Robert Carter.

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Cooperative banners

 

utopia is not in the past

Summer 2015

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December 2014

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June 2014


 

Series of banners made for Ceramics Studio Co-op, a workshop and artists studio in New Cross, South London that operates as an artist-run worker co-operative. Ceramics Studio Co-op was co-founded by Tatiana Baskakova and her sister Anna Baskakova in 2014.

These series function as an ongoing tool for refection and documentation of the co-operative and how it is going though different stages if it’s life. Banners are made to be displayed in the classes room and work as conversation tools for users and visors of the co-op.

 

Artists’ and Cultural Workers’ Dinner: Cultural Work and Urban Displacement

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During the ArtLicks weekend, alongside Nomad School and Houserules’ new project The Guided Tour Daniella Valz Gen and myself hosted Artists’ and Cultural Workers’ Dinner at the Field, a community space and a social centre at New Cross that I have been involved in since summer 2014.

We have cooked together dahl and a crumble. Admission fee included bringing drinks and fruit for pudding. Above is a photograph by artist Donna Riddington inscribed “Artists’ hands preparing communal grub at The Field while discussing displaced communities across Peckham.

The programme of the dinner started from a walk beginning at Holly Bush Shrubbery at Peckham that was led by Daniella. 17 artists and cultural workers attended a conversation that started shortly after a walk, cooking and having a dinner together. Different opinions were raised and heavy disagreements emerged. Further I would list questions and statements that I have noted down during the conversation.

Statements:
Developers are not interested in artists, but creative professionals and their disposable incomes who come alongside.
Cutting though social classes artists have access to different people and spaces or know how to get it.
It is planned that by 2033 there would be no council estates in London.
Problem is the undemocratic planning policy that is not controlled by people who live in the city.
Regeneration is about moving social problems to other places.
Community is about sharing space.
People who make change are desperate.
All areas of London have community hubs, this is how local communities can be joined.

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Questions:
Why are we [artists] attractive to developers?
Is this about blame or rather accepting our position as artists?
Maybe gentrification is not a bad thing really?
Do we have a choice?
Do we have time for political interventions?
Are there better ways to create?
What are different communities around us? How to engage with local community?
What can artists offer to local community that faces displacement?
Would artist become a social worker?
Is artist the one who points at things?
Should artist jump a fence and become a community activist?
Is being ethical a hard work?
Is that a question of having to go and find community? Building relations with the community?
Are art practice and social work polar opposites?
Is there a  drive to abandon aesthetic practice and take art practice into different direction?
Can our practice include all several aspects, being socially responsive and self-reflexive at the same moment?

I am so very grateful for the contribution of ideas, time and presence of artists who came to share food and space and be open and honest about their positions and knowledge about processes we are living though. The Field became instrumental in opening this conversation that brings together artistic work and political. Hosting a dinner there reassured me again that working alongside community activists and caring for the space is somehow unarguably important for my understanding of my own practice, and to some extent of roles that artists could have in the community.

There were multiple calls to continue conversation that had started that evening, we’ll have to see what we can do.

Holding Cell

Tatiana Baskakova, holding cell 2015

 

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Holding Cell was created during a short De Beauvoir Residency, Houserules in February 2015.

The online camera was installed in a shed in Dalston flat where artists made work for a week negotiating working hours with the hosts.

Reacting on the corner camera this project reenacts in child-scale experience of being held in a police station cell after Tower Hamelts arrest of 287 in 2013.

 

Cardbord boxes, white emulsion, found objects, lights.

Walk though the sites of revolutionary thinking

With kind support from Pushkin House.
Programme curated by Elena Zaytseva.
November 2013

“Tatiana Baskakova invites you to join her on a walk though the sites formerly inhabited by Russian revolutionaries. Figures like Kropotkin, Kollontai, Lenin, Trotsky, Herzen and others chose London as their place to organize and publish more than a century ago. Based in the areas across Clerkenwell, Pentonville and Whitechapel this walk offers a way to collectively explore London through the locations connected to those histories..

For years British media is portraying Russians as commonly millionaires or spies, and one can actually witness cultural dominance of the West London in the presentation of Russian culture, and in forming expatiate identities. The origin of this work is connected to the interest in the exploration of another side of Russian heritage in London: the tradition of political study, revolutionary publishing, organizing and speech making. This work is a result of collaboration with Russian cultural centre, Pushkin House and is a second in the series of diaspora-connected works happening this November.

The walk starts at noon in Pushkin House, on 23 November 2013
There is no need to make bookings and this is a free event.”

http://www.pushkinhouse.org/single-event/events/lenin-in-london-a-walk-through-the-sites-of-revolutionary-thinking
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Lecture about Lenin

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Lecture about Lenin is a site-specific performance and sculpture work made for presentation in the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, the lobby of its London office. The 15 minute speech focused on the difficulty of the representation of the revolutionary and actuality of his image in relation to today’s world. The project was documented as a commemorative plaque that stayed in the space of the bank for the duration of the exhibition.

Thank to kind support of EBRD and Pushkin House in making this project possible.

With curatorial support by Elena Zaytseva and Julia Solovieva.

Video documentation

Invigilator’s revolt

25 Aipril – 26 July 2011, GCCC Moscow, intervention.

The project was carried out in the Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture in Moscow where Tatiana Baskakova held a position of an invigilator from 25th Aipril till 26th July 2011.

In this three-month performance matters of institutional critique coincide with practice of experimental exploration of Russian society and creative industry’s labour conditions. It largely relies on social and communal relations of gallery staff, their understanding of hopelessness of the current situation, and disbelief in the possibility of a positive change in their life, working conditions, or society in general.

The performance piece runs though three gradual stages of change in invigilator’s attitude – from happy enthusiasm and patience to “revolutionary” moods and attempts to organize a trade union. The climax of the performance happens when the artist performing an invigilator is fired from the gallery for “sabotage” (quote from an exhibitions department manager), due to sharing the legal rights information with fellow colleagues, which is understood as a pure subversive action.

Through the process of overidentification with an idea of contemporary art gallery and legal rights, the performance brings attention to power relations that are representative of the current condition of Russian society and attempts to shift it. It talks of the institutional structures that are run with big international budgets, but perceive their underpaid and undervalued workers as a mere consumable material for the beautifully presented causes. It brings one back to what was Soviet Union’s utilitarian perception of its people, for example.

We see that pretence of the Moscow gallery space to carry contemporary art ideology does not coincide with its workings on the level that goes few inches behind visual presentation. The ethics of Moscow’s private “equivalent of Tate Modern” depends on impulses of those in charge at the moment, and this makes an institution function in the permanent state of exception, as a structure of no rules, but servitude.

For those who observed the process of the performance in its subtle development for the whole three months, some gallery staff and other participants, as instance, the action was intended as something bringing in an alternative narrative and brighter look into the future. The naivety and goodness of an actor-outsider is tactical, however fails to bring anything but the dream of politically organized labour. Due to the failure of the piece to develop more positive scenario, this socially engaged work could also be seen as a live paraphrase of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Idiot”.

The documentation of the performance is presented a set of internet-sourced private view images that document presence of the artist at work.

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