Eurasia is a landmass that embraces a space between the western end of “Europe” and the eastern end of “Asia”. Taking this (albeit simplistic) definition of Eurasia promises an exploratory, open-ended journey into one of the most complex ways of thinking through the region, which questions existing borders and distinctions in all dimensions including the geographical, cultural, political, and social—and in turn calls for new connections and pathways across cosmic, geologic, and spiritual dimensions.
Unmapping Eurasia is a long-term trans-cultural project initiated by Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons that takes an itinerant approach. It will evolve as it travels—in “movements”—where encounters, studies, discoveries, and speculation over other kinds of movements, institutions, infrastructures, resources, and cultures will take place in collective forms. Each movement will generate pathways that lead to and materialize as artworks, maps, and/or texts. Unmapping Eurasia is envisioned to be a warm, welcoming gesture that opens up one of the largest fields for commoning practice, and invites institutional and non-institutional partners on board to be co-initiators, researchers, and cartographers in the collective project of (un)mapping Eurasia.
First itinerant movement of Unmapping Eurasia
State of Concept, Athens
Curated by: Binna Choi and You Mi
Eurasian Steps in Athens focuses on (de-)constructing the city as a “Eurasian gateway,” a location where the Hellenistic culture spread from Europe to middle Eurasia, and a node for transcultural dialogues across various periods. With: Sung Hwan Kim, Nikolay Smirnov, Pegy Zali (KERNEL), Xenia Kalpaktsoglou (The Laboratory for the Urban Commons), and the DAI Planetary Campus Factory participants.
Departing from Nam June Paik Memorial House, Seoul Art Museum, 12-1 Jong-ro 53-gil Jongno-gu, Seoul
In Seoul, Eurasian Steps will unfold as a day-long itinerant exhibition that invites the public to study together and imagine different Eurasian pathways in intersecting historical, geographical, political, economic, cosmic, and spiritual dimensions.
As part of the first movement of Unmapping Eurasia, Eurasian Steps visited Athens as a “Roaming Assembly” for the Dutch Art Institute at State of Concept on Sunday, 3 June 2018. You Mi explored past and new forms of imperialist governance across Eurasia, while Nikolay Smirnov took Eurasian histories or their geo-spiritual dimension for “living in common” in his talk on Russian left-wing Eurasianism. Binna Choi discussed Eurasia as a scaled up context for the commons. The Roaming Assembly further touched on how lands could resist landmarks, and the question of vulnerability (Sung Hwan Kim); the recent case of sabotage against the transport railway infrastructure that is part of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (Pegy Zali/KERNEL); and the aesthetic-organizational possibilities for the urban commons in the context of Athens (Xenia Kalpaktsoglou/The Laboratory for the Urban Commons).
On Saturday, 30 June 2018, Eurasian Steps arrives in Seoul as a day-long itinerant exhibition. Here, it moves from east to west in the old city center as an allegorical and literal journey into Eurasian thought and imagination. By talking through walking, as a form of exhibition, Eurasian Steps will explore the physical body in motion and how it interacts with the historically loaded environment around it to indicate some plausible versions of Eurasianism.
With contributions by artists and researchers Jipyeong Kim, Anton Karmanov, Femke Herregraven, Jeon- Hwan Cho, Marjolijn Dijkman, Nam-Su Kim, Slavs and Tatars, Byung-Han Lee, Jeong-Tae Eun. Curated by Binna Choi and You Mi.
Departure point: Nam June Paik Memorial House, Seoul Art Museum (12-1 Jong-ro 53-gil Jongno-gu, Seoul)
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More information is available here.
Eurasian Steps is organized with the support of the Dutch Embassy in Korea and Dutch Cultures Foundation for its NEDxPO 2018 program and as part of Mediacity Seoul Biennale 2018 by Seoul Museum of Art.