Slavs and Tatars are an artists collective, which was founded in 2006. With some humoruous overtone the name of the collective refers to the linguistic and enthnographical sphere of their origin, the area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Chinese Wall. Language and linguistic play an important part in the artistic practice of the collective. The collective realizes exhibitions, lectures and book publications.
A pearl necklace, too big for the human neck? A swing? An enlarged prayer chain? When nominated for the prize of the Nationalgalerie Berlin 2015, the artist collective Slavs and Tatars realised large sculptures: chains with 3 times 11 beads.
As a guideline for meditation and prayers, chains have an important function in many religious practices. They serve as memory aid and give order and sequence of ritualized dialogue with the Divine.
In our cultural area, we lived in a largely secularized world until a few years ago. The 'big' questions about the meaning of life, what might be after death, whether we believe in God or something divine, or not, whether values and moral commands can be derived from humanity or derived from religious rules were subjects of privacy. For several years now, religion has returned to everyday life. Signs and symbols not only gain new importance but trigger controversies and compel an intense dialogue and debate with the other, the stranger. Society faces great challenges accepting opposing values and rules for everyday life, learning tolerance, being ready to compromise and develop a mutual understanding.
Contemporary art senses these changes. Art and architecture, which for centuries have had a central role for religious themes in all cultures, once again approach this metaphysical area with a fresh look.