Solo exhibition:
ID: E16.1


Practices of Subordination

September 2 — October 30, 2016

Galeria Arsenal Power station, Bialystok, Poland

Lena Prents

Sergey Shabohin

Sergey Shabohin:
fragment of exposition 
Practices of Subordination,
Galeria Arsenal,

In such exhibitions as Overcoming Chaos (Sergey Kiryuschenko, Alexey Lunev, Andrey Savitsky, Maxim Tyminko) and The Practices of Subordination (Sergey Shabohin), Belorussian art returns to the space of the Białystok-based Galeria Arsenał. Kiryuschenko’s and Shabohin’s 2015 curatorship project COLLECTION (ZBOR). Constructing an Archive offered a general picture of contemporary Belorussian art. This time round, the broad panorama has been replaced with a close-up of individual quests in the gallery’s elektrownia (power station) space.

The Practices of Subordination, an individual project by Sergey Shabohin (born in 1984), is methodical and scrupulous in examining the mechanisms of power. The artist documents true stories and daily occurrences, having collected banal objects found in Minsk’s public and private space. The material has then been used to tell an insightful story of overwhelming pressure exerted upon citizens by state structures of contemporary Belarus. The project, in progress since 2010, has become a proprietary collection of diverse pathologies of an authoritarian system in one country, as well as a comprehensive archive of that system’s practices. In a simile of a scientific archive, the collection has been developed and organised by origin of all objects collected, and by key words sourced in a variety of areas of knowledge. References to mythological characters and to literary and artistic works of world culture have become an option as well.

Putting the archive on display, Shabohin continually reflects on a specific spatial situation. The artist takes over Galeria Arsenał’s unused elektrownia space with its area formerly occupied by technical staff, and makes it part of the logic of his archive project. It comprises eighteen separate parts accompanied by a map, a diagram, and a dictionary. Shabohin blends the individual (the social body) with the oppressive nature of an overwhelming ideology, sending the viewer on a journey across the meanders of human life – unstable, non-cohesive, and heavily dependent on the external framework of the state system’s grace – or its lawlessness.

Lena Prents