Reflecting on and in Eurasia
M HKA and V-A-C share an interest in Eurasia as a space of diversity, openness and links between very different people and situations.
M HKA links Eurasia to the thinking about it by two of its reference artists. Joseph Beuys realised his legendary performance ‘Eurasienstab’ in 1968 in Antwerp. For Beuys Eurasia was a space that might link up his northwestern part of Europe to the open horizon of Asia. For Jimmie Durham the notion of Eurasia is also a way for Europe to become aware that it is merely a peninsula of a larger story. M HKA director Bart De Baere calls Eurasia ‘the largest island in the world’, a natural space of commitment for the Antwerp museum. The Present Continuous project, engaging for artists from the Russian federation, enhances this set up.
From this perspective onwards, M HKA and V-A-C find a shared commitment for Moscow as a transnational meeting place. It also brought them to a joint continuation of the 6th Moscow biennial. Initially aiming to offer a progressive vision on Eurasianism, going back to the foundational thinking of Prince Nicolay Trubetskoy – as indicated in the essay ‘Eurasia as an Island’ – it became a space to reflect on the potential and limits of the desire of human beings for gathering. These reflections were edited into a book entitled ‘How to Gather’ in which V-A-C took the production lead, publishing the book together with M HKA, Witte de With Rotterdam and Kunsthalle Wien.