Beginning as an investigation into the apparently disparate events that bookend the twentieth and twenty-first century – the collapse of Communism and the Islamic Revolution in Iran – Friendship of Nations: Polish Shi’ite Showbiz traces unlikely points of convergence in Iran and Poland’s economic, social, political, religious and cultural histories. Drawing on Slavs and Tatars’ multi-disciplinary practice encompassing research, installations, lecture-performances and print media, this publication embraces new contributions in the form of essays, interviews, and archival presentation on subjects that range from seventeenth-century Sarmatism to the twenty-first-century Green Movement, taking in along the way, tales of the Polish Exodus, Wojtek the bear, craft, hospitality, Passion plays and taziyeh, and the political lessons of a Polish slow burn revolution for contemporary Iran.
Slavs and Tatars is a faction of polemics and intimacies devoted to an area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China and is joined here by Agata Araszkiewicz, Ramin Jahanbegloo and Adam Michnik, Mara Goldwyn, Shiva Balaghi and Michael D. Kennedy. Former projects with Book Works include Kidnapping Mountains (2009), 79.89.09. (2010) commissioned for Again, A Time Machine, and contributions to the publication Again, A Time Machine: from archive to distribution. Slavs and Tatars recently exhibited at 10th Sharjah Biennale, UAE (2011), Tate Modern, (2011), MoMA, NY (2012), Secession, Vienna (2012). Forthcoming exhibitions are at: Istanbul Modern, and Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Friendship of Nations: Polish Shi’ite Showbiz toured from 10th Sharjah Biennial, to Kiosk Gallery, Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten, Gent; Gdanska Galeria Miejska, Gdansk; Karlin Studios, Prague, is currently showing at REDCAT, LA, and will tour to Presentation House, Vancouver.
Friendship of Nations: Polish Shi’ite Showbiz by Slavs and Tatars is published by Book Works and Sharjah Art Foundation in association with Raster, Warsaw as part of Book Works’ Co-Series: Book No. 4. Essays commissioned by Slavs and Tatars and edited by Mara Goldwyn; edition of 1,500 copies; 184 pages; soft cover; designed by Boy Vereecken/Slavs and Tatars, with the assistance of Monika Gruzite; 210 x 260 mm; ISBN 978 1 906012 42 7
Book Works is funded by Arts Council England and this publication is generously supported by Sharjah Art Foundation, Polish Cultural Institute in London and Maryam Eisler.