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Her Right


24 May – 30 October 2024
Various locations

Curator: League of Tenders

Saodat Ismailova. Her Right. 2020. Still from a film, 15’

 | Her Right

The International Nomadic Program 2024-2025 Repetition is a Form of Changing will comprise Four Seasons. For the First Season entitled Her Right, League of Tenders will revisit the immersive exhibition International Feminist Art that was on display in Vleeshal in 1980 and which, despite proclaiming to present artists who ‘emerged in many places around the world, focused on the western art scene.

Her Right is a film by Saodat Ismailova recalling the political campaign titled Hujum (Attack) undertaken by the Communist Party to emancipate and unveil women in Uzbekistan. While questioning western as well as Soviet concepts of feminism, League of Tenders invites women and feminist artists, curators, musicians and collectives from Armenia, Bashqortostan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Udmurtia, Uzbekistan and many other places usually seen as non-Western to discuss feminism and propose decolonial approaches to ideas of equity, women’s rights, and traditional artistic practices.

Developed for this project


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Repetition is a Form of Changing is a program developed by the new curators for Vleeshal’s Nomadic Program 2024-2025:  Maria Sarycheva and Elena Ishchenko who form the curatorial duo League of Tenders.

League of Tenders envisions Repetition is a Form of Changing as a collective attempt at rehearsing and practicing non-imperial and anti-colonial ideals. The program consists of Four Seasons. For each Season, League of Tenders will invite non-Western artists, musicians, filmmakers, and choreographers to approach and repeat one of Vleeshal’s previous projects and question the (western) knowledge behind feminism, language, ecology, and care. They will revisit these concepts and discuss them from their own perspectives. By placing these concepts in underrepresented international art contexts, League of Tenders proposes new perspectives and enacts the necessary process of changing. This collective rehearsal will be approached from the perspectives of Indigenous people reconnecting with their cultures, colonized people resisting colonial oppression, and displaced individuals searching for a home beyond their homeland. Repetition is a Form of Changing will extend beyond state borders, encompassing localities such as Idel-Ural, North and South Caucasus, and Central and Northern Asia. Various independent initiatives and collectives based in these locations will join League of Tenders during the events of Vleeshal’s Nomadic Program 2024-2025 in order to spark and support translocal networks of solidarity.

League of Tenders is an imaginary organization and curatorial duo established in 2018 by curators, researchers, and friends Elena Ishchenko and Maria Sarycheva aimed at cultivating collectivities and fostering the affective dynamics within them. Over time, League of Tenders has focused on disability representation, overcoming the alienation of everyday labor, practices of care, support, and friendship in the age of disasters. Their projects disrupt traditional forms, seeking to place concepts, people, and artworks in unexpected contexts and inviting them to engage in dialogue. The duo has been appointed as Vleeshal's nomadic curators for Vleeshal's Nomadic Program 2024-2025.

Elena Ishchenko is a curator, researcher and, activist. In her practice, Elena Ishchenko is nurturing a decolonial approach to curating and knowledge production, while addressing power relations inherited from colonial policies, particularly within the russian* context. She has worked as a curator at the Typography Center for Contemporary Art (Krasnodar, russia), a researcher at the Garage Museum (Moscow, russia), and has developed exhibitions, educational initiatives, workshops, and other projects in russia, Germany, Armenia, Switzerland, among others. Her recent projects include Өмә (nGbK, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin, 2023), an exhibition that represented the complexity of russia as a colonial realm through stories of artists of Indigenous, migrant, and racialized backgrounds, and Translocal Dialogues (online, 2022), which sought to weave solidarity networks by inviting cultural workers from various contexts to share their experiences, thoughts and feelings on wars, decolonial possibilities, forced migration, and state violence.

Elena is based in Cologne, Germany.

Maria Sarycheva was born in Ufa, Bashqortostan. From 2012 until 2023, she worked independently as a curator and educator in various regions of russia. In 2015, she initiated the Department of Inclusive Programs at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2019, she established the Department of Access and Inclusion at the State Tretyakov Gallery and served as its Head until March 2023. Besides dealing with architectural barriers, she was also responsible for the accessibility of museum content and collection for blind people and people with low vision; D/deaf and hard of hearing community; and for visitors with diverse developmental and learning disabilities.

Currently, Maria lives as a nomad, wandering somewhere between Berlin and Bashqortostan. Her research interests include care, feminist theory and practice, and disability history.

*League of Tenders uses “russia” and “russian” in lowercase to condemn the war against Ukraine unleashed by russia and its policy in general, and to express solidarity with Ukrainians and the participants of decolonial movements.