In 1969 Joseph Beuys made the installation Das Rudel (The Pack), which consists of a “pack” of wooden sledges coming out the back of an old Volkswagen van. Each of the 24 sledges carries a rolled-up felt plaid, a lump of melted animal fat and a lantern. A felt blanket and suit hanging from the ceiling complete the composition. All these items are symbols of “survival kits” for extreme conditions: a sledge, felt, fat and a light source are enough to escape the cold and avoid dying from frost. But what kind of survival kit do artists need for today’s conditions of global warming, pandemic and big games?
What is now required is solidarity among artists, who with their intuition and imagination, often mentioned by Joseph Beuys, play a vital role in prompting critical thinking in society, interrogating the conventional interpretations of “truth” according to neoliberalism and patriarchy. Together with artists from the independent platform of Bishkek School of Contemporary Art who have various backgrounds as green activists, feminists and Marxists, we present an ongoing process of artistic imagination, interaction, awareness and reflections on Soviet legacies, female emancipation, ecological inequality, environmental pollution, deforestation, biodiversity, food production and food sharing through discussions and actions.