PICK OF THE WEEK:: From our Nov/Dec issue: Review of Slavs andTatars @ The Third Line, Dubai
Slavs and Tatars have a way with words and letters. For their first solo show in the Middle East, the research-driven collective directed their language-focused lens on the slippery workings of alphabet politics. In the regions covered in Slavs and Tatars’s geographic purview—“the area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China”—languages have been shaped and reshaped through various political attempts, leading to a parade of extinguished and evolved letters and sounds. Far from simply documenting the Latinization and Cyrillization campaigns wielded against Arabic-writing, Turkic-speaking Muslims of the Caucasus and Central Asia, “Language Arts” literally reveled in the vagaries of tampered-with tongues. Aided by their signature mashing of high-brow scholarship and low-brow zingers, Slavs and Tatars toyed with phonemes, graphemes and the very organs of language production in a rousing, thought-provoking show.