interview with John Grzinich for SIRP cultural
questions by Mari Laaniste
1. what makes mooste a village of world culture for
> mis teeb, või kes teevad moostest kümneks päevaks
Mooste is a nice village but the particular place itself is not the main
reason to hold an international art event. PostsovkhoZ is a temporary
situation which is meant to address a condition. The condition is that
of post-soviet life in rural villages and finding creative ways to move-on
from the previous times. It is not necessarily about forgetting the "old"
past or constructing a "new" future. During our seminar someone
asked the question, 'why is everything always post-this or post-that?'
The simple answer is that we can't predict the future but we can look
at the past. But for me there is a more important question, what is here
and where are we now? The answer in PostsovkhoZ terms is about interpretation
through cultural exchange. Foriegners offer their perspectives, artisitc
idea and opinions to Estonians and the other way around. There is no better
way to address such issues as joining the EU or the value of art and culture
in market economies than to talk with the people who have grown up and
live in these situations every day. Nothing works better to break stereotypes
and mainstream myths than for people to meet and work with each other
in person. This can and does happen in many places but primarily in urban
centers where populations often mix. As the pace and costs of urban life
increase, survival matters take importance over cultural life. The option
to live in places like Mooste is being taken seriously by many people
(the village is full!). On the whole Mooste is both a place for direct
contact with the village context and good retreat from the outside world.
It is a place where we all can pause, create, and reflect on these questions.
2. what do you think was the highlight of this event?
> mida peate seekordse ürituse kõrghetkeks?
There were countless numbers of highlights during the event. Seeing artists
I know from Texas interacting with artists I know from Estonia with artists
I just met though another artist I know in New Zealand is a real twist
on reality. How these infinitely small yet widely spread global networks
get formed is a mystery yet I feel there is some unexplainable reason
for them. Being able to host many of the guests, exhibitions and events
in the historic Mooste mansion was special. The food was good too!
3. Postsovkhoz could be called at least
in terms of length the biggest art
event of this summer, but where remained the proportional press and public
> Postsovkhoz 3-me võib vähemalt kestvuselt nimetada Eesti
> suurimaks ürituseks. Kuhu jäid proportsioonile vastav pressitähelepanu
> ja publikumenu?
I don't like superlatives like biggest or best because they only address
quantity. What is very difficult is to communicate the qualities of PostsovkhoZ
to people who were not here (it's not even easy for those who are here).
Reaching the greater public is not easy because first they have to be
willing to listen. This takes time. Those who work to improve the event
each year are actually more concerned with connecting with the local people
than creating an image for national attention. If we dont achieve this
than the point of the event is lost. I hope that as time goes on it will
be harder to keep the public away than to attract them.
4. what will be PostsovkhoZ4?
> milline tuleb PostsovkhoZ 4?
First we have to take time and digest PostsovkhoZ3. For next year MOGS
invites you to participate and find out for yourself.