Performance-Lecture Series
January – April 2016


Founded in 2006, 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 known as Eurasia. They have exhibited in major institutions across the Middle East, Europe and North America. Solo exhibitions include the MoMA, NY, Dallas Museum of Art, and Kunsthalle Zurich. The collective’s work spans several media, disciplines, and a broad spectrum of cultural registers (high and low). The artists’ publications and lecture-performances, on topics ranging from transvestism in language to the metaphysics of protest, are central to their research-driven practice and have been presented extensively at leading universities, museums, and various institutions around the globe.

The Mitchell Center, in collaboration with Blaffer Art Museum‘s exhibition Mirrors for Princes, presents a performance-lecture series by Slavs and Tatars.

The Transliterative Tease
January 15, 2016
Through the lens of phonetic, semantic, and theological slippage, The Transliterative Tease explores the potential for transliteration – the conversion of scripts – as a strategy equally of resistance and research into notions such as identity poli ics, colonialism, and faith.
LOCATION: University of Houston, Dudley Recital Hall, 4173 Elgin
ADMISSION: Free, reservations required here

I Utter Other
February 2, 2016
What does it mean for one east to look to and at another one? Can the romanticized romanticize? From Poles in the service of the Tsar to Persian Presbyterians, I Utter Other looks at the curious case of Slavic Orientalism in the Russian Empire and early USSR.
LOCATION: University of Houston Honors Commons, 212 M.D. Anderson Library

April 13, 2016
79.89.09 looks at two key modern moments – the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and Poland’s Solidarność movement in the 1980s – as bookends to the two major geopolitical narratives of the 20th and 21st century, respectively – Communism and political Islam.
LOCATION: Asia Society Texas Center, 1370 Southmore Blvd
ADMISSION: Free, reservations required, see

Molla Nasreddin: Embrace Your Antithesis
April 15, 2016
Arguably the most important periodical of the Muslim world in the 20th century, Molla Nasreddin: the magazine that would’ve, could’ve, should’ve was a legendary Azerbaijani periodical, featuring illustrations reminiscent of a Daumier of the Caucasus. Molla Nasreddin: Embrace Your Antithesis includes a discussion of the book’s historical context, a case study of the complexity otherwise known as the Caucasus, the figure of the antimodern, and the issue of self-censorship a century ago and today.
LOCATION: Asia Society Texas Center, 1370 Southmore Blvd
ADMISSION: Free, reservations required, see

These performance-lectures are part of INTERSECTIONS, a Mitchell Center initiative which aims to increase knowledge about Muslim cultures through the arts while focusing on the complexity and diversity within Houston’s local Muslim population, with an emphasis on the University of Houston’s own student body and seeks to build bridges between visiting artists and UH students. The performance-lectures question commonly held assumptions about history, politics, linguistics and identity.

The April performance-lectures are part of CounterCurrent, a festival of bold experimental art presented by the Mitchell Center April 12-17, 2016.