Payam SharifiWall-to-wall: The artist on his decade-long exploration of Eurasia.

Payam SharifiWall-to-wall: The artist on his decade-long exploration of Eurasia.

“We ask very stupid questions about very smart subject matters.”

Since 2006, art collective Slavs and Tatars has presented a distinctive and kaleidoscopic vision of Eurasia—a geography that co-founder Payam Sharifi prefers to define as “the area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China.” Over the last, complicated decade, for example, the collective’s multidisciplinary projects have oscillated between the outlandish and the poignant: It has translated satirical 1930s cartoons from Azerbaijan, documented unlikely confluences in Iran and Poland’s economic, social, political, religious and cultural histories, and examined the sacred role of language on more than one occasion. Slavs and Tatars’ body of work even includes an adaptation of the Flashdance track “She’s a Maniac” into “She’s Armenian” (replaci...

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