Alina and Jeff Bliumis are New York-based conceptual artists who use artistic initiatives to start public dialogues about the politics of community,
cultural displacement, migration, and national identity.
Casual Conversations is a two-part project that the couple started on July 7, 2007, in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.
In the early morning hours, the couple asked 45 beachgoers in this predominantly Russian neighborhood to define their identity.
Each participant could pose with any of three signs (with the words “Russian,” “Jewish,” and “American”) or come up with their own self-definition by creating a unique sign.
This event was photographed. What resulted is an anthropological inquiry into this Brooklyn immigrant community.
The second part of Casual Conversations is an interactive station that allows our community to answer questions about our own cultural identity.
Alina and Jeff ask that each participant think about their identity and write descriptive words of their choosing on the white boards and then take their own photograph.
These portraits can be seen here .
More on Jeff and Alina Bliumis can be found here.
Casual Conversations is exhibited in partnership with Generation R at The JCC in Manhattan and is made possible in part by a gift from Genesis Philanthropy Group.
Gallery exhibitions made possible in part with a generous grant from the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.
The gallery exhibitions are made possible by a generous grant from The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.
Additional support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.