I want a president

I want a president, 2021
The text work “I want a president” is an homage to the text “I want a president” by Zoel Leonard from 1992 and a homage to the musician and activist Maryja Kalesnikawa.

read whole text I want a president_EN
Я хачу жанчыну прэзыдэнтку_BY

Exhibition views:

I want a president, 2021
Exhibition views: Demokratie heute – Probleme der Repräsentation, KINDL – Zentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst, Berlin

Я хочу женщину президентку, 2021
Exhibition view: Every Day. Art. Solidarity. Resistance, Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kyiv
Photography: Andrei Dureika

I want a president, 2022
Exhibition view: “STATECRAFT and beyond”, national Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST)

Naprushkina’s work I Want a President refers to the mass protests against the Lukashenko government in Belarus, her country of birth, in the summer and autumn of 2020.

The peaceful actions on the part of the protesters were largely carried out by women. The Belarusian philosopher Olga Shparaga calls this movement a “revolution in progress” and a “post-national revolution”.

The artist’s work is a homage to Zoe Leonard’s seminal piece I want a president from 1992, which departs from white, patriarchal, orthodoxy-determining politics and calls for e new, more pluralist and inclusive political imaginary, as well as to the musician and activist Maryia Kalesnikava, who has been imprisoned in Belarus since 2020 and sentenced to eleven years. Similarly, Naprushkina tries to imagine a new kind of politician in her work. The text conveys the urgency of rethinking political concepts, representation and ultimately, governance, while the visual component of the work draws on the traditional technique and floral motifs of Maljavanka painting, which was common in Belarusian villages in the middle of the last century and mostly practised by women.