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Off-Biennale Budapest: Art Beyond Government Funding? Print E-mail
Exhibition Reviews
Written by Dasha Filippova (Budapest)   
Sunday, 13 September 2015 17:47

Roee Rosen, “The Buried Alive Group Videos: Historical Joke # 3,” 2013, (still). Image courtesy Galleria Riccardo Crespi, Milan, and the artist.OFF-Biennale was the inaugural edition of an art event that mobilized seemingly all of Budapest's nongovernmental art, semi-art and entirely nonart spaces on both sides of the Danube, to present diverse works by some 200 local and international contemporary artists. Running a month-long marathon of daily exhibition openings and one-time performances in galleries, bars, a hair salon, an electricity factory and numerous outdoor public spaces (April 24 -May 31), the majority of the biennale took place in the Hungarian capital – its contextual home and a city that uniquely merges both socialist and imperial ruin aesthetics – but some sister events were scattered as far as São Paulo and New York.

Moscow Conceptualism in the 1980s: Interview with Sabine Hänsgen (Zurich) Print E-mail
Written by Olga Martin (Zürich)   
Thursday, 27 August 2015 16:22

Olga Martin: In 1984, when nobody could imagine the end of the Soviet Union, you clandestinely made the video documentation Moscow Moscow about Russian underground art and literature, and smuggled it to the West. This was probably very exciting for you, but didn't you take a great personal risk?

Sabine Hänsgen: Certainly, from the Soviet point of view this was a forbidden recording. I could have been expelled from USSR and denied re-entry. Already at the beginning of the 1980s, when I was studying in Moscow for the first time, I felt that the artistic underground was threatened by censorship and repression. Therefore I thought it would be important to document the life of this milieu. I had gotten to know many artists from the conceptualist circle, and when I came back to Moscow for my second stay in 1984, I decided to start a video documentation about artistic communication outside of the official institutions of Soviet culture. From my point of view, video is an excellent medium for archiving situations that are usually excluded from official memory.

Socialist Realist Graphic Art in Albania (Book Review) Print E-mail
Book Reviews
Written by Raino Eeto Isto (College Park)   
Friday, 17 July 2015 17:31

Safo Marko, untitled linocut. In Maks Velo, Grafika e Realizmit Socialist në Shqipëri (Tirana: Emal, 2014), p. 157. Photograph by Maks Velo. Courtesy of Maks Velo.One of the great questions confronted by any history of art in the twentieth century, and particularly of the art of Eastern Europe, is that of the artistic significance of Socialist Realism and the issues surrounding its legacy. This is especially true in Albania, one of the countries where Socialist Realism persisted as the dominant style for more than forty years—especially during the period (1944-1985) when the country was led by socialist dictator Enver Hoxha. In Albania, the question of Socialist Realism's legacy is partially one of public space, due to the large number of monuments and works of architecture remaining from the socialist era. However, it is also more broadly a question of the academic and social history of the nation's cultural production, and the possibilities for Socialist Realism to be seen in dialogue with the new forms and ideologies of contemporary art. These possibilities have been explored in recent exhibitions such as Workers Leaving the Studio, Looking Away from Socialist Realism, at the National Gallery of Arts in Tirana in 2015, and, more indirectly, in the installation of Armando Lulaj's works in the Albanian Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale.

Specters of Communism: Contemporary Russian Art, The James Gallery and e-flux, New York Print E-mail
Exhibition Reviews
Written by Ksenia Nouril (New York)   
Thursday, 04 June 2015 19:22

Arseny Zhilyaev, "RCC YHV Resurrecting Museum at Home," 2014. The James Gallery, The Graduate Center, CUNY. Photo by Julia Sherman.In 1961, Nikita Khrushchev famously announced that communism would be achieved in the Soviet Union by 1980. As a result, the nation lived in a perpetual state of the future-perfect tense, aiming for an expected or planned event that was to happen before a certain point in time. Unfortunately, Khrushchev never lived to see that day—nor did anyone else. The realization of true communism was a failure, and because it was abandoned as incomplete, its potentiality still remains, thus making it a tempting subject for artists today.

In Memoriam - Piotr Piotrowski (June 14, 1952 – May 3, 2015) Print E-mail
Written by Anna Brzyski (Lexington/KY)   
Saturday, 30 May 2015 10:49

It was with great shock and sadness that we learned of the passing of our dear friend, colleague, and collaborator Piotr Piotrowski. His groundbreaking contributions to the study of art from Eastern Europe, boundless energy, willingness to challenge entrenched views, desire to provoke discussion (no matter how uncomfortable), and his commitment to democracy and social justice distinguished him among his peers within the region and beyond. Piotr belonged to a post-war generation of Eastern European intellectuals who experienced life under communism first-hand and who later observed and participated in the often painful and unsteady transition to capitalism and democracy. His contributions to art history, criticism and theory often commented on those realities. They also reflected his keen awareness of the significance of geography, in particular, the disadvantages and advantages of living on Europe's margins. His was one of the most original and fearless voices in recent discussions concerning the politics of global art and art history. Piotr's presence and keen insights will be sorely missed at any gathering that addresses these issues in the future.


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ARTMargins Print has released its new issue, 4.2. (June 2015)!

ArticlesBill Roberts (Warwick/UK) on postmodernism's contemporaneity. Sven Spieker (Los Angeles/Berlin) considers the figure of the Vertreter in the work of Martin Kippenberger.

Essay: Walid Sadek (Beirut): When Next We Meet: On the Figure of the Nonposthumous Survivor

 Online supplement: A Conversation with Walid Sadek. FREE ACCESS.

In the Document section, we present, for the first time an early conversation between Hsieh Tehching, Ai Weiwei, and Xu Bing (introduction and translation, Lee Ambrozy). FREE ACCESS.

Artist ProjectRobert Zhao Renhui (Singapore): As We Walk on Water. FREE ACCESS.

Review Article: Christopher T. Green (New York City), Artists, of the Great Lakes? Problematizing the Exhibition of Place in Native American Art."

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Published triquarterly by the MIT Press, ARTMargins provides a forum for the discussion of postmodernism and post-colonialism, and their critiques; art and politics in transitional countries and regions; post-socialism and neo-liberalism; and the problem of global art and global art history.

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Founded in 1999, ARTMargins Online publishes articles, interviews, essays, and reviews devoted to contemporary art. Unlike ARTMargins (print), ARTMargins Online has traditionally had a regional focus, central and Eastern Europe.