Pawel Althamer is a sculptor, performance artist, action artist, creator of installations and video art. Between 1988 and 1993 Althamer attended classes in the Sculpture Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. In 1991 he exhibited with a number of his colleagues from Kowalski's studio. The group included Katarzyna Kozyra, Jacek Markiewicz, Jacek Adamas and others, and effectively co-created the phenomenon of "pracownia Kowalskiego" / "Kowalski's Workshop," otherwise know as the "Kowalnia" / "Smithery," which was in its essence one of the leading groups of young Polish artists of the 1990s. In the middle of the 1990s Althamer's interests shifted to social issues, in particular to reflection upon the role and place of art in large cities. Himself a resident of a vast housing block in the Brodno district of Warsaw, he observed, collected and documented examples of the spontaneous artistic activities of area residents (see the installation-exhibition BRODNO, A.R. Gallery,

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Ileana Pintilie, Actionism in Romania During the Communist Era. Bucharest, 2001 

At the beginning of the 1960's Paul Neagu placed his art objects in black boxes, making them invisible for the spectator. With this allegory on the situation of Romanian art Neagu succeeded in expressing what could not be seen: art outside of censorship. Like everywhere 'in the east', Romanian art remained in the back rooms, where it either discreetly fit itself into its environment, so as to remain unnoticed, or secretly simulated actions of everyday life. The art of concealed action became a form of articulation in its own right in Eastern European Action Art. In Neagu's boxes there were "small objects of variable form created with an exhaustive imaginative verve." The 'spectators of art' could only reach inside, thus they became 'touchers of art', forced to conjure up their own image. Soon these tactile objects reached a fetishistic status and they circulated in the unofficial art-circles, "taking on

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This is the first in a series of essays in which we will introduce new gallery ventures in East-Central Europe. For the longest time the idea that the commercial success of art galleries in East-Central Europe is inversely proportional to the quality of the work they show seemed to be written in stone. In this series we want to give gallerists a chance to comment, introduce their spaces, and update us on the situation faced by anyone who wants to show and, horribile dictu, sell contemporary art in the former Eastern Bloc today.

The acb contemporary art gallery is the newest gallery in Budapest, Hungary. The enterprise works on a commercial basis; its goal is to generate revenue by selling contemporary visual artworks. Information, resumes, documentation, and mission statement are available at
www.acbgaleria.hu (Slide Show).

Grzegorz Sztwiertnia, The Painter's Eye and Hand, 6 May - 18 June, 2003, Zderzak Gallery, Cracow.

For many years Grzegorz Sztwiertnia has been playing with various definitions of the artist's persona and its relation to artistic production.

During the 1990s, the thirty-five year old artist was recognised, hiding himself behind a screen of his erudition and mockery, only by a limited number of viewers.

Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, National Gallery, Prague Veletržní Palác, Praha 7 - Holešovice, Dukelských hrdinu 47, 26 June - 24 August 

It is always tempting, with such overblown events as international art biennials, (and the Prague event claims to be the biggest contemporary art event in Europe this year) to look for an image that somehow "sums things up."

For the organisers of Prague's "first" Biennale (iIn fact there have been other self-styled biennales in Prague. * In particular The Biennale of Young Artists "ZVON," run by the Prague City Gallery.)* this emblematic figure is a digital makeover of Leonardo's Mona Lisa by Jean-Pierre Khazem.

"Blood and Honey - the Future's in the Balkans" , Vienna, June 2003 

The conceptual focus of the exhibition from thewell-known curator Harald Szeemann refers to the term Balkan. We can extend "Balkans" by looking at its etymology as well as morphology. Dividing the term itself, we see a discourse, a play of opposites. The Turkish syllables BAL (Honey) and KAN (Blood) open spaces of reflection. In the Golden Age honey was flowing like water out of oaks: the godfather Kronos drank this nectar and fell asleep when his son Zeus enchained him and banished him to the blessed island. Zeus took over power and expelled the God of Time (and with him the Golden Age) to the edge of the world. The Ius Sanguis - justice of Blood - is not an empty word of ancient times in our contemporary society but still brings about geopolitical conflicts, wars, and ghosts which were said to be death. But the dead is not death in history (Heiner Müller), such as the Golden Age of mythology is still inscribed in

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Agata Bogacka, I'm bleeding!, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, June 2003

 Agata Bogacka, 'Mirror I', acrylic on canvas, 2002.  Agata Bogacka, 'Mirror II', acrylic on canvas, 2002  Agata Bogacka, 'Mocz', acrylic on canvas, 2003.  Agata Bogacka, 'Krew', acrylic on canvas, 2003.  Agata Bogacka, 'Girl is Getting into a Hole', acrylic on canvas, 2002.

A Girl Getting Into a Hole is the title of one of the paintings by Agata Bogacka. During her first individual exhibition I'm bleeding! , organized this year in the Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, the painting was hanging on a side wall at the very back of the exhibition room.

Yet, this inconspicuous work can be seen as creating a kind of frame for the exposition and, more generally, Agata's oeuvre.

Site Specific Art Projects in St. Petersburg, July 2003

2003 saw the Russian City of St Petersburg celebrating its 300th anniversary. The traditional Birthday mix of nostalgia and future plans and possibilities is manifest in the festivities with particular emphasis on cultural exchange.

This has brought with it increased international interest much focused on the city's architectural heritage and future physical and cultural expansion.

 

The first Roma art exhibition in Romania was opened during August 5th-19th 2003 at the Simeza Gallery in Bucharest (downtown, Magheru Boulevard, no 20). The featured artists were two professional sculptors: Marian Petre and Mircea Lacatus.

They were both born and educated in Romania. Petre is currently still living in Romania, but Lacatus left the country in 1990 after his graduation. Lacatus is currently living in Austria, the place where his artistic destiny has been fulfilled.

The exhibition, entitled Roma art, is the first stage of a larger project, initiated by Artisrroma Cultural Association, a Romanian non-governmental organization, founded by a group of Roma artists and art enthusiasts.

The project "Russian Art 1860-1940 in Western Museums: Information Database on the Internet" is a new development of the major Cultural Heritage Database Project with the web address art-russia.org. The entire project is implemented under the patronage and with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.

The Project is funded by a number of foundations operating globally, such as the Solomon R.Guggenheim Foundation, the Judith Rothschild Foundation, New York, and Galerie Gmurzynska, Cologne & Zug; and by the Russian government, the Russian Cultural Initiative Foundation, and the Rosizo State Museum and Exhibition Center.

Kunst & Verbrechen: Art without Crime. Hebbel Theater am Ufer, Berlin, 10.31-11.02.2003

The book "Blue Lard" by Vladimir Sorokin was taken to court in 2002 on the first of November by the Putin-linked youth movement "The United Ones" on pornography charges. The Propagate-man of pornographic literature was going to the detention cell of the police-department in Berlin.

On the weekend of October 31st a new theatre-project opened in Berlin. The Project, became an investigative zone in which the laws of art, the business side of the art world, and the law itself were all under examination.

In dealing with the ever-escalating drama of migration and estrangement of ethnic minorities and refugees seeking asylum in the countries of the West, Jacques Derrida's writings of the late 1990s have provided a forceful critical guidance into the ethics and politics of hospitality, constituting, as they do, both a philosophical response as well as a political intervention.

I would like to use Derrida's manifold unpacking of hospitality performed in the realm of the verbal, of philosophical and literary texts, for the domain of the visual, and in this particular case, for that of "cinema with an accent," to use a term proposed by Hamid Naficy (1999).

Dust was supposed to be one of "the" films: the most expected one, disputed between the festivals, starting with huge difficulties and even more incredible events during the shoot, provoking controversy, on purpose perhaps, and with actual political background for the film story.

At the time of Milcho Manchevski's debut feature film, Before the Rain, which won the Golden lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1994, the crisis in the Balkans had reached its culmination point when Sarajevo under siege: peace in these remote areas of Europe being more than uncertain.

Inke Arns, Neue Slowenische Kunst - NSK: Laibach, Irwin, Gledališce sester Scipion Nasice, Kozmokineticno gledališce rdeci pilot, Kozmokineticni kabinet Noordung, Novi kolektivizem. Eine Analyse ihrer künstlerischen Strategien im Kontext der 1980er Jahre in Jugoslawien (An analysis of their artistic strategies in the context of the 80s in Yugoslavia), Museum Ostdeutsche Galerie (MOG), Regensburg 2002. 

The German name Neue Slowenische Kunst, New Slovene Art, is maybe a less known name for the Slovene artists' collective that consists of more well-known sub-collectives such as the ideologically provocative and often controversial percept music group Laibach, the five-person painters' collective Irwin, the performance group Gledališce sester Scipion Nasice, today known as the Kozmokinetik kabineticni Noordung and named after the Slovenian astronomer Noordung from the last century-a theater-group that performed a sensational theater experiment in a non-gravity-space above the Russian

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Georg Trogemann et al. History of Computer Devices in Russia. Braunschweig: Vieweg, 2001 

2001 was the great moment of a space odyssey and a computer called "HAL." For everyone who likes facts as much as fiction, the year also offered the book Computing in Russia.

Its proper subtitle could read: "Who is afraid of minicomputers that could easily fill your apartment?" Books that claim to grapple with computers while addressing a wide range of readers are not that uncommon. Soon most of them may even deserve the attribute "very sexy."

Ekaterina Dyogot: Russkoe Iskusstvo XX Veka (Russia 20th-Century Art). Moscow. Trilistnik, 2000 

Let me start with a warning: This is not a textbook. Anyone who turns to this book should have at least some idea of 20th-century Russian art and its major protagonists. Also, the title is suggestive: The book purports to write the history of art, not of artists. You won't find biographical detail here or even an overview over the output of one artist at a time.

The book is not even a history in the sense that it tells a linear story of events - rather, it paints a picture where various currents and practices are laid out spatially, stressing similarities more than developments or breaks.

Now living in Helsinki and St. Petersburg, Liisa Roberts was born in Paris in 1969 and received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, USA. Since the early 1990s, Roberts has exhibited internationally, including group exhibitions at Artists Space, New York; Helsinki Kunsthalle and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland; The Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, England; P.S.1, Long Island City, NY; Bard College Center for Curatorial Studies, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; and Bildmuseet Umeo, Sweden. Solo exhibitions have taken place at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL. She participated in the 1997 Documenta X inGermany and the 1999 Venice Biennale. Her work was featured in the Whitney Museum's exhibit, The American Century in 2000, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki's exhibit Faster Than Histor in 2004, and upcoming Whitney Biennale.

 

B.M. - Have you noticed, at this Manifesta, the rise of some new tendencies in

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Home Gallery, Prague, 17 December - January 30 

To correspond with its first anniversary, HOME Gallery will be hosting an exhibition of recent works on paper by Pierre Daguin.

This show, Daguin’s first in Prague for several years, represents part of a larger series of recent works including a selection of photographs (“Philip Morris,” “Kuchen und Lugger” and “Psychosex”), several “antipersonnel bombs,” an installation entitled the “Children of Marcos” (weapon-toys) and the White Book (a book of collage about terrorism).

Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, 8 October - 30 November 

Despite the ongoing vogue in rehabilitating “avant-garde” and “experimental” artists within the institutions of art historical orthodoxy, one artist whose work has so far escaped systematic anthologisation is the post-war American painter Cy Twombly.

In Rosalind Krauss and Yves-Alain Bois’s 1997 study, Formless: A User’s Guide, Twombly is enrolled as an exemplar of certain tendencies (otherwise associated with European artists like Wols and Fautrier) towards the scatalogical and deconstructive in American art.

"Irwin: Retroprincip 1983-2003" at Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, September 26-October 26, 2003 

Irwin, Malevich, 'Between Two Wars', mixed media, 1998. Image courtesty of Irwin. Irwin, 'Mystery of the Black Square', color photography, 1995, photo: Andres Serrano. Image courtesy of Irwin. Irwin, 'NSK Consulate Umage', c-print, 1994, photo: Franci Virant. Image courtesy of Irwin.

“Irwin: Retroprincip 1983-2003,” curated by Inke Arns (Berlin), presents an extensive survey in the work of Irwin, as well as a collective of Slovenian painters (Dušan Mandic, Miran Mohar, Andrej Savski, Roman Uranjek, and Borut Vogelnik), including some of the most influential artists from the former Yugoslavia.

Their artistic practice, as well as their theoretical writings and research projects, concern the following diverse subjects: the relationship between art and totalitarianism; modernist iconography and ideology; the geo-political impact of the revolutions of 1989-1991; and the historicising of modern and contemporary art produced in the former U.S.S.R., Yugoslavia, and Eastern Bloc.

Kazimir Malevich: Suprematism, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 13 May ­ 14 September 2003

Kasimir Malewitsch: Suprematism, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, 18 January - 27 April 2003

Malevich's pieces of art exhibited this year at the Guggenheim Museum in Berlin and New York are labeled as “Suprematism.”

There are proper reasons for the title: all works exposed in this canonical collection are related to the doctrine formulated in 1915 (sketches already in 1913) and later developed by Malevich and his followers and disciples into one of the most powerful concepts and stimuli of contemporary art.

Berlin - Moscow/Moscow - Berlin 1950-2000, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin, 27 September 2003 - 1 May 2004 

The exhibition review is one of the most unmerciful genres created by literal cultures. In this context the critic’s iconoclasm takes subtle revenge for the disregard of the written word after the so-called "pictorial turn" in Western societies.

Trying a shaky balance between ekphrasis, elevating the review to the status of pictorial art, and textual criticism of pictures demonstrating the domination of verbal over visual discourse, the reviewer shifts from the position of a viewer to that of a reader, often playing off the second against the first.

Vladimir Dubosarsky and Alexander Vinogradov are the most promising Russian artists of their generation. They represented Russia last year in the Venice Biennial. Their paintings are included in permanent collections of Le Centre Pompidou in Paris; MAK, Vienna; and The Houston Museum of Art. In 2003 they had five solo exhibitions throughout the world including a show in New York in the Deitch Gallery. Dubosarsky and Viongradov live in Moscow.

Namesti Jana Palacha, Prague, June-October 2004

Recently there have been a number of interesting exhibitions mounted at the Philosophy Faculty building on Námesti Jana Palacha, curated by Ondrej Hrab.

One of these in particular stands out and deserves mention: Ondrej Tucek’s series of found objects, previously on show at Klub v Jelení, the Catholic House in Telc, Sazavou castle, and Muncipal Theatre, Cesky Krumlov.

Futura, Prague, 11 November - 4 January

The exhibition of shortlisted works for the 2003 Chalupecky Prize at Prague’s FUTURA contemporary art space, can best be summed up with two words: Kristof Kintera.

Among this year’s finalists—a list which also includes Ján Manzuka, Michaela Thelenová, Jan Lerych, Michal Pechounek—only Kristof Kintera has presented anything like a credible claim to the Czech Repulic’s premier award for contemporary art—an award which has gained increasingly in notoriety in recent years due more to the quality of the successive scandals surrounding it than to the quality of the competition.

Kunsthalle Schirrn, Frankfurt/M., 24 September 2003 - 04 January 2004 

Max Hollein, Director of the Shirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, relates how he suddenly conceived of the exhibition Dream Factory Communism on a trip to Moscow after a chance encounter with the power and desire that radiate from Socialist Realist painting.

A visit to the Tretyakov Gallery convinced him to discard his original plan for a Kandinsky retrospective, in favour of a controversial art that fascinates the contemporary imagination with its mixture of the “monumental and folksy” on the one hand, and the “postmodern and visionary” on the other.(Max Hollein, foreword to Dream Factory Communism: the Visual Culture of the Stalin Era, edited by Boris Groys and Max Hollein (Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt: Frankfurt, 2003), 9.)

Anna Sokolina, Ed. Arkhitektura i antroposofiia. Moscow: Izdatel'stvo KMK, 2001. 268 pages, 348 illustrations.

In her introduction to this pioneering Russian volume, Anna Sokolina notes that the anthroposophical movement, established by Rudolf Steiner, arose on the basis of dissatisfaction with an increasingly rationalistic, technological bias in approaches to society and culture at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Seeking to return modern culture to a holistic attitude toward human creativity and the environment, Steiner was particularly interested in the challenge of architecture--at once the shaper of the physical context and one of the preeminent forms of artistic endeavor.

The Critic's Choice, Gallery of the Culture Center, Belgrade, January 8-24, 2004

The traditional annual exhibition The Critic's Choice thisyear features the selection entitled Old Nowby the assistant minister of culture and curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Mr. Jovan Despotovic.

The author has decided to deviate from the usual practice of basing his selection on the artists who have exhibited during the previous year.

Instead, he chose to present the current work of the group of authors who were gathered at the exhibition entitled New Now more than twenty years ago: Darja Kacic, Milovan Destil Markovic, Mrdjan Bajic, Mileta Prodanovic, and Radomir Knezevic.

At that time these artists were graduate students at the Faculty of Fine Arts Belgrade.

Today they are all full time teachers there, except for Milovan Destil Markovic, who is guest-teaching throughout Europe.

Explaining his concept and the changes that have happened on the local art scene during the 1980s, Mr.

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The program was staged at the Kitchen (NYC, April 28), co-joining with the exhibition “Architectures of Gender: Contemporary Women’s Art in Poland” (Sculpture Centre, NYC, April-June 2003). Many of the films in the presentation were being shown for the first time since they premiered 20-30 years ago. The majority had been in need of restoration or even partial reconstruction.

When observing Polish art over the last decade, one can discern a somewhat sudden increase in the number of women artists using video techniques.

The presentation of “Films of Polish Women Artists in the 1970s and 1980s” is an attempt to establish the genealogy of this phenomenon; an attempt to explain how, during that time, Polish women artists confronted their ideas and artistic strategies against film and video. 
vy da vy syndicate, 'Untitled', (installation fragment, 2003).

A question of paramount importance must be raised once again before one can open a discussion on the subject concerning the post-Soviet diasporic condition and the cultural production of the post-Soviet diaspora.

This question is of a rather geographical nature, namely, where is the Second World to be found now in 2003?

Has it dissolved and disappeared into oblivion now that its political and social structures have been discredited or disintegrated and its cultural production proclaimed nonparadigmatic?

Call Me Istanbul ist mein Name, ZKM, Karlsruhe, 18 April - 8 August, 2004

Mangelos (retrospective) and a project by Marjetica Potrc, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, 20 May - 19 September, 2004

L'arte del mediterraneo, MACRO, Rome, 3 June, 2004

Cetinje Biennial, Montenegro, July 2004 

Coming from Slovenia - a young nation state ever-navigating between the ideas of Central Europe and its recent Yugoslavian past, and slated to join the European Union in May 2004 - I am intrigued by the increasing interest that the region referred to as the Balkans, or as the more politically correct South Eastern Europe, has received lately.

Despite breakthroughs in established, politically fixed territorial boundaries, ethnic groups or borders in art, and everyday reality, since the early 1990s, and despite the present moment of “fast-forwarding” conventional notions of space through information and communication technologies, contemporary art authorities still feel there is more to be said in how

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This Month I Menstruate, Gallery Art Factory, Wenceslas Square, Prague, March 3 – March 19, 2004

Exhibiting artists: Barbora Baronova – Pavlina Binkova – Veronika Bromova – Stanislav Divis – Roman Franta – Lenka Fritschova – Adela Havelkova – Milova Havrankova – Tereza Hendlova – Veronika Hubkova – Tereza Janeckova – Peter Javorik – Lenka Klodova – Gabriela Kontra – Iveta Kratochvilova – Katerina Mala – Rita Marhaug – Stepanka Matuskova – Eva Meisnerrova – Osamu Okamura – Pipi Modra Puncocha – Jiri Pliestik – Jana Stepanova – Petra Valentova – Jirina Zachova – Jitka Zabkova  


In 1972, a group of young women artists organized in a residential district of LA with an exhibition simply entitled “Womanhouse.” 

This exhibition can be considered a key point for the feminist movement in the U.S. For one month, an old, abandoned house was filled with installations that commented on various aspects of women’s lives.

There could have been no better or no more authentic a place for such a project

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Rethinking Malevich, CUNY Graduate Center, New York, February, 2004 

In February of 2004, the New York based Malevich Society organized a two-day conference Rethinking Malevich, in celebration of the 125th anniversary of the birth of the Russian artist Kazimir Malevich.

The Elebash Recital Hall of the CUNY Graduate Center located in New York’s glamorous intersection of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street housed the event.

Two years ago members of the Malevich family established “The Malevich Society”, a private non-profit organization, with the mission to advance knowledge about the pioneer of modern art, Kazimir Malevich, and his work.

Tomas Glanc is professor of Russian literature and culture at Charles University in Prague. In 1998 – 2000, he prepared for Czech Television two hour-long documentaries mapping out the Russian underground art of the 1960s – 1990s: “Notes from the Underground” and “The Heroes of Our Time”.

The Patriarchal Cathedral "The Ascension of the Lord and Saint Andrew, the Apostle of the Romanians", a proposal that won the 2002 competition of the Ion Mincu Architecture and Urban Planning University (UAUIM), project chief Professor Lecturer Augustin Ioan, Ph.D.; collaborating in matters of architecture with assistant architect Viorica Popescu, architect Tudor Rebengiuc; collaborating in the drawing up of the design and of the mock-up with architect Andrei Nistor and students Radu Ursoiu, Iulian Ungureanu, Florin Barbu, and Valentina Niculescu.

On the Relation between Tradition and Post-modernism

In its turn, modernism celebrated archaic culture, bringing forward Mediterranean architecture, and the art of African tribes for their primitivism and “purity”.

Post-modernism, not only in its historicist variant, felt entitled to recoup most diverse prior epochs of architecture, - like socialist realism before it - by (over) using tradition.

Art and the indeterminacy of urban society

In civilisations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure, and the police take the place of pirates. - Michel Foucault

Consider the physical – and figurative - context within which a majority of our thoughts are taking place. The city is the place (physical or otherwise) from which most journeys emanate and are directed towards:

The model for the contemporary world. As large urban concentrations of developing countries expand in an abnormal fashion, new urban schemes are being established based on new lifestyles, and the economic and social systems and the different roles these occupy in the political and economic planetary systems. Architecture and urbanism are currently having difficulty in dealing with such complexity, since the objects and pertinence of such fields are rapidly changing.

Ales Erjavec, Ed. Postmodernism and the Postsocialist Condition: Politicized Art under Late Socialism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003. 

There is a world of difference between a collection of articles, loosely associated by some common themes, or, more frequently, the common interests of contributors, and a volume, in which every article is written as a chapter in accordance to a pre-conceived plan.

The former may include some brilliant pieces; the best articles may be xeroxed, quoted, distributed to students, but only a reviewer will read this volume as book looking for connections (probably non-existent) between the so-called “chapters”.

New Video, New Europe: A Survey of Eastern European Video, The Renaissance Society, Chicago, 11 January — 22 February 2004 

It is important to acknowledge the integral role video art has played in disrupting the institutional sanctity of the white cube. 

The traditional relationship between author, viewer, and subject gives way to spatial experiences that reconstitute the parameters of time and place.

Video has also problematized standard curatorial practices presenting a new set of challenges, particularly how to display video works neither as film nor static objects, but as moving images equally open to interpretation.

Public vs Private: Cultural Policies and Art Market in Central and South-Eastern Europe Conference, Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana, 4 February – 4 April, 2004

Within the framework of the second part of the Balkan Trilogy project, initiated in 2003 by Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel, the conference Public vs. Private: Cultural Policies and the Art Market in Central and South-eastern Europe in Ljubljana took place in early April. 

The second partner of the conference is the European network project republicart, which organizes a series of conferences and symposia that take place in 2004 in Vienna, Linz, Ljubljana, London, Lüneburg and Riga.

The concept of the conference was developped by Gregor Podnar and Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez within the organisation of the Ckuc Gallery and Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana.

Nataša Ilić (b. 1970) is a free-lance curator and critic based in Zagreb, Croatia. Ilić is a member of the independent curatorial collective "What, How & for Whom /WHW" and directs Galerija Nova in Zagreb. With René Block, she currently curates "Cetinje Biennial V," Montenegro (July-Sept 2004).

Vladimir Dvornikovic, an enthusiastic Yugoslav, imagined the Yugoslav supra-ethnic entity as a collective voice of the South Slavic "blood and race.”

Since publishing his monumental study on ethno-psychology entitled Characterology of the Yugoslavs in 1939, that marker of identity has disappeared twice: in 1941 as a consequence of invading Nazism, and in 1991 as a consequence of imploding Titoism.

Blood and race were once again tied to language as a distinguishing marker of ethnic particularity.

In his essay Musealization of the East, Boris Groys lucidly detects a basic problem in the attitude towards the visual arts of Eastern Europe (the former communist states).

He claims that it is not the excessive exoticism of East European art that would cause it not to be musealized in the West because things perceived as foreign and exotic are successfully included in the Western museum environment.

The reason it cannot be understood as art in the west lies in the formal and aesthetic similarity between Eastern “non-art” (the western perception) and Western “art”.

As an introduction to the present day situation in Croatia and its contemporary art, one artist’s project is particularly illuminating. Kristina Leko’s Milk 2002-03 puts the problem of standardisation processes in Europe into focus by pointing out the danger in the disappearance of local cultural diversity.


The case in question is that of the Zagreb Milkmaids, who for centuries have brought fresh homemade cheese and cream to the city markets, and have become one of the ‘trademarks of the city’, as it states in the Milkmaids’ Declaration.  

February 20, 2004 Reithalle Munich

During the "Days of Russian Culture," the Reithalle offered not only a broad variety of insights into the world of contemporary Russian theatre but also a little glimpse into recent Russian film productions. 

This is the first in a series of essays in which we will introduce new gallery ventures in East-Central Europe. We want to give young gallerists a chance to introduce their spaces and the economic and institutional challenges they face. acb contemporary art gallery in Budapest works on a commercial basis; its goal is to generate revenue by selling contemporary visual artworks. Information, resumes, documentation, and mission statement are available at www.acbgaleria.hu (Slide Show).

We, a group of young international art organizers living in Prague, the Czech Republic, over the last ten years, finally met each other in November 2002 and discovered that we all had the same dreams and goals in mind.

With dwindling public and state funding for the fine arts, the withdrawal of The Soros Center, and long established art spaces closing down from month to month, it was clear Prague was getting itself into a cultural crisis.

Privatisierungen, 16 May - 26 June 2004, Kunst-Werke, Berlin

In the course of the scientific project “The Post-Communist Condition,” which deals with cultural reactions to the political and social situation in Eastern Europe after the collapse of communism, the art and media theoretician Boris Groys launched an exhibition on contemporary art.

The exhibition, called “Privatisierungen. Zeitgenössische Kunst aus Osteuropa” (“Privatizations. Contemporary art from Eastern Europe”), was shown in the Berliner exhibition hall Kunst-Werke from 16th May until 26th June.

Oleg Aronson, Metakino. Moscow: Ad marginem, 2003.

Cinéma-1: L’image-mouvement (1983) and Cinéma-2: L’image-temps (1985), Gilles Deleuze’s two famous books on the cinema, are hallmarks in the history of film-theory: they display a shift of interest from thinking about the peculiarities of the medium to a much wider context.

For Deleuze, the main authors-directors of the history of the cinema do not think in notions, but in pictures. His writings on the cinema bestowed philosophical dignity on the field. That film-theory has gained a better reputation in institutions of education and culture all over the world during the last two or three decades is certainly not the merit of Deleuze alone, but his philosophical approach to the cinema had undoubtedly a share in this process.

MEDITERRANEANS, Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome at Mattatoio, Rome. 4 June - 19 September 2004.

With “MEDITERRANEANS,” the Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome (MACRO) initiated a huge exhibitive project that involved ten curators and about forty-five artists. The theme of the project is “Mediterranean,” or more precisely, the observation and re-definition of this incredibly complex area that in the last years has seen profound political, economical, social, and cultural transformations.

The team of the curators involved - Zdenka Badivinec (Slovenia), Ami Barak (France), Dobrila Denegri (Serbia/Montenegro), Katerina Gregos (Grece), Mai Abu ElDahab (Egypt), Vasif Kortun (Turkey), Gianfranco Maraniello (Italy), David G. Torres (Spain), Sarit Shapira (Israel), and Jalal Tuffic (Lebanon) – believed that the Mediterranean needs to be considered as a sum of a number of sub-units which challenge or contest a-priori unifying ideas.

Futura (Projekt Room), Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague, April 4 - April 25, 2004

The recent work of the young Czech artist Daniel Pitín paradoxically re-establishes classical paintings as an important channel for contemporary media art. His painted scenes of the Hitchcock classic “The Birds” act as a critique and a celebration of the movie image and of electronic media.

The visual innovation that is often the focus of the new media art suddenly succumbs to the intricacies of a dialogue between the canvas and the film, between an old and a new medium.

About a year ago when Emil Hrvatin and I proposed a performance project addressing collectivity, I couldn’t anticipate the resistance and confusion the term alone would bring.

A dozen responses from programmers, critics, and theorists from the experimental field of European dance and performance, whom we asked for a critical reflection on the project proposal, resonated in a consensus of questions:  

“Aren’t you aware of how ideologised and outmoded the term is? Do you mean collectivity as a modus operandi or as a topic of research? In other words, are you working collectively or on collectivity? We would be happier if you substituted “collectivity” with a term more suitable to contemporary practices - collaboration, namely - as collaboration involves a space of negotiation of individual differences.”