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Performative Approaches to Identity in Contemporary Roma Art Print E-mail
Written by Maria-Alina Asavei (Budapest)   
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 00:00

Jenő André Raatzsch, “Manifesto for the Occasion of Roma Artists Arrival to Hungary,” mixed-media installation, 2010. Photo by and courtesy of Maria-Alina Asavei.At the 2007 Venice Biennale, and for the first time in the history of the event, art works produced by Romani artists were displayed in the Roma Pavilion. The exhibition for the first Roma Pavilion, entitled Paradise Lost, was curated by cultural activist and art historian Timea Junghaus. Contemporary artists of Roma descent had the chance to engage artistically and politically with their own identity concerns. Junghaus clearly states in the exhibition catalogue: "a new generation of Roma intellectuals and artists is emerging; along with a new Roma consciousness...The Roma Pavilion at the Venice Biennale will be the first, internationally significant step toward assuring that Roma Contemporary Art finds the audience it deserves."(Timea Junghaus, Paradise Lost. The First Roma Pavilion at The Biennale di Venezia 2007. Timea Junghaus and Katalin Szekely (Munich-Berlin-London-New York: Prestel Verlang, 2007).)

This event established a remarkable and unprecedented paradigm shift: previously (and with few exceptions) Roma art had largely been exhibited only in ethnographic museums or community cultural centers. This institutional segregation secluded Roma art to areas of "outsider art," "folk art" and "naïve art," diminishing its chance to participate in contemporary art discourse. 

Open Letter from the Art Workers’ Self-Defense Initiative to the Ukrainian and International Art Community Print E-mail
Written by Art Workers' Self-Defense Initiative   
Monday, 05 August 2013 11:45

Protesters mark the site of Volodymyr Kuznetsov's destroyed work "Koliivshchyna: Judgment Day" at the opening of the exhibition Great and Grand at Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kyiv, July 26. Photo by TanzLaboratorium. Image courtesy of the author.We are calling for a boycott of Mystetskyi Arsenal and all of its affiliate organizations in response to the situation surrounding the exhibition Great and Grand, which became part of the celebration of the 1025th anniversary of the baptism of Kyivan Rus (July 26-28, 2013).

By organizing this exhibition, Mystetskyi Arsenal revealed itself to be an ideologized, pro-regime institution, as well as an instrument for imitating cultural processes. Such activity does not correspond to the challenges of today's world and thus does not create space for contemporary art.

SubREAL During the 1990s: Ironic Monuments, Tainted Blood, and Vampiric Realism in a Time of Transition Print E-mail
Written by Sven Spieker (Los Angeles)   
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 00:00

subREAL. "Erzebeth (Draculaland 4)," 1993, installation detail: aquarium containing a 0,5 l perfusion bottle with human blood. Sala Dalles, Bucharest. Image courtesy of subREAL. During the 1990s the subREAL group – the first of its kind from Romania to operate in an international context after 1989 – investigated the culture of late-communist Romania and the subsequent period of (post-1989) transition, with its turn to a more or less unbridled form of liberal capitalism and the establishment of democratic institutions that continued to be dominated by the old elites. In their work with photography, film, installation, and performance subREAL explored the travesties and myths of the period of transition and its ramifications for artists working in Romania at the time. Among the themes the group addressed were the traditional clichés and myths about Romania whose prominence seemed to only grow (atavistically) after 1989; the canonical legacy of high modernism; the increasing marketability of art from Eastern Europe, including Romania, on the global art market; the fetishization of the (vanished) "Other" of Communism; and the problem of independent artistic expression in a post-1989 world dominated by intensified consumerism and special economic and political interests.

Jan Tichy: Light Source Print E-mail
Written by Susan Snodgrass (Chicago)   
Saturday, 12 January 2013 12:18

Jan Tichy, Polaroids (Warhol), (2012). Single-channel HD video. Running time: 20 minutes. Image courtesy of the artist and the MoCP.Jan Tichy (Czech, b. 1974) is a Chicago-based artist who works at the intersection of multiple media. Central to his practice is the use of video projection as a time-based source of light as well as modernist photographic histories that serve as both formal inspiration and conceptual lens for exploring contemporary sites. His recent project 1979:1-2012:21: Jan Tichy Works with the MoCP Collection was on view at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, October 12- December 23, 2012 (

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New In ARTMargins Print

ARTMargins Print  has released its new issue, 3.1. (February 2014)!

ArticlesRos Gray (London) considers two art works made in recent years in Angola: the exhibition Lion & Ox, which featured art works by António Ole and Art Orienté objet, and the installation Icarus 13 by Kiluanji Kia Henda ("A Lingering Lusotopia: Thinking the Planetary from Angola"). María Amalia García writes about past disputes between Argentina and Brazil over hegemony in the region and proposes a new approach to Brazilian cultural intervention in Paraguay ("Hegemonies and Models of Cultural Modernization in South America: The Paraguay-Brazil Case"). Focusing on Artur Barrio, Jacques Coursil, and Damián Ortega, Fernanda Negrete discusses the plastic arts' non-dialectical engagement with materiality ("Chaos-monde and the Aesthetics of Depth in Artur Barrio, Jacques Coursil, and Damián Ortega").

In the Document section, we present a stenogram of an artists' meeting that took place in 1951 in Kishinev (as the capital of today's Republic of Moldova was called in those days). The text discloses some of the major issues and challenges faced by the members of this artist organization during the late Stalinist era. (Introduction: Octavian Esanu)

Artist ProjectAzin Feizabadi, "Chronicles from Majnun until Layla."

Review Article: Huw Hallam, "Confronting Globalization." This article reviews Pamela M. Lee's Forgetting the Art World (2012) and TJ Demos's Return to the Postcolony (2013). 

Click here for more information at the MIT Press ARTMargins site.

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Letter to the editor regarding Professor Caroline A. Jones's article "Anthropophagy in São Paulo's Cold War", published in ARTMargins,  2:1 and the author's response.

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ARTMargins publishes scholarly articles and essays about contemporary art, politics, media, architecture, and critical theory. ARTMargins studies art practices and visual culture in the emerging global margins, from North Africa and the Middle East to the Americas, Eastern and Western Europe, Asia and Australasia.

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