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Special Issue: Art and the Environment in East-Central Europe Introduction Print E-mail
Articles
Written by Janeil Engelstad   
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 00:00

Oto Hudec, “If I Had a River,” 2012, mixed media, installation view. Image courtesy of the artist.Art and the Environment in East-Central Europe is an editorial project born from interviews and other forms of interaction with artists and cultural producers concerned, in one way or another, with the idea and the material reality of what goes by the name of the "natural environment." In the different pieces collected within this project, the term "environment" unfolds into a broad variety of concepts and artistic practices that do not, and should not, become homogenized. A survey rather than a deep investigation, Art and the Environment in East-Central Europe covers a wide range of art and ideas connected to ecology, sustainability and the nexus between environment, art, and political action, from the perspective of the following participants: Barbara Benish, Nina Czegledy, Maja and Reuben Fowkes, Oto Hudec, Tamás Kaszás, Attila Nemes, Marjetica Potrč, Rudolf Sikora, Matej Vakula, Kasia Worpus-Wrońska, and Jana Želibská. The project, which stretches across ARTMargins print journal (#3.2. 2014) and ARTMargins Online, investigates pronounced, and so far largely unnoticed, environmental accents within nonofficial art practices in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc, including escapism, redefinitions of public space, permaculture and romantic views of the natural world.

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Performative Approaches to Identity in Contemporary Roma Art Print E-mail
Articles
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. 

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Open Letter from the Art Workers’ Self-Defense Initiative to the Ukrainian and International Art Community Print E-mail
Articles
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.

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SubREAL During the 1990s: Ironic Monuments, Tainted Blood, and Vampiric Realism in a Time of Transition Print E-mail
Articles
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.

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New In ARTMargins Print

ARTMargins Print has released its new issue, 3.2. (June 2014)!

ArticlesJoan Kee (Ann Arbor) considers the problem of scale in contemporary art practice. Carla Macchiavello (Bogotá) discusses the problem of influence in Latin American art during the 1970s and 1980s. Ruben and Maja Fowkes (Budapest) examine East European artists' approaches to the natural environment during the 1970s and beyond.

In the Document section, we present two pre-revolution Iranian manifestos of modern art (introduction/translation: Bavand Behpoor).

Artist ProjectShady El Noshokaty (Cairo), Rat Diaries, a series of drawings that attempts to map the intensity of everyday life in Egypt intertwined with intuitive visual and verbal comments on art practice.

Review Article: Monica Amor (Baltimore) discusses the exhibition Cold America: Geometric Abstraction in Latin America (1934-1973) and Alejandro Crispiani's book Objetos para transformar el mundo: Trayectorias del arte concreto-invención, Argentina y Chile, 1940-1970 [Objects to Transform the World: Trajectories of Concrete-Invention Art, Argentina and Chile, 1940-1970]. 

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

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ARTMARGINS (print journal)

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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Founded in 1999, ARTMargins Online publishes material devoted to contemporary art, with a special focus on East-Central Europe.