Monthly Archive: February 2001

Amazons of the Avant-Garde: Alexandra Exter, Natalia Goncharova, Liubov Popova, Olga Rozanova, Varvara Stepanova, and Nadezhda Udaltsov

Curated by John E. Bowlt, Matthew Drutt, and Zelfira Tregulova. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, September 14, 2000 – January 10, 2001

On January 11th 1927, after visiting the Moscow Museum of Painting and encountering its collection of works of the Russian avant-garde, Walter Benjamin wrote in his diary: “Their stuff is worthless. Just like most of the things hanging in the three rooms, they seem to be massively influenced by Parisian and Berlin painting of the same period which they copy without skill”. But did they merely copy? The legacy and innovations of early 20th century European avant-garde … Read more

The Body in the Sphere of Literacy: Bakhtin, Artaud and Post-Soviet Performance Art

In Mikhail Bakhtin’s critical work Rabelais and His World (1940/65), one finds an extensive vocabulary taken from theatrical practice: drama, dialog/monologue, performance. This has no explicit conceptual relevance – Bakhtin never intended to create a theory of theater or drama. The references to theater appear to be mainly a strategy of reading, a result of Bakhtin’s notorious attempt to overcome the dead abstraction of textuality by imagining scenes from concrete life. In this context, we can talk of the implicit Bakhtinian conception of theatrical representation.

Bakhtin’s struggle against the abstraction of literature creates a strong structural analogy to Antonin Artaud’s

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“Metelkova” and Other Projects in Ljubljana: Actions in Zones of Indifference

Until 1991, the army barracks of the former Yugoslav army were located in Metelkova Street in the city of Ljubljana, Slovenia. However, after the Yugoslav army had been obliged to leave Slovenia in 1991, the City Council of Ljubljana was asked to let the abandoned military complex to the city’s various independent art and culture organisations.(Marina Grzinic, A City of Strong Underground Activities in the Past. From: 18 artists, 18 cities.) While officially granting the public request, the City Council secretly planned to tear down the barracks and put a commercial business center in their place. Therefore, … Read more