Monthly Archive: April 2002

Displacement and Identity: Arnold Daghani

The following essay is part of a series devoted to contemporary art and architecture East-Central Europe. It was first delivered as a paper at a conference held at MIT in October, 2001.

What was the experience of an aspiring Modernist artist in Romania in the late 1940s and 1950s? Arnold Daghani (1909-1985) may be a case in point.(This paper represents early research for a project now funded by the Leverhulme Trust, to run from 2001-4 at the University of Sussex, where a large collection of around 6,000 artworks and other documentation by Daghani is held in the Arnold

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Comics and Temple: “Here” and “There” in Contemporary Bulgarian Art

I suppose the organizers of the conference “Is There Anything In Common Between Here and There In Contemporary Art?” meant by the title a geographical and national correlation, a juxtaposition on the horizontal line of real space.

However, such deictics as here and there do not define space unambiguously. Rather, their definition depends on the speaker’s situation in space, as well as on his or her will. The otherness, promised both by the conference title and the exhibition title, “Ars ex Natio: Made in Bulgaria,” is related to some territorial or social aspects defined by nationality.

The wrong wording of

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Who’s Afraid of a New Paradigm? The “Old” Art Criticism of the East versus the “New” Critical Theory of the West

Let me begin by promptly apologizing for the apparent arrogance of the subtitle, which, following an old pattern, considers the divisions inherent in Western culture more prominent in the hierarchy of geopolitical divisions and, thus, as more unequivocal than the division between the occidental and oriental cultures.

In this usage, the West stands for Western Europe and the United States, while the East is synonymous with the countries of the former Eastern Bloc; that is, the European post-Socialist countries.

At the beginning of the nineties, in the aftermath of political changes, the world’s attention was focused for a short while

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The Conference “East-European Art and Architecture in the 20th Century” (MIT, 5-6 October, 2001)

The conference “East-European Art and Architecture in the 20th century” (MIT, 5-6 October, 2001)

Juliana Maxim and Mark Jarzombek (Boston)

The “East-European Art and Architecture in the 20th century” conference was held at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology on 5 and 6 October 2001. It was chaired by Prof. Mark Jarzombek and Juliana Maxim, and was hosted by History Theory Criticism (HTC), MIT’s Ph.D. program in the history of architecture and art.

The conference brought together scholars, both young and old, for two days of talks and seminar-style meetings. The keynote speaker was Steven A. Mansbach, who has published extensively … Read more

Performatism, or What Comes After Postmodernism. New Architecture in Berlin

Let’s start with a short test. First, take the four or five criteria most widely used to define postmodernism. Most people would agree that these include things like the disappearance of the subject, the displacement of the real and authentic by the virtual, an ironic metaposition regarding the world and its workings, and an extreme skepticism regarding all metaphysical schemes.

You might want to delete some of these points, fine-tune them, or maybe even add more. However, being a reasonably literate person living in the year 2002 A.D., you should have no trouble coming up with a good working notion

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The Imagery of Power: Bucharest’s City Hall

The following essay is part of a series devoted to contemporary art and architecture East-Central Europe. It was first delivered as a paper at a conference held at MIT in October, 2001.

In the history of Romanian modern architecture there are few themes that may be followed from its evolution, beginning with its dawn at the end of nineteenth century and ending with the rupture brought upon it by the installment of the communist regime after World War II.

One of the most relevant themes, though, concerns the desire to build a city hall in Bucharest, the capital of the

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