Monthly Archive: November 2002

Sites in Motion. Prague To Bucharest: Alternative Theater Initiatives in Eastern Europe

LONDON- FRANKFURT- BUCHAREST On this long haul over the land coach voyage where miles are devoured in darkness and discomfort, time has no relevance now measured in neon petrol station stops, highway tollgates, and border crossings. Changing coaches in Frankfurt brings a change of pace-now slow and erratic with contrasting intensified excitement.

Final destination: Romania and a meeting with Nona Ciobanu—Theatre director and director of TOACA cultural foundation in Bucharest.

Now accompanied by a new congregation of Romanians returning to the homeland, the bus promptly breaks down. There is a general acceptance of this fact; an acceptance to be the … Read more

A Charming Impasse: Czech Cubist Architecture

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.

Originally, I developed my reading of Czech Cubist architecture within the framework of a more extensive project dealing with the phenomenon of the “border” in art. The ambivalent nature of the “border”, in addition to its obvious function of separation, inherently implies its own transgression, a certain amount of permeability, the existence of a boundary, and an “in-between” zone. Czech Cubism, a rather bizarre episode in the history … Read more

Russian Art, Western Style: ARTMargins Talks to Kathrin Becker

Kathrin Becker (1965) is an art historian, curator and critic based in Berlin. She realized alongside exhibitions and publications on contemporary Russian arts (“Self-Identication. Positions in St Peterburg Art from 1970 untill today”, “Flight, Departure, Disappearance. Moscow Conceptual Art”; “New Moscow. Contemporary Art From St. Petersburg and Moscow”) and Soviet Socialist Realism (“Stalin´s Choice. Soviet Socialist Realism Under Stalin”), exhibition projects such as “The Institute of Theore(c)tical Painting”, “Landschaft mit dem Blick der 90er Jahre”, “pop mix/volume one” & “pop mix/vol. II”, “art club berlin”, “Last House on the Left”, “Can you hear me? 2nd Ars Baltica Triennial of Photographic Read more

Concrete Utopias

Angel Angelov. Konkretni utopii. Proektite na Kristo (Concrete Utopias. The Projections of Christo). 119 pages, Sofia (Bulgaria): Open Society 1997.  

As evident from the title, in his book Angel Angelov argues that many of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s projects, along with the events surrounding them, constitute concrete utopias. The aesthetic discourse defining such utopias is intended not to criticize and reject the existing social reality, but to affirm it in alternative ways. In this way the aesthetic fulfills its utopian function of being an alternative of the social status quo. Not the artists alone, but whole segments of … Read more