Monthly Archive: January 2003

Maria Vasilieva of Manifesta 4

Maria Vassileva worked on the team that organized last year’s Manifesta 4 in Frankfurt/M.. She was born in 1961 in Sofia, Bulgaria. She graduated in art history from the Art Academy, Sofia in 1984. Vassileva specialised at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1998) and at the Institute of the History of Art at the University in Rochester, the USA (1999). She is a founding member of the Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofiam, and Chief Curator at the Sofia Art Gallery. She currently teaches the History of Contemporary Art at the Art Academy in Sofia, and since 1998 … Read more

Central Europe in the Face of Unification

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. 

When speaking about European unification, or the incorporation of Central Europe into the EU structures after 1989, we should focus on Central European exhibitions held in the West after the Fall of Nation in 1989. The answer to the question “what was the core of the (Western) interest in newly discovered lands in the East” is very simple: there were political reasons so obvious that they are not … Read more

Sculptural TranscenDENTALism On Sculpture and Installation in Anselmo Fox’s Art

Anselmo Fox was born in 1964 in the Italian part of Switzerland (Mendrisio, Tessin). He studied in Luzern, in Basel, and in Berlin, where he has lived since 1994. His central artistic concern is sculpture, a genre which he treats in a wide medial spectrum, ranging from bronze to plaster, wax to chewing gum, photography to animated cartoon and video. Fox uses material appropriate to the form and space of his investigations, and he has thus processed a considerable amountof the amalgam alginat / alg-material usually used by dentists for teeth imprints. The oral cavity may be considered one of … Read more

The Other Europe

Dragan Kujundzic ed.: The Other Europe and the Translation of National Identity. Social Identities. vol. 7 No. 4 (December 2001)

The name of that alterity is “Europe”. Why is Europe a cargo? And what is exactly so precious about Europe? Why does writing a critique of Europe – a project of translating national identities – amount to protection and betrayal, not protection or betrayal?

The Other Europe as the writers in the collection invoke it is tinted both by a Benjaminian melancholy and by a spirit of experimentation. On the one hand, modern and contemporary European histories are rediscovered, and … Read more

“Young Flesh (Mlady Maso)”: Czech Students Bare It All

Mlady Maso at the Golden Ring House in the Ungelt, Prague 3.7 – 22.9. 2002

Over the last decade Czech art institutions seem to have developed a pre-occupation with discovering emerging Czech artists’ work. In an attempt to both escape the past and catch up with the rest of the Western art world, curators desperately seek out the latest of what the very youngest generation has to offer.

This consistent curatorial tactic apparently tries to convey that these mobile phone wielding, new-world-order, frustrated youths are somehow miraculously untouched by the former political system, and are in fact representatives of what … Read more

“Heroes of Labor”

Festival Helden der Arbeit, September 7 – October 7, 2002. Berlin (various locations)

This voyage to Berlin was part of an ongoing investigation based around a certain recycling of space and how deserted spaces or sites in the urban landscape can be appropriated and reused. In this case, through artistic and cultural intervention.

Oberschoneweide in south east Berlin presented such processes in September/October 2002 through the art festival “Helden der Arbeit” as it opened up various factory buildings within its declining industrial district to visiting artists and, in turn, the show’s visitors.

Oberschoneweide is way off of Berlin’s beaten tourist … Read more

How Do We Remember the Past?

How Do We Remember the Past? Czechoslovak Socialist Realism, 1948 – 1958. Rudolfinum Gallery, Prague, November 7, 2002 – February 9, 2003

November 7 still carries some unpleasant connotations for all those who lived in the countries of the former East Bloc before 1989. On November 7, we used to celebrate the anniversary of the Great October Revolution; it was a date that – with many others – reminded us of a bitter reality, that the country in which we lived was occupied by the Soviet Army, and that freedom of speech was far beyond our reach.

Symbolically, on November … Read more

Kabakov Online: Russian Art

Ever wondered what the web yields when you type your name into Google? Some of us may be pleasantly surprised by the number of pages found, only to be dismayed by seeing the actual content.

This reviewer, although not exactly passive in terms of online activity, has been outranked by several eponymous persons: among these goldsmith, a Conservative city counselor, and an artist biker. (By the way: If you want to find out whether you rank better than your friend / colleague / worst enemy, is the site for you.)

However, if you type the … Read more