Monthly Archive: March 2003

Double – Take

Marek Ther at Galerie Eskort in Brno (Galerie Eskort, Orli 5, Brno, Czech Republic, 10 January – 25 February 2003)

Using an alias still has its advantages and disadvantages in the arts. It can assist in avoiding or emphasizing a direct personal affiliation with the artwork, while generating intrigue and mystery about the artist in question. It is also a means of rejecting a certain kind of sick stardom and success associated with the art world.

Yet despite the many assets, there is always an air of deceit that goes hand-in-hand with the use of an alias-along with questionable guile … Read more

Art in the Post-Post Soviet Space

Ekaterina Dyogot is an independent curator and art critic who lives and works in Moscow. She is the author of numerous essays and books on 20th-century art. Most recently, Dyogot has published a study of the Russian Avantgarde. She is currently co-curating the upcoming show Berlin-Moscow (Berlin, 2003).

Sven Spieker: I’d like to ask you first of all about her impressions about one of the most important exhibitions currently on show in Germany, Manifesta. What were your impressions of this exhibition?

Ekaterina Dyogot: It is difficult this year not to compare Manifesta to Documenta, or the other way around, – … Read more

Attention! Siberia! Dispatch from Novosibirsk

Artists in Novosibirsk, as those throughout the world, are separated into various groups and factions. Even during the period of Soviet totalitarianism, when the ideals of equality were strictly enforced, artists were separated into two groups: members of the Union of Artists of the USSR (now the Russian Federation) and non-members, more commonly referred to as “amateur artists.”

In today’s society, artists of Novosibirsk are more frequently separated into groups through individual characteristics such as talent, productive nature, style, and business principles.

Most artists of Novosibirsk work within traditional fields of art that are relevant to Russian culture, such … Read more

Bucharest: The Not-Yet-Istanbul and the Would-Be-Sarajevo (Radical Reconstruction as Anti-Nostalgia)

We are searching for models of reconstruction. Analogies, allegories, utopias. Bucharest continues to wallow, vandalized, in a state of severe waste, which the city itself cannot overpass. Just as it cannot expect real help from those who caused it to implode.

Among these benefactors, the “political class” that emerged after 1989 and the architects who served it are the most to blame. The former underwent a superficial reshuffling: they either started to do business or simply dropped the inverted comas, only to exchange them for different, equally pejorative ones.

The latter, too, put on some make-up: those who actually

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On the Various Trappings of Daniel Spoerri

Only an artist can truly abhor art, and Daniel Spoerri’s generation had many who did, including the Romanian-born creator of the “picture-traps” himself.

Spoerri created the first “tableau-piège” in 1960, The Resting Place of the Delbeck Family, by gluing a number of dinner-table objects on a board and then hanging it on a wall.

More often than not, the surface of the picture-traps is a tabletop and the objects glued are the remnants of a meal: dishes, utensils, food remains, etc. Sometimes one even finds both table and chair attached to the wall.

The selection of the

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Alexander Savko

Alexander Savko, “Meadow”. Galerie Paula Böttcher Berlin – November 29, 2002 until March 1, 2003

There are no big hugs in the images of this exhibition, and even though the show is titled ‘Heile, heile Welt’ (‘Ideal, ideal world’ – whereby ‘heile, heile’ is also a quote from a popular children’s song, which means ‘get better’) there is hardly a resemblance to the Teletubbyland that is the habitat of the colourful little creatures in the children’s programme.

“Tinky Winky is purple and the biggest Teletubby. His favorite thing is his special red bag. Tinky Winky loves walking, marching, dancing and … Read more

East of Art: Transformations in Eastern Europe: “On (Un-) Changing Canons and Extreme Avantgardes”

Europe is now building a kind of wall which functions as a united police force to cordon off Europe. There are, for example, some plans for a literal wall between the United States and Mexico, some kind of electronic wall.

So, there was this dream period where freedom was universal globalism. Now, walls are again popping up, which is why maybe such exhibitions can have such meaning.

So, I would like now, nonetheless, to say some small things in the praise of this poor, real socialism. The first one, I just have to refer here just a little bit to

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East of Art: Transformations in Eastern Europe: “Changing the Context: The Polish Experience”

I’m taking part in this panel as an artist – a practitioner participating in certain events, and not as a philosopher, a curator or an art critic, whose standpoint is characterized, among others, by objective judgment.

I will, for the most part, talk about events in which I participated myself, and things which I remember, some of which may be subjective. For this reason I will concentrate mostly on the situation in Poland, because that is where I studied, worked and, above all, where I mainly showed my work for the first few years – and not on the “Central

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East of Art: Transformations in Eastern Europe: “The Complicity of Oblivion”

Anyone wishing to speak about present day Eastern European art has no choice but to once again take sides on the inevitable question: Can this art be said to possess a distinctive character?

And if so, what precisely constitutes, in other words, its particularity (or singularity)? Whether and in what manner does contemporary Eastern European art differ from its Western counterpart? It’s really an important question: what is specifically Russian about Russian art? What is specifically Eastern European about Eastern European art?

I would like to start by clearly stating that I do believe one may, and should, speak about

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East of Art: Transformations in Eastern Europe: “What Comes After the Wall?”

My presentation is entitled “11/9, or Wrestling with Context.” The date 11/9 is not a mistake and I am not going to talk about 9/11 in New York, but rather about November 11, 1989, the date when the Berlin Wall fell.

In my 15 minutes, I would like to present an abbreviated version of the four best years of my professional life. Namely, in 1997, David Elliott, who was then the Director of the Moderna Museet (Museum of Modern Art) in Stockholm, invited me to be Chief Curator of the project “After the Wall – Art and Culture in post-Communist

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East of Art: Transformations in Eastern Europe. Lectures.


Introductory remarks by Glenn Lowry, Director of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)

Laura Hoptman

Tomas Pospyszl

Roger L. Conover

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The recently published book, Primary Documents, A Sourcebook for Eastern and Central European Art Since the 1950s, took several years to complete. The original idea came from Laura Hoptman, at that time a curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Primary Documents became the first title in a series of books prepared by MoMA´s International Program. The main intention of this and forthcoming anthologies is to provide English speaking audiences with … Read more