Monthly Archive: May 2010

Do We Need Archive Film Festivals? (Film Review Article)

The 14th Gosfil’mofond Festival, Belye Stolby, Russia, February 1-6, 2010

South of Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport lies the microraion Belye Stolby [White Pillars], home to Gosfil’mofond, the State Film Fund. It is housed in a tall, red building. An eye-catching circle crowns the façade, cutting a hole in the steel blue sky, and reminding me of film reels, or perhaps the shiny metal canisters in which films are stored. It is February. Black and white birches (another meaning of Belye Stolby) protrude from the deep snow. This is the Russian Homeland for Old Films–specifically, for prints which have been “retired” from … Read more

Gender Check at the Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna (Exhib. Review)

Gender Check. Femininity and Masculinity in the Art of Eastern Europe, Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, November 13, 2009 – February 14, 2010; Zach?ta, Warsaw, March 19, 2010 – June 13, 2010

Although the End of History thesis proposed by Francis Fukuyama was repeatedly and convincingly disavowed, the year 1989 nevertheless marked an end of an era in a multitude of ways. One of the issues that appeared from the changed political and intellectual situation in Europe was the need to juxtapose Western and Eastern narratives of art history. Although benefiting from the perspective of hindsight, contemporary art historical discourses don’t … Read more

Dušan Makavejev—Free Radical. Eclipse series 18. The Criterion Collection, 2010. (DVD Review)

?ovek nije tica [Man Is Not a Bird], 1965. Written and directed by Dušan Makavejev, and produced by Dušan Perkovi?, 78 minutes, Black and White, 1.66:1, Serbo-Croatian.

Ljubavni slu?aj ili tragedija službenice PTT [Love Affair, or The Case Of the Missing Switchboard Operator], 1967. Writen and directed by Dušan Makavejev, and produced by Aleksander Krsti?, 68 minutes, Black and White, 1.66:1, Serbo-Croatian.

Nevinost bez zaštite [Innocence Unprotected], 1968. Written and directed by Dušan Makavejev, and produced by Bosko Savi?, 75 minutes, Black and White, Color, 1.33:1, Serbo-Croatian.

Criterion’s Eclipse series is a selection of … Read more

The Artist is Present: Marina Abramović at MoMA (Review Article)


If in the early stages of her career Marina Abramović’s work gained much of its magnetic allure from its spontaneity and ephemerality, in recent years the artist has shown a heightened interest in the problem of how performance art – whose essential medium is time – can be preserved. Recognizing the calamity, the artist recently established the Marina Abramović Institute for the Preservation of Performance Art in Hudson, N.Y., near where she has a home (the Institute is scheduled to open in 2012). The … Read more

Performatism in Contemporary Photography: Alina Kisina (Series “New Critical Approaches”) (Article)

Most people in the art world by now have some sort of intuitive understanding that postmodernism is being replaced by something new, but few have tried to define what that “newness” is in a binding way.  One of the few recent attempts of this kind was made by Nicolas Bourriaud while curating an exhibition called Altermodernism at the Tate Triennial in early 2009. Bourriaud suggests that the new post-postmodern art is the “positive experience of disorientation through an art-form exploring all dimensions of the present, tracing lines in all directions of time and space.” In his view, the artists involved … Read more

The Stalin Era in Secondary Processing (Film Review Article)

Petya on the Road to the Kingdom of Heaven, 2009, produced by Fedor Popov, directed by Nikolay Dostal, 2009, written by Mikhail Kuraev, 97 min.

Since the glasnost years the Stalin era has become a popular topic in Russian cinema, and has also helped to draw attention to Russian film abroad. At the last Moscow Film Festival (2009), the Grand-Prix was once again conferred on a picture about the Stalin era, Nikolai Dostal’s Petya on the Road to the Kingdom of Heaven [Petya po doroge v Tsarstvie Nebesnoe]. However, unlike Dmitry Meskhiev’s Us [Svoi] (2004), which was distinguished … Read more

Gaspard of the Night at the Center for Contemporary Art Futura, Prague (Exhib. Review)

Gaspard of the Night, The Center for Contemporary Art Futura, Prague. March 2, 2010-May 9, 2010.

What characterizes art in the 21st century? What is the role of meaning in art and what function does fantasy play in the current post-conceptual approach towards art? According to Václav Magid, curator of the Gaspard of the Night exhibition currently showing at the Center for Contemporary Art Futura in Prague, the past two decades have emphasized rationality, resulting in an overly descriptive tendency in contemporary art.  To resist this phenomenon, Magid applies two seemingly contradicting concepts/principles: the gothic and the grotesque. The grotesque … Read more

Gender and Transgression in Visual Cultures (Book Review)

Gender i transgressiya v vizualnykh iskusstvakh [Gender and Transgression in VisualCultures]. Almira Ustanova, Editor. Vilnius: European Humanities University, 2007. 217 pp.

This collection of essays, the second in a series entitled Visual and Cultural Explorations (Vizualnye i kulturnye issledovanie), is the product of a conference held at the European Humanities University in Vilnius during April 2003. The forum gathered scholars from Belarus, Lithuania, and England to theorize the terra incognita left uncovered in Russian language scholarly publications on gender representations in visual culture. In particular these authors, according to the introduction by Almira Ousmanova, set out to … Read more

Markéta Othová (Online Gallery)


ARTMargins is pleased to show a series of recent photographs by Markéta Othová. Othová studied at the University of Applied Arts in Prague. She has worked with photography since the early 1990s and lives and works in Prague. Her work reflects the strong Czech tradition of avant-garde photography, yet she does not follow that tradition blindly. Othová’s photographs are usually black and white, large-scale, and informed by a strong emphasis on structuralrelationships. This emphasis on relational structure contrasts with the seemingly casual subject matter of her photographs – interiors, … Read more

50% Grey: Contemporary Czech Photography Reconsidered at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago (Exhib. Review)

50% Grey: Contemporary Czech Photography Reconsidered, Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, Chicago, January 29, 2010—March 28, 2010.

In 1999, ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Piotr Piotrowski described the former East as “the grey zone of Europe.” “There is no doubt that the historico-geographical coordinates of Central Europe are in a state of flux,” he writes, “that we are experiencing both historical and geographical transformation, that we are between two different times, between two different spatial shapes.”(Piotr Piotrowski, “The Grey Zone of Europe,” After the Wall: Art and Culture in Post-Communist Europe (Stockholm: Moderna Read more