Monthly Archive: December 2010

Piotr Piotrowski About His Resignation from the Polish National Museum

Recently the Director of the Polish National Museum in Warsaw, Piotr Piotrowski, resigned after the museum’s Board of Trustees rejected his ideas for the further development of the museum. The Board of Trustees had offered Piotrowski the position only two years earlier on the basis of what Piotrowski called his project for “a critical museum.” Some local observers think that the Board of Trustee’s rejection of Piotrowski’s plan was related to his controversial exhibition ’Ars Homoerotica‘; others believe he had to resign because the museum staff couldn’t accept his development strategy.

The interview podcast here was recorded … Read more

“ЯКЩО / ЕСЛИ / IF”, PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art (Exhib. Review)

“???? / ???? / IF”, PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art, May 21 – July 10, 2010

The presentation of Ukrainian contemporary art in the exhibition ???? / ???? / IF at the PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art in Russia–the first such comprehensive display outside of Ukraine’s borders–appeared to be a political act. The initiative of the Moscow-based curator, Ekaterina Degot, raised immediate suspicions. How will a Russian curator, essentiallyan outsider, approach the task of showcasing Ukrainian art in her native country? How will the exhibition address the long and complicated shared history of the two neighboring countries? What are the … Read more

Snapshot: Erika Deák Gallery, Budapest (Article)

The Erika Deák gallery was founded in 1998. Before this, Erika Deák lived in the United States for almost a decade. She graduated from Temple University, Philadelphia, and was working in several art galleries in New York City, while writing for different art magazines.

After moving back to Budapest in 1998 she opened her gallery in a small apartment on the third floor of a residential building in Buda. It was one of the first commercial galleries in Budapest. The first exhibit was a collaboration with the Ludwig Museum, Budapest. While the museum exhibited the large-scale installation works of Spanish … Read more

Shifting Perspectives on Curatorship (Article)


A filmmaker, visual media artist, writer, teacher, curator and co-editor of ARTMargins, Allan Siegel has been involved in the experimental film movement and is one of the founding members of the documentary film collective Newsreel. He has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, has exhibited work in New York, Chicago, London, Montreal, Pécs and Budapest, and is currently a lecturer in the Intermedia Department at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts.

In Hungary, prior to the political changes of 1989 (and then still for a good number of years afterwards) the practical opportunities for … Read more

Aesthetics and Politics: Critical Art in Hungary Today (Article)

Critical art practices (once also labeled avant-garde) have been playing out their death throes ever more dramatically in recent years.(For a historical and theoretical reconstruction of the death throes of avant-garde art in the 20th century, cf.: Paul Mann, Theory-Death of the Avant-Garde (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991).)  On the one hand, this might be so precisely because more and more artists, curators, and collectors have taken an interest in them; but on the other hand, if they do die out definitively, then the real danger exists that there will be no alternative at all to global techno-capitalism … Read more

Participatory Practices in Hungarian Contemporary Art (Article)

Participatory art projects are not common in the Hungarian visual art scene. If we see this kind of artistic activity as having something to do with social engagement, it might be easier to understand its rarity. After a rising interest at the turn of the century, only a few artists have continued to develop socially engaged projects in the past few years. The art scene is not receptive to self-restricting artistic activity and autonomy.(See texts on some art collectives of the 1980s and 1990s  (the Újlak Group, Szürenon, INDIGO etc. in IMPEX: We Are Not Ducks on The Pond Read more