Monthly Archive: July 2011

Dispatch from Bucharest

Preparing for my first time back in Romania after 7 years I was filled with a certain anxiety: those stray dogs I remembered wandering the streets in packs, the beggars on every street corner, the guilt one feels for being a “privileged foreigner” amidst all the poverty and misery.

And yet my one week stay, undertaken thanks to a grant from the Romanian Cultural Institute, was filled with surprises: on the surface at least everything looked like a county on the cusp of change. Bucharest was vibrant and alive with an amazing energy, and specifically the art scene was in … Read more

The Hidden Decade: Polish Video Art 1985-1995 (Book Review)

Ukryta dekada. Polska sztuka wideo 1985-1995 / The Hidden Decade: Polish Video Art 1985-1995, eds. Piotr Krajewski, Violetta Kutlubasis-Krajewska, WRO Art Center, Wroclaw 2010, 336 p.

Given the contributions of feminism or New Historicism, the statement that there is no such thing as complete and cohesive ‘”great narrative” appears to be a cliché. When writing a history, especially the first historical outline of an art field, one will inevitably get involved in the politics of inclusion and exclusion (the canon), and one will have to answer questions such as: who is speaking? and from where? Such questions evidently beset … Read more

Václav Kadrnka in conversation with Natascha Drubek

Natascha Drubek discusses Eighty letters (Osmdesát dopis?, CZ, 2011, 75 min) with the film’s director, Václav Kadrnka.



Václav Kadrnka was born in 1973 in Gottwaldov (now Zlín), Czechoslovakia. In 1987, when the ?SSR was not touched by perestroika, yet, his mother filed an application for emigration to the United Kingdom. Her husband had already fled to England earlier. The family was reunited in 1988. When 1989 brought political changes in his homeland, Kadrnka revisited Czechoslovakia. In 1992 he decided to stay. From 1999 to 2008 he studied to be a film director at the Film and TV School … Read more

Interview with Karel Och

The International Film Festival (Mezinárodní filmový festival Karlovy Vary) is held annually in the Western Bohemian spa town of Karlovy Vary, (formely also known as Karlsbad). This A-festival in the last 15 years gained worldwide recognition and has become one of Europe’s major film events. Notable programme sections are East of the West (a selection of films from the former Soviet bloc) and an overview of the Czech and Slovak films made during the past year. Natscha Drubek talks to Och about the festival.

Made during the 46th edition of the International Film Festival Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, in … Read more

Interview with Urszuła Antoniak

The Polish born director talks to Natascha Drubek about the symbolic place of the Hospital, about Death as the only portal to spirituality in Western societies; about unconscious Catholicism; windows in art and voyeurism in Code Blue; the cleanliness of Berlin hospitals; the non-existence of female sexuality; and the withholding of permission to use a DVD cover of the film Doctor Zhivago in Code Blue.

Made during the 46th edition of the International Film Festival Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, in July 2011.

Urszuła Antoniak was born in Czestochowa. She studied film production in Poland and graduated as film … Read more

Agency Gendered: Deconstructed Marriages and Migration Narratives in Contemporary Art

Throughout the past two years and in three consecutive exhibitions the Budapest Ludwig Museum has displayed parts of its collection, with an accent on recently acquired or rarely seen artworks. The show Kind of Change, which ran between March and May 2011, offered pieces purchased by or donated to the Ludwig between 2009-2011. The museum’s board selected works by Hungarian artists who have already entered the national canon of contemporary art, or who have made a name for themselves internationally, as well as works by a younger generation of East-Central European artists who are anticipated to become household names on … Read more

Interview with WHW Collective (Zagreb)

What, How & for Whom/WHW is a curatorial collective formed in 1999 and based in Zagreb. Its members are Ivet ?urlin, Ana Devi?, Nataša Ili? and Sabina Sabolovi?, and the designer and publicist Dejan Krši?. WHW organizes a wide range of production, exhibition, and publishing projects. The collective directs Gallery Nova in Zagreb. “What, how, and for whom” are three basic questions that are central to any economic organization. They also concern the planning, concept, and realization of exhibitions and the production and distribution of artworks together with the artist’s position in the labor market. “What, how, and for whom” … Read more