Monthly Archive: December 2011

Troubles with History: Skopje 2014

“Even the automobiles have an air of antiquity here”. — Guillaume Apollinaire

“Only here”, Chirico once said, “is it possible to paint. The streets have such gradation of gray.”  — Walter Benjamin

Building Bonanza
Skopje, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia at the moment undergoes one of Europe’s biggest urban and art upheavals – the project is dubbed Skopje 2014. Labeled as a “building bonanza”,(Smith, Helena. “Macedonian statue: Alexander the Great or a Warrior on a Horse?”, Guardian, 14 August 2011, by the British Guardian, Skopje 2014 project was planned by the Government for several … Read more

Vision and Communism at The Smart Museum (Exhibition Review)

The Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, September 29, 2011-January 22, 2012

Upon entering the exhibition Vision and Communism, the viewer is purposefully presented with little information about the Soviet artist and designer Viktor Koretsky (1909- 1998). The almost ninety examples of Koretsky’s work on display make up the largest show featuring this artist in America to date, and include lithographic print posters, mixed-media maquettes, and black-and-white photographs. The exhibition is framed by both its enigmatic title and in the exhibition space itself so that Koretsky’s visually arresting work makes maximum visual impact.

While the pieces are not accompanied … Read more

The 46th International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary 2011 – An A-Festival with a Human Face (Film & Screen Media)

The Beginnings in 1946

Both have an art deco touch: the chunky gold-plated Oscar and the elegant brass statue of a female figure holding a glass globe. The Chrystal Globe, the Karlovy Vary Film Festival award, in its current shape was created only 11 years ago, but harks back to the decorative style of the first decades of the 20th century.(According to the festival dossier in the Czech monthly euro 27/6/2011, 77. The globe is produced by the traditional Moser glass factory (Karlovy Vary).) The festival is among the oldest in Europe.(It is the third oldest film Read more

Ostalgia at the New Museum (Review Article)

Ostalgia, The New Museum, New York, July 14-October 2, 2011

Nostalgia has many guises – homesickness, yearning, desire, melancholia. Susan Stewart defines nostalgia as a “social disease,” a “sadness without an object,” a narrative that is fundamentally ideological. “Hostile to history and its invisible origins . . . ,” she argues, “nostalgia wears a distinctly utopian face, a face that turns toward a future-past, a past which has only ideological reality.”(Susan Stewart, On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection (Baltimore and London: John Hopkins University Press, 1984), 23.) Walter Benjamin wrote about Leftist … Read more

Eyes Looking For a Head to Inhabit in Łódź (Exhibition Review)

Eyes Looking For a Head to Inhabit, curated by Aleksandra Jach, Joanna Soko?owska, Katarzyna S?oboda and Magdalena Zió?kowska, Museum of Art ?ód?, 30 September, 2011-11 December, 2011.

The exhibition at the Museum of Art in ?ód? celebrates the 80th anniversary of the International Collection of Modern Art, which was created by members of the Polish constructivist avantgarde: Katarzyna Kobro and W?adys?aw Strzemi?ski, with the effective help of Jan Brz?kowski and Henryk Sta?ewski, who together constituted the “a.r.” (revolutionary artists) group. This historical collection, encompassing a variety of contemporary artists’ works ranging from van Doesburg, through Leger, to Arp and Ernst, … Read more