László Beke, the Hungarian curator and art historian who from the late 1960s became one of the key catalysts of art networks and cross-border collaborations within and beyond Eastern Europe‚ died on January 31 of this year. He published articles, compiled publications, lectured, curated projects and exhibitions on various aspects of progressive art, including Conceptualism, photography, semiotics, Fluxus, Dada, and the post-contemporary (referring to the situation after the era of contemporary art), and, most importantly, pursued his utopian commitment to East European art. Between 1969 and 1986 he was a research fellow at the Research Institute for Art History of … Read more
Monthly Archive: June 2022
Entangled Roots in the Mutating Nature of the New East: Kristaps Ancāns in Conversation with Corina Apostol and Jasmina Tumbas
Romanian-American-Baltic curator Corina L. Apostol and Latvian-British artist Kristaps Ancāns have recently begun a series of collaborations that focus on expanding discourses in contemporary art to include transnational perspectives centered on the New East. In December 2021, Apostol served as the curator for Ancāns’s large-scale site-specific installation what can’t we just create (2021-2022) at the Mark Rothko Art Centre in Daugavpils, Latvia. Prompted by the current invasion of Ukraine, Apostol and Ancāns revisit this installation in conversation with art historian Jasmina Tumbas, to discuss how they—as cultural workers from the region—negotiate the reconfiguration of questions of identity, nationalism, and sexuality … Read more
Note: This double issue of ARTMargins consists of two sections. First comes a special issue, edited by Sven Spieker and Tom Holert (“The Heresy of Didactic Art”), followed by a section where we offer four new research articles on topics aligned with other editorial priorities (pp. 126-225).
ARTMargins Online, Volume 11, Issue 1-2, pp. 3-9.
Following from a series of conversations that have been taking place sporadically between us11 in the past years, the current contribution serves as another opportunity to address ways of living multiple institutional lives. In our respective contexts, these pertain to different types of institutions, ranging from art school/academy, to university, to art or cultural organization/collective. Here we explore ways of traversing the boundaries and frictions between radical classroom practices and the institutional processes and frameworks that we speak and act within and against in the context of European higher arts education; all these environments are deeply entrenched in coloniality. We … Read more
Meghan Forbes, ed., International Perspectives on Publishing Platforms: Image, Object, Text. New York and Oxford: Routledge, 2019, 268 pp.
Periodicals have traditionally been a favorite format of artists when it comes to experimenting on the blank page. There are several reasons for this, one of them being that magazines create communities even if their members are almost invisible to one another, dispersed as they may be over regional, national, and even continental geographies. Moreover, because of their time-limited nature, which is—a priori—ephemeral or, at least, specific to a certain time span, magazines tend to offer greater freedom for … Read more
Since the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, museum reformers have struggled to comply with the federal codes for accessibility. This essay accounts for the ambitions and limitations of these debates around access in the museum that were caught in the double bind between public expectation and private market forces, ultimately giving rise to a particular type of bottom-up reform organized around parametric gradients and attitudinal shifts. It does so by juxtaposing manuals for museum educators from the 1990s with artworks by New York City–based artists such as Carolyn Lazard, Jordan Lord, and Park McArthur who all … Read more
From 1972 to 1977 the West German artist Marianne Wex (1937-2020) undertook an extensive photographic research project that eventually was published as a book: Let’s Take Back Our Space: “Female” and “Male” Body Language as a Result of Patriarchal Structures (1979). Both visual analysis and homeopathic demonstration of the patriarchal state’s performative effect on somatic physical expression, the book is as much a work of renegade feminist sociology as it is a work of photo-conceptualism. This essay performs an archaeology of Let’s Take Back Our Space, reading it in the context of contemporaneous aestheticopolitical discourses, including feminist autodidacticism
ARTMargins … Read more
Daniel Muzyczuk and Tomasz Załuski (eds.), Galeria Wschodnia. Dokumenty 1984-2017 / Documents 1984-2017 (Łódź: Galeria Wschodnia, Fundacja In Search Of, Muzeum Sztuki w Łodzi, 2019), 916 pp.
Looking at politics through the lens of alternative galleries is by now an established method within Polish art history. It has allowed for the emergence of vital comparative perspectives, both in the regional context (as demonstrated by Piotr Piotrowski’s oft-cited article “How to Write a History of Central-East European Art?”) and on a national level (e.g. Marcin Lachowski’s Awangarda wobec instytucji, or Luiza Nader’s Konceptualizm w PRL).(Piotr Piotrowski, “How to … Read more
The introductory text interprets Eszter Bartholy’s article about Miklós Erdély’s exhibition Hidden Green. Bartholy’s article is based on an interview with Erdély, and contain direct and indirect quotes from one of the most significant Hungarian neo-avant-garde artist. The introductory text describes how Erdély’s own interpretation of his exhibition Hidden Green is present in Bartholy’s article. Bartholy’s analysis of Hidden Green sheds light on the way that Erdély combines ars poetica and art theory, while directly reflecting on utopia and on the social function and significance of art. While the text about Hidden Green seems like the interpretation of an exhibition, … Read more
Erdély spread hay over approximately four-fifths of the 12 × 5 m floor of the Budaörs Cultural Center. He left the remaining one-fifth near the entrance uncovered. The door, illuminated by a spotlight, was painted black along with the adjacent area in order to prevent reflections of the spotlight. The space was dominated by a homogeneous green light.
ARTMargins Online, Volume 11, Issue 1-2, pp. 102-105.
This short text is structured in two parts. The first one defines a significant part of my artistic practice as finding a way to represent thought, to transmit the action of thinking, this being done by means of short notes, diagrams, drawings, and sketches in a notebook. The second part defends an idea of art as accessible and necessary for everyone, pedagogical not in the sense that it “should” transmit knowledge but in the sense that it constructs a society where learning is pleasure.
ARTMargins Online, Volume 11, Issue 1-2, pp. 106-123.
The articles in the second section of our double issue focus on art practices from Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Palestine. Each in their own way, these authors discuss art and film practices that complicate the process by which we establish genealogies, trace histories, and narrate historical developments, intervening in linear trajectories and pointing to possible alternatives.
ARTMargins Online, Volume 11, Issue 1-2, pp. 124-125.
Within the span of only four years, two books on the same subject and with almost identical titles were published on two sides of Europe: Hans Prinzhorn’s Artistry of the Mentally Ill (Berlin, 1922) and Pavel Ivanovich Karpov’s Creativity of the Mentally Ill (Moscow, 1926). Whereas the first book was recognized as one of the key steps in the “discovery” of the psychotic art and its eventual mainstreaming, the second one quickly fell into obscurity. Its author perished in Stalinist purges of the 1930s, together with a number of his colleagues from the Russian Academy of Artistic Science (RAKhN, 1921-1931),
This article explores the connections between dreams, cinema, and Palestine. Drawing upon the work of Ghassan Hage, the author argues that dreams and cinema should not be valued only for their connection to resistance and that these phenomena can sometimes reveal unoccupied spaces, even in occupied Palestine. The author then turns to two documentary films: Mohammad Malas’ The Dream (1987) and Mais Darwazah’s My Love Awaits Me by the Sea (2013). Whereas the former film documents the dreams that haunt Palestinians at night, the latter investigates those dreams that follow them throughout the day. Through these dreams, both films stage … Read more
This essay argues for a radical reassessment of Moscow Conceptualism to incorporate the underappreciated Nest, the group of artists Gennady Donskoy, Mikhail Roshal, and Victor Skersis active in Moscow from 1974 to 1979. The Nest’s emphasis on models of shared artistic investigation, audience autonomy, and unconstructed aesthetic response helped reshape Moscow Conceptualism in the late 1970s and early 1980s, making their experience essential to understanding both the era and the works of particular artists they influenced, including Yuri Albert, Vadim Zakharov, Nadezhda Stolpovskaya, and others. The Nest’s focus on alternative media and new genres, particularly on unstructured performative works, helped … Read more
As a young artist active in socialist Zagreb in the 1970s, Željko Jerman subjected photographic prints and negatives to destructive techniques such as scratching, scribbling, and intentionally poor development. Jerman’s work was heralded by curator Radoslav Putar as an attempt to “cross the boundaries and overcome the limitations of classical photography,” but also met with dismissal from less open-minded critics due to its rejection of traditional aesthetics. This article shows how through his destructive tactics, Jerman enacted a formal “death” of the photograph, while also taking death as a central philosophical and representational theme at the level of the image. … Read more
Mohammadreza Mirzaei’s “Introduction to Jalal Al-e Ahmad’s “To Mohassess, For the Wall’ “ (ARTM 10:2), p. 120 (https://doi.org/10.1162/artm_a_00296) contains an error. The line “For example, neither the work of Behjat Sadr nor Mohsen Vaziri Moghadam’s Sand Paintings …” should read, “For example, the work of Behjat Sadr as well as Mohsen Vaziri Moghadam’s Sand Paintings… .” We regret the mistake.
ARTMargins Online, Volume 11, Issue 1-2, pp. 226.