ARTMargins Online

“Era ora!”: Cristina Baldacci and Marysia Lewandowska discuss Lewandowska’s It’s About Time

Art historian Cristina Baldacci and artist Marysia Lewandowska discuss It’s About Time (translated into Italian as ‘Era ora!’), her Special Project in the Pavilion of Applied Arts (curated by Ralph Rugoff) for the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Based on records of meetings held by the Mayor of Venice (Riccardo Selvatico) between 1893 and 1895, the project focuses on the absence of women from art history, taking the Biennale as a case in point.

As part of her project, Lewandowska invited a group of Italian women practitioners(L. Cavorsi, G. Damiani, V. Facchin, A. Ongaro, Read more

Red Discussion 2

Parole, Parole (As a Counter-Hegemonic Gesture): Red Discussion No. 2 (Pavilion of the Republic of North Macedonia; Maja Ćirić)

Parole, parole(The reference is to the famous Italian duet performed in 1972 by Mina and Alberto Lupo about appealing yet hollow, empty words.) (As a Counter-hegemonic Gesture): Red Discussion No. 2, part of Subversion to Red by Nada Prlja for The Pavilion of The Republic of North Macedonia

The number of professionals in the fields of the arts and humanities who are capable of critically reflecting upon the planetary condition appears to be small. Fewer still are those who express any critical, communal, or selfless interest in connecting the legacy of the arts and humanities to the … Read more

From the Eastern Bloc to the Bronx: Early Acquisitions from the Art Collection

From the Eastern Bloc to the Bronx: Early Acquisitions from the Art Collection, Derfner Judaica Museum and the Art Collection at the Hebrew Home, Riverdale, New York (May 5-August 25, 2019)

Writing in 2009, Polish scholar Piotr Piotrowski suggested that we recognize multiple, coexisting art historical canons. Focusing on the postwar period, Piotrowski sketched out a series of interweaving histories, at once looking at the broader picture while also considering the political heterogeneity of specific states within the Soviet-dominated region.(See Piotr Piotrowski, In the Shadow of Yalta: Art and Avant-Garde in Eastern Europe, 1945-1989 (London: Reaktion Books, 2009).Read more

Documentation of performance

The Glitzy World We All Think We Want: An Interview with Zornitsa Stoyanova

Zornitsa Stoyanova is a performance artist working between the United States and Bulgaria. Currently based in Philadelphia, Stoyanova performs under the name Here[begin] Dance, and her practice involves the creation of large-scale props in front of her audience. Her work explores an amalgamation of genres, blending choreography, performance, song, and shadow play. This summer, Stoyanova took part in Etud and Friends, a dance and performance festival held in Sofia and one of a growing number of multidisciplinary events that seeks to bring together local and transnational artists and performers working in a variety of disciplines.

While Bulgaria hosts multiple dance Read more

The Matter of Art Biennale Symposium “Who are We Talking with? What Can Institutions (Un)learn from Artists?”

Who are we talking with? What can institutions (un)learn from artists? Prague, 17-18 May 2019

In contemporary critical artistic and curatorial discourse,  the word “organization” is often accompanied by the word “future”. Through the practice of self-questioning and self-positioning, the institution of the biennale recently also became a vehicle for critical investigations focused on envisioning the future beyond a global administered society. Several interesting biennales were initiated in Central and Eastern Europe where, according to Vít Havránek, for a long time “we had believed that democracy and capitalism were two separate processes and that aesthetic differentiation was a mirror image … Read more

After the End: Timing Socialism in Contemporary African Art at Wallach Art Gallery

After the End: Timing Socialism in Contemporary African Art, Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, New York City, June 15 – October 6, 2019

Philosopher and Columbia University faculty member Souleymane Bachir Diagne’s 2013 book The Ink of the Scholars: Reflections on Philosophy in Africa situates the afterlife of socialism in sub-Saharan Africa after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989 in terms of “a search for itself.” (Souleymane Bachir Diagne, The Ink of the Scholars: Reflections on Philosophy in Africa. Dakar : CODESRIA, Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, 2016.)

Taking Diagne’s … Read more

Revolt She Said: Decolonial and Feminist Perspectives on 1968 at District Berlin

Revolt She Said: Decolonial and Feminist Perspectives on 1968, District Berlin and Alpha Nova & Galerie Futura, September 2018 – January 2019.

In European and especially German history, 1968 marks the beginning of far-reaching critical engagement on the part of students and established intellectuals with the rise and fall of fascism, and its continuities in postwar societies. The ensuing protests – carried out by students, sometimes in cooperation with trade unions, notably in France – aimed to shake up not only politics and state institutions, but also social mores and gender roles. On a global scale, 1968 stands for the … Read more

View of the exhibition

Karol Radziszewski: Queer Archives Institute at Berlin’s Gay Museum

Karol Radziszewski: Queer Archives Institute, Schwules Museum, Berlin, June 20 – September 23, 2019

From June 20 to September 23, 2019, Berlin’s Schwules Museum [Gay Museum] hosted an exhibition of queer archives from Eastern Europe collected and presented by Karol Radziszewski, Polish artist, activist, and founder of the Queer Archives Institute (QAI). The QAI is among the most extensive and most visible of a number of queer archives recently founded in Poland and in other Central and East European countries, where celebrating and memorializing non-heteronormative lives and cultural production remains a novelty, perhaps even a rarity. Historically, these countries differed … Read more

Conscious Inability: Gabriele Stötzer’s Archive at Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig

Conscious Inability: The Archive of Gabriele Stötzer, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig (GfZK Leipzig), March 3, 2019 – March 2020.

Conscious Inability: The Gabriele Stötzer Archive at the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig (GfZK Leipzig) takes a long deserved in-depth look at the work of Gabriele Stötzer (also Gabriele Kachold, *1954), one of the central representatives of feminist art in the late GDR. Conscious Inability: The Gabriele Stötzer Archive is a long-term research and exhibition project: over the course of one year, from March 2019 to March 2020, three exhibitions will highlight different aspects of Stötzer’s artistic practice and political … Read more

Eastern European Pavilions at this Year’s Venice Biennale: Parsing the Contemporary

ARTMargins Online asked writers and critics close to the journal to respond to several Eastern European national pavilions at this year’s Venice Biennale. Our interest was in parsing the way in which pavilion curators approached the problem of nationhood and representation in a region caught between the Socialist past and an uncertain present marked by nationalism and neo-liberal economic policies. This series of responses is supplemented by an interview with Berlin-based artist Maria Loboda.

Read more… 

 

“I Follow the Work Into the Rabbit Hole.” An Interview with Maria Loboda

Maria Loboda is a Berlin-based visual artist who works interdisciplinarily, creating installations that combine objects, linguistic elements, plants, audio recordings, illustrations, drawings and photographs. She was invited to participate in the58th International Art Exhibition of Venice Biennale, curated by Ralph Rugoff, with three works created in 2017. In the Arsenale, Loboda’s shows the multimedia installation Lord of Abandoned Success (L’Argile Humide). In the Central Pavilion in the Giardini, two digital prints from the on-going series Zero DynastyZero Dynasty II and V are being shown, and in the Bookshop Pavilion Stirling, her work Young Warrior in the Read more

Roman Stańczak, Allegories of Flight (Polish Pavilion; Dorota Michalska)

Roman Stańczak’s installation Flight for the Polish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale at once invites and defies final interpretations. The massive sculpture occupying the entire pavilion was created by violently splitting in half a private aircraft, and then sewing it back together inside out. What at first glance could be regarded as a direct reference to the Smoleńsk airplane catastrophe in 2010–dramatically polarizing Polish society, and eventually leading to the victory of the nationalistic, right-wing party Law and Justice—proves to encompass more complex meanings and references. In fact, the work can be perhaps best described as an allegory in the … Read more

Masters on Masters: When the Biennale Goes Meta (Russian Pavilion; Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli)

There is nothing unusual about famous gallerists curating national pavilions at the Venice Biennale, but it is another thing to have Mikhail Piotrovsky (the director of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg) curate his country’s pavilion by inviting artists to engage with the history of the museum and its collection, thus turning the Biennale pavilion into a commentary on the Hermitage.  Piotrovsky has orchestrated a complex metacommentary on the relation of the national pavilion to Russia’s “national treasure” that houses the works of many of the world’s Renaissance and Baroque masters—French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, and Flemish.

The Russian Pavilion … Read more

Heart, Hands, and a Shovel: Danica Dakić’s Zenica Trilogy (Pavilion of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Uroš Čvoro)

Reflecting on the national pavilion of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in the context of a Venice Biennale titled “May You Live In Interesting Times”, it is impossible to not think of a BiH joke-curse from the 1990s: “May you see your house on CNN.” This joke captures the paradox of global visibility that accompanies regions that have been subject to conflict and crisis.On art that uses humour to respond to crisis, see Uroš Čvoro and Chrisoula Lionis, “When the Periphery Laughs: Humor and Locality in Contemporary Art from Greece and Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Cultural Politics15:2 (2019), 223-243. Seeing … Read more

Igor Grubić, Traces of Disappearing (In Three Acts) (Croatian Pavilion; Sven Spieker)

Igor Grubić’s long-term photographic project Traces of Disappearing (In Three Actsis a few steps down from the stately abode on the Canale Grande that is home to the Prada Foundation, where a sprawling show of the work of Jannis Kounellis is on view at the same time. The contrast between the two venues, and the works exhibited inside, could not be more striking: from the Venetian palazzo to the rough, workshop-like space with a low ceiling and painted walls that houses Grubić’s installation; from the commanding, self-sufficient installations of Kounellis to Grubić’s photographs of post-transition Croatia. Traces of Read more

Queer Abstraction at Des Moines Art Center

Queer Abstraction, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA, June 1 – September 8, 2019.

Harmony Hammond has argued for the “transgressive potential of abstraction.”Harmony Hammond, Lesbian Art in America (New York: Rizzoli, 2000), 89. Hammond is included in the Queer Abstraction exhibitionat the Des Moines Art Center along with artists Math Bass, Mark Bradford, Elijah Burgher, Tom Burr, Mark Joshua Epstein, Edie Fake, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Nicolas Hlobo, John Paul Morabito, Carrie Moyer, Sheila Pepe, Prem Sahib, Jonathan VanDyke, and Jade Yumang. The contemporary works in this exhibition demonstrate the “transgressive potential” of “queer abstraction”. Curating a show around … Read more

”Title of speech in US Congress given by a Republican George Dondero in March 1952.”

Dialogue between Yevgeniy Fiks and Thomas Sokolowski about Fiks’ recent show at the Zimmerli Art Museum

Yevgeniy Fiks calls himself a “post-Soviet” artist, thus designating his personal history of belonging to the generation that was born in the Soviet Union and came to the West after its collapse. His work can be characterized as an archival exploration of history, understood as the unearthing of facts, events, and narratives that have been forgotten or obscured by dominant ideological discourses. His first “mini-retrospective” entitled Mr. Deviant, Comrade Degenerate: Selected Works by Yevgeniy Fiks, which was on view at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University until the end of July, focuses on three different types of nonconformism – Read more

A woman in black stands behind a table across from people in white who are wearing leaf crowns

Seaberry Juice in Extractivist Ruins: The Cosmopolitical Art of Diana Lelonek

Decades of open-pit mining has left the landscape of the Konin region in western Poland deserted, with the soil dry and hostile to plants. The coal producers, who are legally obliged to recultivate the post-mine landscape face a difficult task, but fortunately for them there are few plants whose needs meet the harsh reality of this barren land. For the seaberry plant (Hippophae), this sandy post-coal environment is just fine to grow, and the plant develops abundantly over the transformed land that was once exploited by the mining corporations. This essay explores the Hippophae of Diana Lelonek’s artistic … Read more

Sisters Alike. Female Identities in the Post-Utopian (Book Review)

Lene Markusen, Sisters Alike. Female Identities in the Post-Utopian (Leipzig: Spector Books, 2019), 184PP.

It may seem a curious and difficult project to try to translate the unique poetics of moving images into book form. Danish filmmaker Lene Markusen has taken up the onerous task in her recently published book Sisters Alike. Female Identities in the Post-Utopian. What emerges feels like a wholly individual composition, marked by an unparalleled interpictorial approach that weaves her sketches and photographic impressions of Russia—in particular, its female protagonists—with archival materials and stills from two of her films, GRAD (2004) and Sankt—Female Read more

Photo

Laura Aguilar: Show and Tell at the National Museum of Mexican Art

Laura Aguilar: Show and Tell, National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, March 22 – August 18, 2019

Artist Laura Aguilar died of kidney failure in April 2018, shortly after her career retrospective, Show and Tell, closed at the Vincent Price Museum just outside Los Angeles. She was 59 years old. As writers and fellow artists mourned the loss, biographical references proliferated. Aguilar was obese, an auditory dyslexic, clinically depressed, Latina, mostly poor, the daughter of mixed Mexican-European-indigenous parents, a lesbian. With her photographic work, she was a champion for marginalized communities and bodies rendered invisible by mainstream art and visual … Read more

Art in Hungary, 1956-1980: Doublespeak and Beyond (Book Review)

Art in Hungary, 1956-1980: Doublespeak and Beyond. Eds. Edit Sasvári, Sándor Hornyik, and Hedvig Turai, London: Thames & Hudson, 2018, 384pp.

This collectively authored volume on Hungarian art under the state socialist regime of János Kádár offers readers a fresh, richly informative, and multifaceted picture of this critical period in Hungary’s post-war artistic culture. More than just an edited collection of individual contributions, it integrates texts by experts on different aspects of Kádár-period (1956-1988) art—specific temporal periods, policy phases, media, artistic modes, institutional spaces, and identities—within an orchestrated design. Following the introduction, seventeen chapters are grouped under four topical … Read more

Call For Papers: University College London/7-8 November, 2019

Conference Title: “1989’s Loose Ends”
Place: University College London
Date: 7/8 November 2019

Conference Description:
On its 30th anniversary, this interdisciplinary conference aims to challenge the understanding of 1989 as a fundamentally Eurocentric, Cold War event with established historicity and geography. Presentations and discussions will address the following questions: how can we reconcile the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Velvet Revolution with the onset of the Yugoslav crisis, Tiananmen Square, the beginning of the end of Apartheid, the collapse (and resurgence in some cases) of Latin American dictatorships, and the emergence of commercial internet, to name some examples?
Read more

Call for Papers: Artpool Budapest/Active Archives and Art Networks/Conference and Symposium /February 20-21, 2020

Conference Title: “Artpool 40 – Active Archives and Art Networks”

Place: Artpool Art Research Center, Central European Research Institute of Art History/ Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

Date: February 20-21, 2020

Conference Description:

The international conference and symposium celebrates the 40th anniversary of the foundation of Artpool and its concurrent relocation to the Central European Research Institute of Art History at the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest. It aims to map the cultural-political-historical contexts of Artpool’s activity by bringing together scholars and practitioners interested in transnational research on artist archives, progressive curatorial and museological practices, and the historiography of Cold … Read more

“The Soros Center was a Perfect Machine”: An Exchange between Aaron Moulton and Geert Lovink

The following exchange, over email, between Dutch media theorist and Internet critic Geert Lovink and Aaron Moulton occurred on the occasion of the exhibition The Influencing Machine at Galeria Nicodim in Bucharest, which closed on April 20, 2019. The show, curated by Aaron Moulton, was an anthropological investigation into the macroview of the Soros Center for Contemporary Art (SCCA), an unprecedented network of art centers that existed across twenty Eastern European capitals throughout the 1990s. A survey of historical and contemporary artwork that explored ideas of influence, revolution, colonialism, and cultural exorcism, the Bucharest exhibition included a large archive covering Read more

Wild Recuperations: Material from Below and D’EST, Chapter 6: ReTopia at District Berlin

WILDES WIEDERHOLEN. MATERIAL VON UNTEN ARCHIVE OF GDR OPPOSITION, HAUS 22 STASIZENTRALE AND DISTRICT BERLIN, NOVEMBER 4 – DECEMBER 16, 2018.

 D’EST SCREENING, CHAPTER 6: RETOPIA, HAUS 22 STASIZENTRALE, BERLIN , DECEMBER 15, 2018

Attempts to establish contemporary archives must always contend with dominant history and ideology. Wild Recuperations. Material from Below, a six-week-long exhibition that took place at District Berlin and the Archive of the German Democratic Republic’s (GDR) Opposition in late 2018 and continues today as an ongoing artistic research project, positions itself firmly against the ossification of objectified knowledge by introducing an artistic and affective approach to … Read more

On Curating “Postwar” at Haus der Kunst (ARTMargins Print 8.2)

Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945-1965, curated by the late Okwui Enwezor alongside Katy Siegel and Ulrich Wilmes, was held at Haus der Kunst, Munich, only a little over two years ago (October 2016-March 2017). The exhibition and its accompanying catalog have already achieved canonical status among scholars interested in the increasingly interconnected networks of modern art internationally after World War II. Ambitious in scope, generous in outlook, and remarkable in its capacity for critical and self-reflexive dialog, Postwar exemplified many of the qualities that made Enwezor the most significant curatorial voice of the last quarter century.… Read more

Black and white image of two people in front of a wall. The person on the left has a ladder.

The Intermedial Scattering of the Aura

Poetry & Performance: The Eastern European Perspective, Shedhalle, Zurich, August 16–October 28, 2018

The center of the spacious exhibition hall of Zurich’s Shedhalle was empty. Tomáš Glanc and Sabine Hänsgen, curators of the exhibition Poetry & Performance: The Eastern European Perspective,(Curated by Tomáš Glanc and Sabine Hänsgen, in corporation with Dubravka Djurić, Emese Kürti, Claus Löser, Pavel Novotný, Branka Stipančić, Darko Šimičić, Mara Traumane) purposefully arranged the exhibition’s artworks in a circular progression enclosing this empty center, and with the following sections: Writing-Reading-Performance; Audio Gestures; Interventions in Public Space; Body Poetry; Cinematographic Poetry; and Language Games. The device … Read more

When Letters Show Their Muscles: A Conversation with Sabine Hänsgen and Tomáš Glanc about the Traveling Exhibition Poetry & Performance, the Eastern European Perspective

Subversive humor often emerges from emergency situations. Those who cannot say what they are thinking invent secret languages, play with suggestion, parody what is permitted and mutilate it into mere sounds, or put up slogans in remote areas. In states where verbal expression is subject to strict control – i.e. censorship – poets and thinkers infiltrate the official discourse by imaginatively torpedoing it. In those countries formerly behind the Iron Curtain, poetry became an experimental field for criticism, as well as a retreat from ideology and language politics.

The traveling exhibition Poetry & Performance. The Eastern European Perspective presents a … Read more

ARTMargins Print Volume 8, Issue 2

This guest-edited issue of ARTMargins evaluates the relationship between art, artists, and international institutions in the postwar period. Concentrating on the emergence of new forms of internationalism in response to decolonization and the diplomatic impasses of the Cold War in the decades following World War II, the issue confronts the problem of the nation-state within the emerging scholarly field known as “global modernism.” We propose that the term global modernism, while a productive shorthand for scholarship that expands modernism’s geographies, may also be anachronistic and misleading. The word global itself began to gain currency only after the 1960s, … Read more

Years of Disarray 1908-1928 at Olomouc Museum of Art

Years of Disarray 1908-1928. Avant-gardes in Central Europe, Olomouc Museum of Art, Olomouc (CZ), September 21, 2018–January 27, 2019

Among the proliferation of First World War related exhibitions of recent years, several have been devoted to the historical avant-garde, a label attached to numerous artistic movements that formed before and during the war. (This review was written as a part of the research project of the Petőfi Literary Museum–Kassák Museum under a grant from the National Office of Research, Development and Innovation, Project-No. NKFIH, K-120779, “The Avant-Garde Periodicals of Lajos Kassák from an Interdisciplinary Perspective (1915–1928).”) The travelling … Read more