Category: Interviews

A Memorial That Neither Victims nor Perpetrators Want but Is Needed: An Interview with Ilona Németh

In March 2022, the General Assembly of Budapest announced the winning team of the juried competition for the public memorial, Memory of Rape in Wartimes: Women as Victims of Sexual Violence, a unique memorial project that aims to address the difficult history of violence against women during wartime. The winning proposal, Memory of Rape in  Wartimes, by Slovakian-Hungarian artist Ilona Németh, architect Gabi Mészáros, and poet Anikó N. Tóth, is to be realized in 2023. Hedvig Turai recently spoke with Ilona Németh about their project.

Hedvig Turai: To set up a memorial to wartime victims of rape is … Read more

The artist, a black woman with very short hair, sitting at a table against a dark background. She has a box open in front of her and appears to be reading something inside the box.

“To Me, Everything is a Space for Encounter”: Michael Laundry in Conversation with Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński

Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński is an interdisciplinary artist mainly using archival and museal material for artistic research in photography and video. Late last year, Kazeem-Kamiński received the Camera Austria Award for Contemporary Photography by the City of Graz. A solo show of her work was also recently on view at Kunsthalle Wien. While in Vienna, Michael Laundry spoke with Kazeem-Kamiński about how her work creates space to think about Black feminism, representation, and post-colonial theory. In this interview, Laundry and Kazeem-Kamiński discuss the her use of slide shows, artist books, photography, and video in the dissection of the white gaze on Black … Read more

A black and white photo showing the curators and artist of the Ukrainian Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennial

The Story of the Ukrainian Pavilion in Venice and Exhibition-Making as a Matter of Cultural Survival: An Interview with Maria Lanko

With the upcoming 59th International Art Exhibition in Venice on April 23, Maria Lanko, Lizaveta German, and Borys Filonenko—the curators of artist Pavlo Makov’s project Fountain of Exhaustion. Acqua Alta for the Ukrainian Pavilion—have found themselves in a difficult situation that has made it impossible for them to continue working on the exhibition. On March 8, 2022, the organizers of the pavilion announced that “despite the ongoing war, the team managed to evacuate the fragments of [Makov’s] artwork from Kyiv” and will be able to present it at the upcoming Venice Biennale.(“Ukrainian pavilion will make it to La Biennale Read more

Realtime Monument: Interview with Mladen Miljanović

Banja Luka-based artist Mladen Miljanović has had a long-standing interest in monuments and practices of remembering, from his The Garden of Delights (2013), an installation that emulates tombstone engravings created for the Bosnia and Herzegovina national pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, to his Draft for a 20 Minute Monument (2019), in which nine disabled men and war veterans sit for 20 minutes on a discarded pile of stones. This conversation, part of our Special Issue on Contemporary Approaches to Monuments in Central and Eastern Europe, was occasioned by his upcoming exhibition Realtime Monument at Budapest acb Gallery (March … Read more

A view of a Lenin monument against a bleak field with bare trees to either side. The statue shows Lenin walking forward, his coat blown open by the wind.

Invocation Trilogy – A Conversation on Monumentality, Language, and the Past with Miška Mandić and Kuba Dorabialski

Kuba Dorabialski’s film series Invocation Trilogy stitches together an unlikely constellation of encounters and mythologies centered around the Eastern European Socialist project. Narrated in a fictional Slavic language invented by Dorabialski, the trilogy plays with truth, fabrication, and legibility as it unpacks histories and memories of Eastern Europe from the insider/outsider migrant perspective. In this interview, artist and filmmaker Miška Mandić speaks with Dorabialski about this work and his practice.

Miška Mandić: The Invocation Trilogy is a series of three video works made between 2017 and 2021, each with a bigger scope than the last. Rather than a sense … Read more

A Counter-Monument to Female Victims of Wartime Rape: An Interview with Edit András

A new memorial project in Budapest, Memory of Rape in Wartimes: Women as Victims of Sexual Violence, will commemorate female victims of wartime rape, while establishing a culture of dialogue around rape and violence in Hungarian society and the region. Initiated by the General Assembly of Budapest in January 2020 and to be completed in 2023, the project goes against the grain of the practices of the current Hungarian government’s illiberal system of erecting nationalist monuments and statues without public input, through an open, democratic process that includes artists, historians, scholars, an international jury, and representatives from public institutions. … Read more

One on One: Interview with Anna Zilahi, Missa Echologica (2021)

 

This podcast is part of the One on One series, which presents timely encounters between ARTMargins Online editors and contemporary artists, focused on one work.  It was recorded on the occasion of the recent online release of Missa Echologica, a video piece. Zsuzsa László interviews the Hungarian artist and poet Anna Zilahi who created this work in collaboration with Laura Szári and the Varsányi Szirének feminist choir (Blanka Bolonyai, Dóra Ferenczy, Bettina Horváth, Dóra Király, Rita Szántó, Laura Szári, Diána Takács, Eszter Tóth, Virág Török, Anna Zilahi). Gergely Ofner was in charge of photography. The work was introduced … Read more

Otranto – A Time-Based Monument to Albania’s 1997 Migration: A Conversation with Latent Community

This interview focuses on the film Otranto (2019–2020), created by the artist collective Latent Community (Ionian Bisai and Sotiris Tsiganos). Otranto explores a relatively unknown tragedy: the story of the refugee ship Katër i Radës. The ship departed from the Albanian port city of Vlora, carrying 120 people fleeing the violence that had engulfed the country following the massive collapse of pyramid schemes in 1997. On March 28, 1997, the Italian navy warship Sibilla—acting in accordance with an Italian blockade of Albania to prevent refugees from entering the country—intercepted, rammed, and sunk the Katër i Radës in the strait of … Read more

ŠTO TE NEMA – A Living Monument: An Interview with Aida Šehović

ŠTO TE NEMA (Where have you been?) by Bosnian-born artist Aida Šehović is an annual nomadic monument to the victims of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide that has traveled internationally to 15 different cities from 2006 to 2020. This participatory public monument, consisting of more than 8,372 fildžani (small porcelain coffee cups) that have been collected and donated by Bosnian families from all over the world, addresses issues of trauma, healing, and remembrance. The first in a series of articles that make up our Special Issue Contemporary Approaches to Monuments in Central and Eastern Europe, this interview is occasioned by Šehović’s

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a drawing showing a pyramidal arrangement of funnels, each draining out of two spouts into progressively wider rows of funnels below

On the Concept of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Ukraine: Svitlana Biedarieva in Conversation with Olya Balashova and Yuliia Hnat

For many years, Ukraine has experienced a growing need for a Museum of Contemporary Art that would function as the first state-run collection focused on acquiring and exhibiting the work of contemporary Ukrainian artists. The attempts to create such an institution began in the early 2000s, but thus far have been unsuccessful due to political and sociocultural factors. In 2020, a nonprofit association was created to work in an applied way on the development of theconcept of the museum, with the involvement of key experts in contemporary art and culture. In this interview, art historian and artist Svitlana Biedarieva speaks … Read more

One on One Series: Kristina Benjocki, Ground Bindings (Nada, Gizela, Tereza) (2019)

The One on One series presents timely encounters between ARTMargins Online editors and contemporary artists, focused on one work.

Sven Spieker: Ground Bindings – could you comment on how this project came about, and also about its title?

Kristina Benjocki: Ground Bindings (Nada, Gizela, Tereza) is an installation with three handwoven textiles, 90×120 cm each, wallpaper, glass shelf and yarn labels. The work explores haptic memory and proposes understanding touch as an intimate way of bearing witness to personal and collective histories. The three textiles at the heart of the installation are handwoven, using the three basic binding … Read more

Artists from Eastern Europe in Berlin: Nika Radić

This conversation is part of a series of interviews with artists from Eastern Europe who live and work in Berlin. The city has attracted artists from the region for a long time: especially during the Cold War and into the 1990s, its peculiar geo-political situation provided Berlin with a unique flair that attracted artists from all over the world, but especially from the Central and Eastern parts of the continent. How do these artists experience the city today? How do they look back on the hopes and expectations with which they once arrived? Have they settled for good, or are Read more

a photograph of a Black soldier in wartime Berlin

Building Up and Breaking Down Walls of Our Own: An Interview with Paul M. Farber

This interview unpacks the making of Paul M. Farber’s book A Wall of Our Own: An American History of the Berlin Wall (University of North Carolina Press, 2020). More than just a Cold War travelogue shadowing the times spent by legendary American cultural figures Leonard Freed, Angela Davis, Shinkichi Tajiri, and Audre Lorde in Berlin during the second half of the twentieth century, the book interweaves history with critical visual analyses to draw comparisons and contrasts across national borders. The Berlin Wall itself becomes a protagonist in the book, which is a thoughtful meditation on physical, often monumental, manifestations of … Read more

About Keys that Don’t Open the Doors, or How to Tell Histories of Soviet Women Artists? Interview with Andra Silapētere

The exhibition I Remember, Therefore I Am. Women Artists’ Archives rethinks marginalized practices realized within a dominantly masculine and heteronormative structures of the Soviet era. Showing at the Latvian National Museum of Art, it focuses on seven women artists whose work has been either nearly forgotten or marginalized: Rita Einberga (1921–1979), Laima Eglīte (1945), Maija Eliase (1924–1991), Mudīte Gaiševska (1935), Ruta Kreica (1946), Rasa Kalniņa-Grīnberga (1936) and Olga Neimane-Kateņeva (1908–2001). Based on archival research, it shows their rich heritage in different media displayed alongside contributions by contemporary artists Anni Puolakka, Marta Trektere, Liliana Piskorska, Evita Goze and Rasa Jansone. In … Read more

Artists from Eastern Europe in Berlin: Gábor Altorjay

This conversation is part of a series of interviews with artists from Eastern Europe who live and work in Berlin. The city has attracted artists from Eastern Europe for a long time: especially during the Cold War and into the 1990s, its peculiar geo-political situation provided Berlin with a unique flair that attracted artists from all over the world, but especially from the Central and Eastern parts of the continent. How do these artists experience the city today? How do they look back on the hopes and expectations with which they once arrived? Have they settled for good, or are Read more

One on One: Stefanos Tsivopoulos and Chrisoula Lionis, Artists for Artists

The “One on One” series presents timely encounters between ARTMargins Online editors and contemporary artists, usually focused on one recent work. In this installment, Uroš Čvoro talks with interdisciplinary artist, filmmaker, and educator Stefanos Tsivopoulos and curator and cultural producer Chrisoula Lionis about Artists for Artists (AfA), an online pedagogical platform that connects leading artists with early career artists from around the world.

Uroš Čvoro: Artists for Artists (AfA) is based on three principles: artists for artists, peer-to-peer, and radical care. Can you provide a brief overview of the project, and how these ideas inform it?

Stefanos Tsivopoulos: … Read more

artwork photo

One on One: Pleurad Xhafa, 200 Million Euro (2020)

The “One on One” series presents timely encounters between ARTMargins Online editors and contemporary artists, usually focused on one recent work. Recently, artist Pleurad Xhafa was among the protesters occupying the National Theater in Tirana in May of this year. Along with the other occupiers, Xhafa was arrested by police, and although he was subsequently released, he is currently facing charges including resisting arrest and illegal gathering.

Raino Isto: 200 Million Euro was originally installed on the stage of the National Theater of Tirana earlier this year, but it was destroyed—physically—together with that building in the early hours of … Read more

Open Call for Units of a Dispersed Monument in the Future

One on One: Sera Boeno, Open Call for the Units of a Dispersed Monument in the Future (2020)

Our ​new “One on One” series presents timely encounters between  ARTMargins Online editors and contemporary artists, focused on one specific recent work. In this (first) installment, Raino Isto talks with sculptor and installation artist Sera Boeno about her work Open Call for the Units of a Dispersed Monument in the Future (2020). The work is currently part of the online exhibition not (yet) futura free, organized by STABLE Arts in Washington, DC, curated by Nathalie von Veh.

Raino Isto: How did monuments become such a principal aspect of your practice?

Sera Boeno: I was born and raised in Istanbul, an … Read more

Touching the Void: A Conversation Between Clarissa Thieme, Jan Verwoert and Mario Asef

This podcast was created on the occasion of Clarissa Thieme’s solo show Can’t you see them? at Errant Sound Berlin, November 2019.(In collaboration with Library Hamdija Kresevljakovic Video Arhiv, Sarajevo. Video 8 footage by Nedim Alikadic, Sarajevo, Grbavica, May 2, 1992. The exhibition was the second in a series of exhibitions presented under the title Visual Approach to Sound, which aims to reflect on sound from the perspective of visual art. For this series, visual artists are invited to present works that are based on the forms and methods of visual art, but which also include a central Read more

“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

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

“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 the 58th 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 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

“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

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

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

Photograph of a person being covered in a suitcase with only legs showing and another woman behind, pushing.

Artists from Eastern Europe in Berlin: Tanja Ostojić

This conversation is part of a series of interviews with artists from Eastern Europe who live and work in Berlin. The city has attracted artists from Eastern Europe for a long time: especially during the Cold War and into the 1990s, its peculiar geo-political situation gave it a unique ambience that attracted artists from all over the world, but especially from the East. How do these artists experience the city today? How do they look back on the hopes and expectations with which they once arrived? Have they settled for good, or are they considering moving elsewhere? Do their Eastern Read more

Artists from Eastern Europe in Berlin: Ana Bilankov

This conversation is part of a series of interviews with artists from Eastern Europe who live and work in Berlin. The city has attracted artists from Eastern Europe for a long time: especially during the Cold War and into the 1990s, its peculiar geo-political situation gave it a unique ambience that attracted artists from all over the world, but especially from the East. How do these artists experience the city today? How do they look back on the hopes and expectations with which they once arrived? Have they settled for good, or are they considering moving elsewhere? Do their Eastern Read more

Contemporary Turkish Art: Interview with Beral Madra

 

Beral Madra is a Turkish art critic and curator. She was curator of the two first editions of the Istanbul Biennial (1987 and 1989), and has curated five of the Turkish pavilions at the Venice Biennale. Her curatorial career also includes several international group shows, among them: Orient Express (Berlin, 1994), Modernities and Memories: Recent Works from the Islamic World (Venice, 1998), Registering the Distance: Istanbul/Los Angeles (Santa Monica, 2003), Next Wave: Exhibition of 17 Women Artists from Turkey” (Berlin, 2009). Madra was co-curator, along with Răzvan Ion, of the 2018 edition of the Bucharest Biennale, titled Edit Your Read more

photograph of two people wearing headphones looking at a painting.

Utopia in Ukraine? Members of Concrete Dates Collective Reflect on In Edenia, A City of the Future and the Role of Utopia in Artistic Work

The art exhibition In Edenia, a City of the Future (June 8–July 9, 2017), co-organized by artist Yevgeniy Fiks and curator Larissa Babij, was inspired by the novella of the same title by Yiddish author and publisher Kalman Zingman. The story, written in 1918, takes place in a utopian future version of the real eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, which is serviced by “aerotrains” and fountains that keep the temperature at a comfortable level year round. In Zingman’s world, ethnic communities, including Jews and Ukrainians, live side-by-side in peace and harmony, and residents consider war a thing of the past. Read more