Category: Interviews

“What Matters is Revolution at the Historical Moment of Radical Contemporaneity”: Interview with Marina Gržinić

Since 1982, Marina Grzinic has collaborated with art historian Aina Šmid on over 40 video art projects, including independent video documentaries, television productions, and media installations. A new show of the duo’s work, Radical Contemporaneity (curated by Aneta Stojnić), surveys Grzinic and Šmid’s video collaborations between 1982 and 2017. The exhibition is on view at the Kunstraum Lakeside in Klagenfurt, Austria, May 11 through July 14, 2017. Marina Grzinic spoke with Raino Isto via email.

Raino Isto: First, let’s talk about the exhibition, Radical Contemporaneity. Could you say a little bit about its theme, and how the show came … Read more

Why Sports and Art Go Well Together: A Conversation with Przemysław Strożek (Warsaw)

Katalin Cseh-Varga and Kristóf Nagy started working on the interrelation of sport and neo-avant-garde in January 2016, based on an in-depth research of Hungarian painter László Lakner’s Foot Art project (1970), which was further developed into an exhibition-action draft by art organiser László Beke designed for documenta 5 (1972). During the intense research period in June 2016 the European Network for Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies arranged two conference sessions on Avant-Garde and Sport in the framework of which Katalin got acquainted with the work of Przemysław Stro?ek who at that time talked about the world cup of 1934, politics, art … Read more

ԲԱՑԱ(ՀԱՅ)ՏՈՒՄ In Flight: Singing Tricksters, Imposters, Masqueraders

This conversation was conducted by email correspondence over the period between December 15, 2016 and January 8, 2017. In the past, it was Nelli Sargsyan, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Marlboro College in Vermont, who initiated and conducted the interview-conversations with Queering Yerevan Collective (QYC), a loose network of artists, writers, cultural critics and activists queering and using Yerevan as an experimental space. This time the conversation was initiated and conducted by QYC. In common (academic) practice, the initiators (interviewers) get credited as authors of the text. In this case, however, since we are also interested in creating new modes … Read more

A Conversation with Ieva Epnere

This interview was conducted with Riga-based artist Ieva Epnere on the occasion of her solo exhibition Sea of Living Memories (September 17–November 5, 2016), a New Commission for Art in General in Brooklyn, NY, and part of an international collaboration curated by Zane Onckule of kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, Latvia, where the show opened on December 8. Epnere’s exhibition, her first solo presentation in the United States, addresses the Soviet legacy in Latvia through the lens of those who lived and served in the former Soviet military cities along the country’s long coastline.

Ksenia Nouril: What brought you to … Read more

The Politics of Street Art in Albania: An Interview with Çeta

In the spring of 2016, a group of students, activists, and artists began to discuss the formation of a collective to oppose the hegemonic structures of capitalism and neoliberal politics and economics in contemporary Albania. From these discussions, a group of street artists—individually anonymous but known collectively as Çeta—emerged. The group is made up of members of various ages and backgrounds: designers, political scientists, architects, artists, and physicists. Different members carry out the design and execution of individual works at different times, according to the needs of the group and their commitments to other forms of political action in a Read more

Not New Now: Discussing the 6th Marrakech Biennale

The following dialogue took place on the occasion of Marrakech Biennale 6: Not New Now/Quoi de neuf là, (February 28-May 8, 2016), curated by Palestinian curator Reem Fadda. After visiting the biennial and attending a curatorial seminar organized by Independent Curators International (ICI), the journal The Exhibitionist staged a discussion with seminar participants María del Carmen Carrión, Mohamed Elshahed, Renaud Proch, Eszter Szakács and ?pek Ulusoy. The conversation below ranges from discussions of contemporary art, craft, archaeology, and postcolonial therapy to politics and aesthetics across the Arab world, and is part of an ongoing collaboration between ICI and The ExhibitionistRead more

When Canons Roar: Artists Reflect on the Conflict in Ukraine

For the 2015 edition of the Supermarket Art Fair in Stockholm (the annual international artist-run art fair), artists from Ukraine and its neighbouring countries were invited to discuss the role of art in times of war and chaos, as well as the possibilities for collaborating across borders. The art fair brought together artist-driven initiatives from around the world, including the collectives Parazit (St. Petersburg) and Open Place (Kyiv), whose members participated in the discussion below, together with Maria Kulikovskaya, an artist who is currently starting up an interdisciplinary feminist art residency in Kyiv. Building on this conversation in Stockholm, I … Read more

Art History and the Challenge of Apprehending the Familiar: A Conversation with Vardan Azatyan

Vardan Azatyan is an art historian, theoretician and translator. He is Associate Professor of Art History and Theory at the Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts. He also teaches at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Yerevan. Azatyan has taught at Columbia University and the Dutch Art Institute. His articles were published in Oxford Art Journal, Springerin, ARTMargins and other international publications. Together with Malcolm Miles, Azatyan edited Cultural Memory (2010). He is the author of Art History and Nationalism (Yerevan: Actual Arvest, 2012) and has translated George Berkeley and David Hume into Armenian.

Angela Harutyunyan: Your 2012 … Read more

Moscow Conceptualism in the 1980s: Interview with Sabine Hänsgen (Zurich)

Currently based in Zurich, Sabine Hänsgen is a researcher, curator, historian, and theoretician of Russian art. Since the 1980s she has been a member of the Moscow art group Collective Actions. In 1998, together with Georg Witte, she curated the exhibition Präprintium. Moscow Samizdat Books, which was devoted to underground publications in the former Soviet Union.(Sascha Wonders, Günter Hirt, Präprintium. Moskauer Bücher aus dem Samizdat. Mit Multimedia CD (Bremen: Edition Temmen,1998); Forschungsstelle Osteuropa (ed.), Samizdat. Alternative Kultur in Zentral- und Osteuropa: Die 60er bis 80er Jahre (Bremen: Edition Temmen, 2000); Hans D. Christ, Iris Dressler (Hg.): Subversive Praktiken. Kunst Read more

On Survivors, Translation and Their Next: A Conversation Between Walid Sadek and Nadia Bou Ali

Much like Sadek’s other interventions since the proclaimed end of the Lebanese “civil war,” his allegorical sensibility throughout this interview inhabits the unnerving proximity of transitoriness and eternity. One of the fundamental questions raised by Sadek is the specific nature of an openness to a world struck by the historical violence and structural dislocations of capitalist modernity. This is because sectarianism – another of Sadek’s key themes – is both a symptom of capitalist relations and something from which the figure of the survivor emerges; sectarianism is imbued with guilt-saturated relations in the face of guiltless commodity relations that have … Read more

To be Partisan, Unsettled, and Alert: Conversation with Geeta Kapur

Preface written by Geeta Kapoor (New Delhi)

This interview, conducted as part of a book project on Marx in Malayalam, is strongly contextual. The southern state of Kerala has the distinction of being the site for the first elected Communist ministry in the world. This was in 1957. The subsequent dismissal of the Communists remains a stain on the otherwise progressive politics of then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Generations of political activists in Kerala have tested the full spectrum of radical politics including elected governments and extreme left-wing positions that call for direct (revolutionary) action. Kerala intellectuals and artists are … Read more

A Way to Follow: Interview with Piotr Piotrowski

It is with great sadness and a sense of enormous loss that we learnt of the recent death of Piotr Piotrowski. Piotrowski was a professor in the Art History Department of Adam Mickiewicz University, Pozna?, and a research fellow at the Graduate School for East and South-East European Studies at the universities of Munich and Regensburg. He is the author of several books, including: Meanings of Modernism (2009, 2011), In the Shadow of Yalta (2009), Art after Politics (2007), Critical Museum (2011), and Art and Democracy in Post-Communist Europe (2012). Between 2009 and 2010, he was the director of the … Read more

Interview with Moritz Pankok (Berlin) About Ceija Stojka and the Re-Evaluation of Roma Art

Moritz Pankok is a German scenographer, director, curator and fine artist living in Berlin. A great-nephew of expressionist artist Otto Pankok, who documented Sinti life in late Weimar-era Germany and was labelled a degenerate artist by the Nazis, he is interested in socially engaged art projects. Pankok is the art director of Galerie Kai Dikhas, a private gallery in Berlin dedicated to Roma contemporary art. He was curator of the recent exhibition of work by the Austrian-Romani painter Ceija Stojka, which ran until October 6 at Gallery8, Budapest, the nonprofit counterpart of Kai Dikhas.(We Were Ashamed, Gallery8, Budapest, Hungary, Read more

Interview with Katalin Cseh and Adam Czirak About the Second Public Sphere in the former Eastern Bloc

The three-day conference Performing Arts in the Second Public Sphere (org. by Katalin Cseh and Adam Czirak, Free University Berlin, May 9 -11, 2014) focused on the second public sphere as a space belonging to unofficial, event-based activities in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc between the 1960s and ’80s. The organizers’ idea was to redefine the borderline between the official and the unofficial cultural realms by examining underrepresented artistic practices located in the often invisible niches of the state-socialist cultural apparatus. The topics addressed by conference participants ranged from subversive artistic practices and the role of gender in … Read more

Creating Art and Meaning through Collaboration: Interview with Nina Czegledy

In 1996, Nina Czegledy co-conceived the multiplatform Aurora Project, which has brought together a range of specialists working within the arts and sciences. Under the umbrella of the Aurora Project several exhibitions and programs have been produced, including the Aurora Feast Public Art Project and Aura/Aurora. The project partners and contributors include artists interested in addressing mythological, aesthetic and cosmological readings of the Aurora Borealis, scientific researchers measuring electromagnetic frequencies and the social and psychological effects of spectacle, and computer scientists exploring how amorphous information is represented.

Janeil Engelstad: Your collaborative project Aura/Aurora interprets and explores the natural phenomena … Read more

The Artist as Mediator: An Interview with Marjetica Potrč

Based in Ljubljana and Berlin, Marjetica Potr? deals with issues of social space and contemporary architectural practices, sustainability, and new solutions for communities. Her practice is strongly informed by her interdisciplinary collaborations in research-based, on-site projects, such as Théâtre Evolutif (Bordeaux, 2011), The Cook, the Farmer, His Wife and Their Neighbour (Stedelijk Goes West, Amsterdam, 2009), and Dry Toilet (Caracas, 2003). She translates these investigations into text-based drawings and large-scale architectural installations (“case studies”). Her work has been featured in exhibitions throughout Europe and the Americas, including the São Paulo (1996, 2006) and Venice biennials (1993, 2003, 2009). She has … Read more

Art as a Laboratory: Interview with Tamás Kaszás

Tamás Kaszás was born in 1976 in Dunaújváros, Hungary. He is a graduate of the Intermedia Department of the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest. Inspired by theoretical research, Kaszás’ projects are based on social questions and spiritual science. He mixes poetic images with practical “inventions,” creating large installations the artist calls “visual aid constructions.” Kaszás aspires to an economic and ecological art practice, designing easy-to-make structures from inexpensive and recycled materials using techniques readily available to anyone. The artist has exhibited his work at the 12th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul (2011); Open Space, Vienna; SMAK, Gent; Ludwig Museum, Budapest; Storm … Read more

Early Ecological Impulses: An Interview with Rudolf Sikora

In May 2013, I met with Rudolf Sikora in his studio and home in Bratislava, Slovakia.(Also taking part in the conversation was the Slovak artist Matej Vakula who translated and assisted with video documentation.) Our conversation, one of many we have had since we first worked together on my project “Voices From the Center” in 2009, centered on his work from the early 1970s that addressed ecological themes. Sikora was one of a handful of Czechsolovak artists who were, at this time, exploring the interconnectedness between art, ecology and inner consciousness.(Other Czechoslovak artists that were working on Read more

Politics, the Environment and Art Across a Changing Political Landscape: Interview with Maja and Reuben Fowkes

Maja and Reuben Fowkes’s essay, “Green Critique in a Red Environment: East European Art and Ecology under Socialism” can be found in ARTMargins print journal (#3.2. 2014) as part of this online/offline project. In the following interview, they reflect upon contemporary artists that are addressing environmental and sustainability concerns, as well as larger issues connected to these themes.

Janeil Engelstad: Taking a broad look at Central European artists working today in ecology and with sustainability, do you sense that there is a collective art/environmental scene? And if so, do you see this work as strengthening the larger Environmental Movement?

Maja Read more

Interview with Alexei Yurchak

Alexei Yurchak is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and core faculty member in the Department of Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2006, Yurchak published a groundbreaking study of the late-Soviet period, Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation (Princeton University Press), which earned him widespread recognition. Analyzing a variety of major shifts in political representation and meaning after the middle 1950s, and ensuing changes in late Soviet everyday practices—from Soviet ideological language to the fascination with Western rock music, the spread of popular jokes and anecdotes, among others—the book … Read more

Interview: Katarina Ševic and Gergely László

I met with artists Katarina Ševic and Gergely László at the Ethnological Museum in Berlin to talk about their project House Museum (2006), developed after being able to return to Ševic’s summer cottage in Žuljana, a small village on the Pelješac Peninsula (Croatia) after the civil war in ex-Yugoslavia (1991-2001). The ethnic conflicts prohibited Ševic, a Serbian citizen, and her family to enter Croatian territory and, therefore, inhabit the house. Thirteen years later, the artist returned and, working collectively with Gergely László, cleaned and repaired the house, left ravaged by war and occupied in her family’s absence. The artists gathered … Read more

Any Construction is a Socially Responsible Act: Interview with Igor Kovačevič

Igor Kova?evi? is an architect and a founding member of the Center for Central European Architecture (CCEA), a nonprofit organization in the Czech Republic devoted to the research and promotion of contemporary architecture (www.ccea.cz). The CCEA formulates a theory of architecture that takes into account the Central European experience and organizes projects, publications, lectures and workshops. Many of its projects deal with the social and political context of the urban environment, for instance Vision for the Prague Magistrala studies the history of Prague’s main arterial road and tries to create pressure on local politicians in order to alleviate car traffic … Read more

Interview with Geta Brătescu (Adriana Oprea)

For most of her career Geta Bratescu worked under communism in Romania. Bratescu studied at the Faculty of Letters and the Institute of Fine Arts in Bucharest, where her master teacher was Camil Ressu. Her body of work comprises drawing, collage, engraving, tapestry, objects, photography, experimental film, video and performance. She is also the author of several books — documents of daily studio notes, reflections about art and travel experiences. Already an established artist in 1989 when the communist regime ended in Romania, Bratescu continued to work and participate in important local exhibitions such as The Gender of Mozart (Artexpo, … Read more

Profile: Alexander Peroutka

Alexander Peroutka is an artist, curator and writer who graduated in 2006 from the Academy of Fine Arts Prague and received his Ph.D. at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Technical University in Brno. In 2005, Peroutka was a fellow at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts. His diploma work, Who Are We? (2006), in which a ventilator seems to react to open web texts ona PC screen, explored Czech online magazines and the way they channel discussions of identity and gender in the Czech media. Other recent projects, such as How do you like Sweden? (2007-2009), Collective Read more

Interview with Dan Perjovschi

I spoke with Dan Perjovschi, one of the most internationally respected artists living in Romania, about his political activities against the Rosia Montana cyanide gold mining project (headed by Gabriel Resources, a Canadian corporation). On August 27, 2013, a law was passed in a closed-door session of parliament to go forward with the project despite fifteen years of debate and opposition. In response and starting on September 1, protests against this law, the project, and the corruption linked to this project have erupted around the country and internationally, with tens of thousands of people from different political backgrounds (including progressive … Read more

Activated Roles of Curating in Hungary

In this interview, Eszter Szakács, a young Hungarian curator, interviews three curators, of different generations, working in Hungary: Hajnalka Somogyi, Adele Eisenstein, and Márton Pacsika. These discussions explore recent changes within the cultural policy of the Hungarian government and, more specifically, how they affect curatorial work.

Adele Eisenstein is a freelance curator based in Budapest, Hungary. She emigrated to Budapest in 1990, where she worked for the Balázs Béla Studio and Toldi Cinema. She was also a curator of the alternative art spaces “Turkish” Bath and Folyamat Galéria in Budapest. She is a former editor of the art journal PraesensRead more

Cultural Perspectives: A Wider View

In this interview, Hedvig Turai, co-editor of this update, talks with Gergely Nagy, art critic and journalist, about cultural politics. Nagy discusses the “big picture,” mapping the current political situation, and drawing a trajectory of some of the events outlined in this introduction.

Gergely Nagy is a prose writer, and freelance journalist and editor. He lives and works in Budapest. Currently he is an editor for Artportal, Hungary’s leading webzine dealing with contemporary art, cultural politics and the art market, as well as an editor for a book-marketing magazine. He has published three books and is working on a novel … Read more

Activism and Artistic Strategies

In this interview, artists Csaba Nemes and Szabolcs KissPál, leading members of the Free Artists group, speak to Drs. Maja and Reuben Fowkes, of the Translocal Institute, about the challenges posed by controversial government policies towards the arts in Hungary. Nemes and Kisspál also share how they see the contemporary art scene evolving in the future.

 

 

Csaba Nemes is an artist, whose work, which includes painting, video and conceptual projects, has been shown internationally. He studied painting at the Fine Art Academy Budapest, Hungary, and received his doctorate at the same school in 2010, focusing on … Read more

Occupying the Ludwig Museum

In this interview, curator and critic Gyula Muskovics speaks with Dóra Hegyi, project leader of tranzit.hu, on the occasion of the occupy action that took place on the stairs of the Ludwig Museum in Budapest May 9-21, 2013. Hegyi, who took part in the action, speaks about its origins and the newly formed civic group United for Contemporary Art.

 

 

Dóra Hegyi is an art historian, curator, and critic living in Budapest. She was a curator at the Ludwig Museum Budapest from 1996 to 2003, and since 2005 she is a project leader of tranzit.hu ( http://hu.tranzit.org/en). … Read more

Hungary in Focus: Conservative Politics and Its Impact on the Arts. A Forum

In 2003, Hedvig Turai, Allan Siegel and I put together an overview of diverse aspects of the Hungarian art scene. What gave urgency to providing an update so soon is that within just a few years, the cultural landscape has undergone significant change. Fidesz, the conservative right-wing party, has been in power for three years now in Hungary, gradually transforming the country into an isolationist, ethno-nationalist, authoritarian state not unlike Russia.

Concerning the post-Cold War world, Jürgen Habermas’s notion of a “post-national constellation” seems to be an outcome of wishful thinking, since despite the recurring prognosis of the death … Read more