Category: Interviews

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 ( 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, 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 ( … 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

The OHO Files, Updated

In October 2011, ARTMargins Online published a block of texts on the Slovene art collective the OHO Group, including interviews with Milenko Matanovi? and David Nez. The texts were accompanied by an afterword by Ksenya Gursthein. We are now adding interviews with OHO members Marko Poga?nik and Andraž Šalamun, together with an updated preface.

The OHO Group, a Slovene artistic collective formed in the late 1960s, consisted of Milenko Matanovi?, David Nez, Marko Poga?nik, and Andraž Šalamun as the permanent, core members. Other artists, for example, Tomaž Šalamun, who is well known as a poet today, often contributed or acted … Read more

The OHO Files: Interview with Marko Pogačnik

ARTMargins Online publishes exclusive interviews with former members of the Ljubljana-based OHO Group, which formed in the late 1960’s and consisted of Milenko Matanovi?, David Nez, Marko Poga?nik, and Andraž Šalamun. It belonged to the wider Slovene OHO Movement and regularly collaborated with this wider circle of intellectuals and artists.

Marko Poga?nik (born 1944) graduated from the sculpture department at the Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts in 1967. He was an active member of the OHO Movement and the OHO Group. In 1971, together with his family and friends, he founded a rural and artistic community, the “Šempas Family” in Read more

The OHO Files: Interview with Andraž Šalamun

ARTMargins Online publishes exclusive interviews with former members of the Ljubljana-based OHO Group, which formed in the late 1960’s and consisted of Milenko Matanovi?, David Nez, Marko Poga?nik, and Andraž Šalamun. It belonged to the wider Slovene OHO Movement and regularly collaborated with this wider circle of intellectuals and artists.

Andraž Šalamun (born 1947) graduated from the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. He was an active member of the OHO Group. Later on he devoted himself to painting. In the 1970s he was interested in abstract painting. In the 1980s he was influenced by the Italian Transavanguradia, and painted large Read more

Monuments and the Haunting Past: Interview with Rostislav Švácha

Rostislav Švácha is an architecture critic and historian based in Prague. In this interview, Švácha discusses possible approaches to monuments from the Communist era and the constant re-emergence of the past in the Czech Republic.

Jana Beránková: You have extensively analyzed the work of the prominent Czechoslovak architecture critic Karel Teige and his polemics on monumentality with Le Corbusier. How does one recognize a monument?

Rostislav Švácha: I have discussed this issue at recent lectures on Louis Kahn, an architect who challenged traditional metaphors of monumentality. I tried to persuade my students that monumentality needs some intelligible metaphors guaranteeing … Read more

Interview with Elena Filipovic

Elena Filipovic is Senior Curator at WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels. ARTMargins Online spoke to Filipovic about her exhibition Alina Szapocznikow: Sculpture Undone, 1955–1972, which opened at WIELS Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels and traveled to the Hammer Museum, LA; MoMA, NY; and the Wexner Center for the Arts, OH.

ARTMargins Online: What prompted you to organize an Alina Szapocznikow retrospective when you did? What aspects of the artist’s work did you feel essential to reveal to Western audiences? What is the importance of Szapocznikow’s work at this particular historical, cultural moment?

Elena Filipovic: I had been following Alina Szapocznikow’s work for … Read more

Interview with Matei Bejenaru

Matei Bejenaru is a visual artist who lives and works in Iasi, Romania. He teaches photography and video art at “George Enescu” University of Arts. He is founding member of Vector Association in Iasi and director of the Periferic Contemporary Art Biennial (1997-2008). He has participated in several group exhibitions, including those at Level 2 Gallery, Tate Modern, London (2007) and the Taipei Biennial (2008). Between November 2010 and July 2011, his experimental project for choral music Songs for a better future was shown at The Drawing Room and Tate Modern (Turbine Hall) in London, at Western Front in Vancouver, … Read more

Solidarity, Representation and the Question of Testimony in Artistic Practices: An Interview with Suzana Milevska

Suzana Milevska is an art and visual culture theorist and curator based in Skopje, Macedonia. Her research and curatorial interests include postcolonial critique of hegemonic power in art, complex relationships between gender theory and feminism(s) in art practices, and socially engaged and participatory projects. She holds a Ph.D. in Visual Cultures from Goldsmiths College in London, where she taught from 2003 to 2005. She was the Director of the Center for Visual and Cultural Research at the Euro-Balkan Institute in Skopje (2006 to 2008), and taught History and Theory of Art at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Skopje (2010 Read more

Interview with Irena Knezevic

Irena Knezevic (born Serbia, 1982) is an artist who works in various media, including prints, ceramics, sculpture, video, music, and architecture. Her work often addresses issues related to the political and cultural history of her native Serbia. She was a student organizer who helped organize protests against Slobodan Milosevic’s government before moving to Chicago in 2000, where she studied at Columbia College, the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago (MFA, 2007). Knezevic is currently an assistant professor at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis and researches at … Read more

Joanna Malinowska in Conversation with Magdalena Moskalewicz

Polish-born, Brooklyn-based visual artist Joanna Malinowska works mainly in sculpture, video, and performance art. Her projects are often inspired by interest in cultural anthropology and cultural clashes – she traveled to the American Far North to make a video documentary on Jimmy Ekho aka Arctic Elvis – an Inuit folk singer and Elvis Presley impersonator. In one of her early video explorations, Malinowska impersonated a stereotypical Polish cleaning lady and cleaned apartments of New York intellectuals in exchange for private lessons in philosophy. Malinowska’s work has been presented in many solo and group exhibitions in the United States and Europe, … Read more