Category: Volume 11, Issue 1-2

The Heresy of Didactic Art

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, Volume 11, Issue 1-2, pp. 3-9.


In The Vortex of Institutional Lives

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

Scenes of Access, Politics of Difference

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

Between the Personal and the Political: On Marianne Wex’s Let’s Take Back Our Space

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

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Learning on the Run: From Psycho-Modernism to Fugitive Sociality


Two exhibition and research projects, Creativity Exercises and Back to the Sandbox, are united by the history of reform pedagogy, Friederich Fröbel, and the legacy of the Bauhaus. The books related to the projects explore didactic and participatory art, questioning how to teach art, how to reform or radicalize education, and what participatory art practices share with pedagogy. The centerpiece of the first project is the work of Miklós Erdély and Dora Maurer, specifically the classes they organized at the Ganz-MAVAG factory in Budapest from 1975–1977. Although framed as part of an international turn toward creativity research during
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Miklós Erdély, Ernst Bloch, Kurt Gödel, and Hidden Green

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

Hidden Green by Miklós Erdély

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, Volume 11, Issue 1-2, pp. 102-105.

The Notebook

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, Volume 11, Issue 1-2, pp. 106-123.

From The Editors

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, Volume 11, Issue 1-2, pp. 124-125.


Madness as a Form of Knowledge: Pavel Ivanovich Karpov’s Creativity of the Mentally Ill

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),

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Dreams/Cinema/Palestine: Unoccupied Spaces in The Dream and My Love Awaits Me by the Sea

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

Reassessing Moscow Conceptualism: The View from the Nest

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

Photography Against Reproduction: Željko Jerman’s My Year, 1977

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

Erratum: Introduction to Jalal Al-e Ahmade “To Mohassess, for the Wall”

Mohammadreza Mirzaei’s “Introduction to Jalal Al-e Ahmad’s “To Mohassess, For the Wall’ “ (ARTM 10:2), p. 120 ( 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, Volume 11, Issue 1-2, pp. 226.