The project ”Crossing the Borders: Transnational Collaborations and Institutional Critique in Exhibitions of Eastern European Art during Late Socialism (1964-1989)”, aims to investigate the constituency, dynamic and early reception of alternative artistic networks, self-organized and self-managed art institutions and exhibition practices both within and outside the Iron Curtain during late socialism – the period of so-called ”stagnation” associated with the ”Brezhnev era” and the perestroika.

Its main goal is order to produce a cultural cartography of counter-cultural art practices in the former Eastern Europe (which derive from conceptual art and performance), usually associated with the subversive, alternative, or experimental art, taking into account their institutional relations at a local, national and transnational level, their forms of organization and cultural exchange, and the curatorial and exhibition programs in which they were presented.

In this respect, the project aims to:

  • reveal and contextualize significant examples of institutional critique associated with alternative forms of exhibiting art in the former Eastern Europe and to construct a selective cartography of institutional critique in the former Eastern Europe
  • Map out inter- and trans-national artistic exchanges taking place within the Eastern bloc in and beyond the official networks and channels of cultural production
  • realize a comparative study between these (informal) art institutions, spaces and exhibition programs and formats in Eastern Europe and similar Western cases
  • provide a clearer representation of international exchanges taking place outside the Iron Curtain, indicating points of contact not only between the former ”East” and ”West”, but also between Eastern Europe and non-western world.