About the Conference

Exhibitions as Sites of Artistic Contact during the Cold War

Exhibitions as Sites of Artistic Contact during the Cold War

international conference | November 8 – 9, 2019 | UNAGE Iasi, RO

Organizers: Cristian Nae (UNAGE Iasi), Katalin Cseh-Varga (Akademie der Bildenden Kunste, Wien)

Dates: November 8 and 9, 2019

Location: The conference will be held in “Eduard Caudella” Hall at UNAGE – “George Enescu” National University of Arts Iasi, Balș House, Cuza Vodă Str. 29, 700040 Iași

Conference topic:

This symposium explores the agency of art exhibitions during the Cold War (1958-1989) in establishing transnational collaborations across the Iron Curtain, revealing the complexity of interrelations between art, society, and politics. In this way, the conference not only challenges the standard ideological division between ‘East’ and ‘West’ but looks at visual micro- and macro-histories through the lens of internationalism. The conference applies a broad understanding of East, Central and Southeast European art with a simultaneous view of international politics, global art currents, and local institutional as well as non-institutional decisions about art making in the region.

The conference investigates the exhibition as a medium, as a space of cultural contact and cultural diplomacy, as a site of exchange of objects and thoughts, as a space of gathering together, and as a location of innovative curatorial formats and alternative art practices. The organizers and contributors aim to reveal significant moments of conflicting, strategic, or peaceful contact with state institutions and politics. Their purpose is to map out the ways in which formal and informal networks of artists, objects and institutions have contributed to the circulation, transfer, adaptation, and reception of ideas and artistic practices on both sides of the Iron Curtain through the exhibition as a reflexive art for(u)m.

Conference language: English

Organising Team: Oana Nicuță Nae, Lavinia German

Volunteers: Lorena Marciuc, Georgiana Iftode, Daria Ivanov, Teodora Tomiță

Technical Support: Vlad Onescu

The conference has been organized as part of the research project “Crossing the Borders: Transnational Collaborations and Institutional Critique in Exhibitions of Eastern European Art during Late Socialism (1964-1989)”, code PN-III-P1-1.1-TE-2016-1369, financed by CNCS-UEFISCDI within PNCDI III.

Click here for more details about the project.

Click here for a photo gallery from the conference.