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

David Crowley, National College of Art and Design, Dublin (keynote)

David Crowley is a cultural historian of Eastern Europe under communist rule. His authored books include National Style and Nation-State. Design in Poland (1992) and Warsaw (2003) and he is the editor – with Susan Reid – of three volumes: Socialism and Style. Material Culture in Post-war Eastern Europe (2000); Socialist Spaces. Sites of Everyday Life in the Eastern Bloc (2003); and Pleasures in Socialism: Leisure and Luxury in the Eastern Bloc (2010). As a curator, Crowley’s major exhibitions include Cold War Modern at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2008–9 (co-curated with Jane Pavitt); The Power of Fantasy. Modern and Contemporary Art from Poland at BOZAR, Brussels, 2011; Sounding the Body Electric. Experimental Art and Music in Eastern Europe at Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, 2012 and Calvert 22, London, 2013 (co-curated with Daniel Muzyczuk). His most recent show, Notes from the Underground. Alternative Art and Music in Eastern Europe 1968-1994, continues his interest in the intersections of music and visual art. First mounted in Łódź, Poland, in autumn 2016, it travelled to Berlin in 2018 (also co-curated with Daniel Muzyczuk).

Klara Kemp Welch, The Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London (keynote)

Klara Kemp-Welch specialises in intersections between art and politics in the 20th century with a particular focus on modern and contemporary art from former Eastern Europe. She was educated at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies and University College London, where her doctorate on East-Central European Conceptualism was supervised by Professor Briony Fer. Before joining The Courtauld in 2009, she lectured at University College London, the University of the Arts London (Camberwell), and the University of York. Her publications include Antipolitics in Central European Art. Reticence as Dissidence under Post-Totalitarian Rule 1956-1989 (London: IB Tauris, 2014) and Networking the Bloc. Experimental Art in Eastern Europe 1965-1989 (Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: MIT Press, 2018). She is currently writing a monograph on Art, Labour and Migration in a ‘Two Speed’ Europe.

Sven Spieker, University of California at Santa Barbara (keynote)

Sven Spieker teaches in the Comparative Literature Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He specializes in modern and contemporary art and culture, with an emphasis on Russia and Eastern Europe, and a special interest in issues related to documentary and knowledge production. Spieker has lectured and published on topics ranging from the historical avant-garde (Malevich, Rodchenko, Dziga Vertov) to late 20th-century art practice from Wolfgang Kippenberger to subREAL. His books and articles have appeared in German, Korean, Russian, Swedish, Polish, and English. Spieker’s latest book publication is an edited volume devoted to the relationship between art and destruction (MIT Press/Whitechapel Gallery, 2017). The monograph The Big Archive (MIT Press, 2008; Korean translation 2014) focused on the archive as a crucible of European modernism. Spieker is the founding editor of ARTMargins Print and ARTMargins Online.

Zanna Gilbert, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (keynote)

Zanna Gilbert is a senior research specialist in the Getty Research Institute’s curatorial department. She completed her PhD at the School of Philosophy and Art History at the University of Essex, UK, in collaboration with Tate Research. Her research focuses on transnational conceptual art, concrete art and poetry, Xerox art, and the international mail art network. From 2012 to 2015, Gilbert was Andrew W. Mellon C-MAP postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, where she was responsible for research focusing on art in Latin America and was founding co-editor of MoMA’s online publication post. She has curated a number of exhibitions, including Daniel Santiago: Brazil Is My Abyss (Museu de Arte Moderna Aloisio Magalhães and Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói, 2012, 2014); The Unmaker of Objects: Edgardo Antonio Vigo’s Marginal Media (MoMA, 2014); Home Archives: Paulo Bruscky and Robert Rehfeldt’s M​​​​ail Exchange (Chert, Berlin, 2015) and she contributed a section on artistic exchange for the exhibition Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980 (MoMA, 2015). Most recently, she was co-curator of the PST:LA/LA exhibition Making Art Concrete: Works from Argentina in the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros at the J. Paul Getty Museum (2017). She is co-editor of the forthcoming book New Material Histories of Concrete Art (Getty Publications).

Zsuzsa László, Artpool Art Research Center, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

Zsuzsa László is a researcher at Artpool Art Research Center and is completing her PhD in Art Theory at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. Between 2009-2018 she was researcher and curator at tranzit.hu. She has (co-)curated various tranzit.hu exhibition and publication projects, including: Art Always Has Its Consequences, 2008–2010; Parallel Chronologies 2009-, Regime Change—Incomplete Project (2012), Sitting Together, 2016. She is member of board of tranzit/hu and the editorial board of the online magazine mezosfera.org. Between 2008–2012 she was lecturer at the Intermedia Department of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, and between 2005–2007 at the Institute for Art Theory and Media Studies, ELTE, Budapest. In her research and curatorial activities she explores transnational exhibition histories in relation to the concept of East-European Art in Cold War era, and the interconnections of pedagogical practices, cultural and social history of the neo-avant-garde.

Katalin Cseh-Varga, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna

Katalin Cseh-Varga is a historian and theoretician of visual, intermedia and performance art with a focus on socialist Central Europe, especially Hungary. She is currently working as a Hertha Firnberg Fellow at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and holds a lecturer position at the Department of Theatre, Film and Media Studies at the University of Vienna. Katalin is about to finish a book entitled The Hungarian Avant-Garde in Late Socialism: Art of the Second Public Sphere (I.B.Tauris, forthcoming). Her postdoctoral research project focuses on thinking about art in Central and Eastern Europe during state socialism. Besides being active as a project coordinator and editor, Katalin presents and publishes extensively on art theory and methodology in late socialist East-Central Europe, intellectual history during state socialism, public sphere theory in the post-totalitarian condition, performance and intermedia art, as well as archival studies.

Ieva Astahovska, Latvian Center for Contemporary Art, Riga

Ieva Astahovska is an art scholar, critic and curator. She works at the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, where she leads research projects related to socialist and post-socialist art, as well as non-formal education projects, focusing on current contemporary art processes. She has compiled and edited a number of publications—the anthology Valdis Āboliņš. The avant-garde, mailart, the New Left and cultural relations during the Cold War (2019), Workshop of Restoration of Unfelt Feelings. Juris Boiko and Hardijs Lediņš (2016), Revisiting Footnotes. Footprints of the Recent Past in the Post-Socialist Region (2015), Recuperating the Invisible Past (2012). She has curated exhibitions Valdis Āboliņš or How Fluxus Came to Aachen in Ludwig Forum, Aachen (2018), Archaeology of Kinetics in Riga Art Space (2016), Visionary Structures. Form Johansons to Johansons in Bozar, Brussels (2015) and Latvian National Library in Riga (2014).

Daniel Grúň, Institute of Art History, Slovak Academy of Sciences and The Július Koller Society, Bratislava

Daniel Grúň is an art historian, curator and writer. He studied art history at Trnava University (Slovak Republic). In 2009 he completed his Ph.D. thesis on art criticism of the 1960s in Czechoslovakia. He was a co-curator of international retrospective Július Koller One Man Anti Show (MUMOK, Vienna, 2016; MUSEION, Bolzano, 2017) and has been writing on artist’s archives, self-historicisation and legacy of neo-avant-gardes. Currently he teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava and conducts research at the Institute of Art History. He is in charge of The Július Koller Society. Lives and works in Bratislava.

Caterina Preda, Department of Political Science, University of Bucharest

Caterina Preda is Senior University Lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Bucharest, Romania. She is working on art and politics (both cultural policies and artistic artifacts) in modern dictatorships and for now in Eastern Europe and Latin America (with a focus on Romania and Chile). She also deals with the aftermath of dictatorships through an analysis of art of memorialization or art of memory. Her latest title Art and Politics under Modern Dictatorships. A Comparison between Chile and Romania (Palgrave, 2017) analyses the relationship between art and politics in two contrasting modern dictatorships. She also edited The State Artist in Romania and Eastern Europe The Role of the Creative Unions (Editura Universitatii din Bucuresti, 2017).

Juliane Debeusscher, University of Barcelona/Université Grenoble Alpes

Juliane Debeusscher is an art historian based in Barcelona, Spain. Her work addresses the circulation of unofficial central European art across the Iron Curtain, with a particular focus on exhibitions and transnational networks. She is currently finishing her PhD (Universitat de Barcelona/Université Grenoble Alpes), with a fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities associated with the research project MoDe(s) Decentralized Modernities: Art, Politics and Counter-culture in the Transatlantic Axis during the Cold War. Among her last publications is the edited volume of the Journal of Global Studies and Contemporary Art (REG|AC) on “Cold War networks and circulations: Cross-cultural Dialogues and Practices throughout the Global South (1957-1991)” (with Paula Barreiro López), and chapters in the books Media and the Cold War in the 1980s (2019) and Atlántico Frío. Redes transnacionales del arte y la política en los tiempos del Telón de Acero (2019). She is currently participating in the project Confrontations. Sessions in East European Art History, 2019-2020.

Dietmar Unterkofler, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Dietmar Unterkofler is an art historian currently based in Bozen-Bolzano. Studied Comparative Literature, German Studies and Cultural Studies in Vienna, Bologna, and Belgrade. He was teaching at the University of Novi Sad, and he holds a PhD from the Vienna University. His thesis “At second glance – Neo-Avant-garde and Conceptual Art in Hungary and Serbia 1965-1980” offers a detailed comparative analysis of experimental art in late socialism in Hungary and Serbia.

Kädi Talvoja, Institute of Art History and Visual Culture, Estonian Academy of Arts

Kädi Talvoja (PhD) is a researcher at the Institute of Art History and Visual Culture, Estonian Academy of Arts. Her research focus lies in the historiography of Soviet visual art, especially the developments of national discourse(s) in Soviet art ideology, policy and practice.

Pavlina Morganova, Academy of Fine Arts, Prague

Pavlína Morganová is an art historian and curator, based in Prague, Czech Republic. Works as a director of the Research Center and vice-rector for art, research and development at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. She lectures on Czech Art of the 20th century, is a co-editor of the anthologies of manifestos and documents from Czech art 1939-1989 (Academia, 2001) and Czech art 1980-2010 (VVP AVU, 2011). She is the author of the book Czech Action Art / Happenings, Actions, Events, Land Art, Body Art and Performance Art Behind the Iron Curtain. Her recent book/guide published in Czech Walk through Prague is mapping the places where the happenings, performances and other actions took place in 1960s, 70s and 80s (it is going to be published in English in 2017). She also published texts in art journals and catalogues, e. g. Jiří Kovanda / I Haven’t Been Here Yet (Wrocław Contemporary Museum, The Brno House of Arts, 2013), Between the First and Second Modernity 1985-2012 (National Gallery in Prague, 2011), Fluxus East (Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, 2007); Action, Word, Movement, Space (Gallery of the City of Prague, 1999).

Claudia Friedrich, University of Cologne

Claudia Friedrich  studied Art History with a focus in the mediation of art regarding the art market and museums (M.A.) at the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, 2014. Since 2014 she is a Research Assistant for Art History and Art Market Studies at the Department of Art History at the University of Cologne. She co-developed the project ART | GALLERY GIS | COLOGNE. She participated in the conference: “The Galerie Stern within the context of the Rhineland Art Trade during National Socialism“ with a Keynote Lecture about “On the development of Düsseldorf’s art trade from the mid 19th century until 1945“ (with Prof. Dr. Nadine Oberste-Hetbleck). She is editing Manager and author of numerous publications in Art and Art Market Studies.

Veronika Rollová, Academy of Art, Architecture and Design, Prague

Veronika Rollová, is an art historian based in Prague. In her research she addresses history of art, architecture and design in relation to politics with a special focus on the ways in which Czechoslovak art institutions approached public space during the Cold War era. Since 2018 she works at the Academy of Art, Architecture and Design in Prague on a five-year project „Architecture and Czech politics since 19th to 21st Century“. In 2019 her Ph.D. dissertation was published under the title „Pražský hrad na cestě ke komunistické utopii (1948−1968)“ (Prague Castle on Its Way Towards Communist Utopia (1948−1968) and she also edited a volume „Contact. International Symposium of Ceramics Bechyně 1966−2018“. She is a curator of the Mimochodem Gallery in Prague, which deals with site-specific projects created by young artists in the public space, and since 2018 participates in research and other activities related to the International Symposium of Ceramics Bechyně.

Dániel Véri, Ferenczi Museum Center, Budapest

Daniel Véri, is an art and cultural historian, head of scientific affairs at the Ferenczy Museum Center in Szentendre, Hungary. He is a member of the research group “Confrontations: Sessions in East European Art History” (UCL, 2019–2020). His research interests include Central European art from the 1945–89 period, especially the artistic reception of Jewish identity and the Holocaust, as well as the cultural history of blood libels. He holds a PhD in the history of art from Eötvös Loránd University (2016); his dissertation was dedicated to János Major, a major Jewish figure of the 1960s–70s Hungarian neo-avant-garde (See ’Leading the Dead’ – The World of János Major. Budapest: MKE, 2013). Previously, he received MA degrees in art history (ELTE, 2009) and history (Central European University, 2010). Recent publications include: “Holocaust and the Arts: Paths and Crossroads”, in: Art in Hungary 1956–1980: Doublespeak and Beyond, London, Thames & Hudson, 2018; “The Tiszaeszlár Blood Libel: Image and Propaganda”, in: Nineteenth-Century Anti-Semitism in International Perspective, Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2019.

Kirill Chunikhin, Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg

Kirill Chunikhin is Senior Lecturer in the Department of History, National Research University Higher School of Economics, St Petersburg. He holds a Ph. D from Jacobs University, Bremen. He was a Pontica Magna Fellow at New Europe College, Bucharest, Romania and was the recipient of a TERRA foundation grant for research in the USA. He is currently participating in the international seminar Periodization in Art History and its Conundrums. How to tackle them in East-Central Europe (NEC, Bucharest) which is part of the Getty Foundation’s Connecting Art Histories initiative.

Alessandra Franetovich, University of Florence

Alessandra Franetovich is an art historian and independent curator. She is currently a PhD candidate in Art History at University of Florence, with a three year scholarship. Her dissertation research addresses the concept of the archive as a device to artistic self-institutionalisation, and investigates the role of archival practices in the construction of Russian contemporary art, through the case study of the Archive of Moscow Conceptualism owned by the artist Vadim Zakharov. She has led lectures, seminars, and conferences on her research at Universität Leipzig, Deutsche Forum für Kunstgeschichte / Centre alemaine d’Histoire de l’Art di Parigi, University of Turin, PAV, Museo Parco Arte Vivente, Albertina Accademy of Fine Arts, University of Pisa. As curatorial assistant she collaborated with museums, art institutions, and galleries in Italy. As an independent curator, she has curated exhibitions and collaborated with art galleries, non-profit spaces, and festivals. Her latest articles and essays have been published on Middle Plane and e-flux, the last will be published on Studia Universitatis Babeș-Bolyai.

Galina Dekova, National Academy of Arts, Sofia

Galina Dekova is an art historian; she holds a PhD from the National Academy of Arts; board Member of UBA (Union of Bulgarian Artists). Current positions – curator at Gallery Vaska Emanouilova, branch of Sofia City Art Gallery and adjunct professor at the National Academy of Arts, Sofia. Past work experience includes – Co-Curator of Enchanted Kingdom. 130th Anniversary of the Birth of Nikolay Raynov. Exhibition (2019), Curator and Artistic Director at Studio-collection Svetlin Roussev (2012–2018). Research field: Bulgarian modernism, art from the XX century. Author of the publications: The eleophotographs of Dimitar Dobrovich – a specific case (2017), Danail Dechev- Homecoming (2015).

Anna Markowska, University of Wroclaw

Anna Markowska is an art historian, curator and critic, graduated from the Jagiellonian University in Cracow. She is currently a professor at the University of Wroclaw. Her research and teaching interests focus on art and culture from 1945 till now, comprise art after Holocaust, Polish art under Communism, art strategies in relation to power, methodologies of history, post-war American art. He has just published: Dlaczego Duchamp nie czesal sie z przedzialkiem (Why Duchamp didn’t part his hair, Universitas, Krakow 2019).

Andrea Bátorová, Comenius University, Bratislava

Andrea Bátorová is an assistant professor at the Institute of Cultural Studies, Faculty of Arts at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. Between 2011 and 2017, she was a researcher at the Institute for Cultural and Visual Studies of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. Her research focuses on alternative and unofficial art and its societal contextualization between the 1960s and the 1980s in Eastern Europe, especially in the former Czechoslovakia. Between 2007 and 2009, she worked as an assistant curator at the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart in Germany. She received her doctoral degree from the University of Regensburg, Germany. Her thesis, entitled “Action Art in Slovakia in the 1960s: Actions by Alex Mlynárčik”, was published in German in 2009 and in Slovak in 2011. She has given invited lectures at the 102nd CAA Annual Conference in Chicago, the Tate Modern in London, the AAH Annual Conference in Norwich, Humboldt University in Berlin, the University of Vienna, and the 13th Congress of Gesellschaft für Theaterwissenschaft in Frankfurt. She participated at the project “Action art beyond the Iron curtain” (DFG, 2015- 18). Recent publications include “The Art of Contestation. Performative practices in the 1960s and 1970s in Slovakia” (2019).

Cristian Nae, “George Enescu” National University of Arts, Iasi

Cristian Nae is associate professor at the National University of Arts ”George Enescu” in Iași, Romania, where he teaches courses on contemporary art history, critical theory, visual and exhibition studies. He has benefited from scholarships and research grants from the Erste Foundation (Vienna), the Romanian Council of Scientific Research (CNCS-UEFISCDI), the CAA-Getty International Program, the Getty Foundation (Los Angeles) and New Europe College (Bucharest). Currently, he is senior advisor in the project Periodization in the History of Art and its Conundrums. How to tackle them in East-Central Europe (New Europe College, Bucharest), supported by the Getty Foundation as part of its Connecting Art Histories innitative. His latest studies have appeared in collective volumes published by Wiley-Blackwell (2019, forthcoming), de Gruyter (2019) and Routledge (2018). Nae edited the book (In)Visible Frames. Rethorics and Experimental Exhibition Practices in Romania 1965-1989 (Idea, 2019). As a curator, he is the co-organizer of the exhibition Rethinking the Image of the World: Projects and Sketches (Musée Mill, La Louvrière, Belgium, 2019), which was part of the Europalia Arts Festival. Nae also curated Unfinished Conversations on the Weight of Absence, the exhibition marking Romania’s participation in the 58th Venice Biennale (2019).

Magda Radu, “George Enescu” National University of Arts, Iasi and Salonul de proiecte, Bucharest

Magda Radu is a curator and art historian based in Bucharest. She is one of the founders and co-curator of the program Salonul de proiecte, which functioned between 2011 and 2015 at MNAC Anexa and is now an independent initiative located in the Universul Palace in Bucharest. She edited (or co-edited) several exhibitions catalogues and books, among which: Art in Romania Between 1945-2000. An Analysis from Today’s Perspective (2016), subREAL (2015), Dear Money (2014) and André Cadere / Andrei Cădere (2011). In the last few years she also curated exhibitions at institutions including MUSAC, Leon; Spinnerei, Leipzig; and Photo España, Madrid. She was the curator of the Romanian Pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (2017).

Zofia Reznik, Institute of History of Art, University of Wrocław/Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław

Zofia Reznik is an art researcher, curator, cultural animator and academic teacher. Her research interests include contemporary art, gender and memory studies, oral history and herstories, artistic research, psychogeography and new media. She graduated from the Inter-faculty Individual Studies in Humanities (MISH) at the University of Wrocław and finished postgraduate Gender Studies at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Currently, she is preparing a PhD dissertation on the artistic research in XXI-century Poland, under the supervision of prof. Anna Markowska at the Institute of the History of Art of the University of Wrocław. Since 2018, she is directing a research project on the oral history of women’s art of the 1970s in the so-called Regained Territories (The Art of Wrocław Women Artists in the 1970s in the Light of their Micronarrations, a National Science Center grant no 2017/27/N/HS2/02476). She’s a co-chairwoman of the Version Foundation and a lecturer at the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Arts and Design in Wroclaw.