Search results for: transition-in-post-soviet-art

Transition in Post Soviet Art

Author : Octavian Esanu
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"With an abridged translation of the Dictionary of Moscow Conceptualism."

Transition in Post Soviet Art

Author : Octavian Esanu
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The artistic tradition that emerged as a form of cultural resistance in the 1970s changed during the transition from socialism to capitalism. This volume presents the evolution of the Moscow-based conceptual artist group called Collective Actions, proposing it as a case-study for understanding the transformations that took place in Eastern European art after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Esanu introduces Moscow Conceptualism by performing a close examination of the Collective Actions group's ten-volume publication Journeys Outside the City and of the Dictionary of Moscow Conceptualism. He analyzes above all the evolution of Collective Actions through ten consecutive phases, discussing changes that occur in each new volume of the Journeys. Compares the part of the Journeys produced in the Soviet period with those volumes assembled after the dissolution of the USSR. The concept of "transition" and the activities of Soros Centers for Contemporary Art are also analyzed.

The Political Aesthetics of the Armenian Avant Garde

Author : Angela Harutyunyan
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This book addresses late-Soviet and post-Soviet art in Armenia in the context of turbulent transformations from the late 1980s to 2004. It explores the emergence of 'contemporary art' in Armenia from within and in opposition to the practices, aesthetics and institutions of Socialist Realism and National Modernism. This historical study outlines the politics (liberal democracy), aesthetics (autonomous art secured by the gesture of the individual artist), and ethics (ideals of absolute freedom and radical individualism) of contemporary art in Armenia and points towards its limitations. Through the historical investigation, a theory of post-Soviet art historiography is developed, one that is based on a dialectic of rupture and continuity in relation to the Soviet past. As the first English-language study on contemporary art in Armenia, the book is of prime interest for artists, scholars, curators and critics interested in post-Soviet art and culture and in global art historiography.

Transitional Aesthetics

Author : Uroš Cvoro
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Using the way in which artists from the former Eastern bloc perceive the experience of EU integration and transition from a Soviet past as a conceptual launching pad, this book explores how artists critically inhabit a permanent state of 'in-between' to capture the simultaneous existence of multiple and overlapping temporalities. Transitional aesthetics are artistic strategies that disrupt and interrogate ideologically loaded trajectories of cultural, social, or political transition. Examples of such trajectories include the movement from totalitarianism to democracy (post-socialism), from war to freedom and reconciliation (post-conflict), and from the edges of Europe to its centre (inclusion in the European Union). These transitional states include: the future orientation of (failed) socialism and the perpetual present of global capital; the history of unresolved past conflicts and reconciliation through 'transitional justice'; nationalist obsessions with the past and the cultural appeal of kitsch and retro objects in fashion, film and music; and the uncertain future promise of EU membership and resurgence of global right-wing populism, headed by figures like Berlusconi, Le Pen, and Trump. Transitional Aesthetics shows that apprehending time in contemporary art is fundamental to capturing the lived experience of a permanent state of instability; particularly relevant to Europe in the contemporary moment. In a world that has entered 'accelerated transition' towards instability, understanding this experience has broad and resonating relevance for politics, art and society.

What s the Matter with Moscow Developing a Field of Art in a Postsocialist Globalized World

Author : Elise Meghan Herrala
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How has the field of art developed, evolved, and been sustained in Russia after socialism? This dissertation examines the challenges Russian art-world actors face in building a field of art in a society undergoing rapid and significant economic, political, and social transformation. As a result of this upheaval, Russian art since the end of the Soviet Union has had to develop and negotiate an identity with the simultaneous yet contradictory forces of a socialist history and a neoliberal present. Further, actors in the Russian art world are judged against a teleological notion of artistic progress that stems from a Western-dominated cultural hierarchy. Russia’s art world grapples with both its Soviet past and its post-Soviet present in a world of fully developed fields of art. These conditions differ greatly from Bourdieu’s account of the genesis of an autonomous field of art in nineteenth-century France, in which he takes for granted the conditions that made the development of an autonomous tradition of art possible, namely a cultural and political legacy particular to France. Russian art, therefore, offers a unique contemporary example of how a field of cultural production must struggle to create itself as autonomous while outside the bounds of Bourdieu’s ideal field that bore Euro-American modernism in the West. I demonstrate the impact these differences have had on the development of a Russian field of art, by showing (1) how Russia’s tumultuous transition from socialism to capitalism has differently shaped two generations of post-Soviet artists; (2) the difficulty of establishing a strong market and the resultant limited community of collectors; (3) the impact of a powerfully constraining state on the lives and work of artists; and (4) the significance of entering into a world in which there already exists powerful field(s) of arts centered in the West. While the development of the Russian art world has made significant and arguably rapid changes over the past two decades—such as the increase of arts education and institutions—it still faces numerous challenges, from the escalating censorship by the state to the falling number of collectors. Further, when situated within a global context of inequality, it becomes apparent that the Russian field of art remains on the periphery of the international art world, struggling for legitimacy in the eyes of foreign experts and collectors. By attending to the historical trajectory of Russian art throughout the twentieth century—taking seriously the contributions of Soviet culture and the impact of globalization on cultural production and practices on its own terms as opposed to just as “other”—I construct a genealogy of the contemporary field of postsocialist art that illuminates how Russians have come to understand the categories of “art” and “artist.” Ultimately, this dissertation argues that the combination of the cultural and economic isolation experienced during the Soviet period, the current government’s controlling presence, and Western capitalist economic and cultural hegemony has had detrimental effects on its understanding of itself and thus, the creation of its field of art.

Art of Memories

Author : Vincent Antonin Lépinay
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Once the home of Catherine the Great’s private art collection, Russia’s State Hermitage Museum became the largest museum in the Soviet Union and, since the collapse of the USSR, one of the most active museums in the world. The Hermitage is a global model for the collection and preservation of fine art, deeply shaped by its need to protect itself and its holdings from the world beyond its gates. In Art of Memories, Vincent Antonin Lépinay documents the Hermitage’s curatorial practices in an innovative consideration of the museum as a cultural laboratory. Lépinay analyzes the tensions between the museum as a space of exploration of the collections and as a culture heavily invested in self-protection from the outside world. During a time when traveling abroad was rare, a generation of art historians produced a culture of confined scholarship premised on their proximity to the holdings of a museum enclave. As the Hermitage has become increasingly present on the world museum scene, its culture of secrecy and orality has endured. Lépinay analyzes the ethos of Hermitage curators and scholars over the transition from Soviet to post-Soviet museum cultures, considering the mobility of art, documentation of the collection, and the transformation of expertise. Based on Lépinay’s extraordinary access to the Hermitage and the scholars who work there, Art of Memories opens the door of one of the world’s great museums to reveal how art history is made. It is an essential study for readers interested in the role that outside forces play in culture, organizations, and the production of knowledge.

Transitions in Post Soviet Eurasia

Author : Archana Upadhyay
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This book discusses the ideological and historical relevance of the term ‘Eurasia’ as a concept in the global geopolitical and ethno-cultural discourse. It focuses on the contested meanings attached to the idea and traces its historical evolution and interpretations. The volume examines the contours and characteristics of power politics in the Eurasian landscape by exploring the dynamics of the contending and competing interests that have come to occupy the region, particularly in the aftermath of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. It further examines the multiple narratives that define the socio-political realities of the region and also the policies of the state actors involved, by reflecting upon the multifaceted dimensions of the Eurasian issues. These include nation building strategies, identity, ethnic conflicts, security, democratization, globalization, international migration, climate change and energy extraction. The geopolitical and civilizational aspects of Eurasianism, in which Russia occupies a pivotal geo-political place creates both opportunities and anxieties for other stakeholders in the region. The book also holistically analyses the developmental dimensions of the post-Soviet space and ‘Eurasianism’ as a concept and political practice in domestic, regional and global affairs. The book also analyses the developmental dimensions of the post-Soviet space and ‘Eurasianism’ as a concept and political practice in domestic, regional and global affairs.

Performance art in Eastern Europe since 1960

Author : Amy Bryzgel
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This volume presents the first comprehensive academic study of the history and development of performance art in the former communist countries of Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe since the 1960s. Covering 21 countries and more than 250 artists, this text demonstrates the manner in which performance art in the region developed concurrently with the genre in the West, highlighting the unique contributions of Eastern European artists. The discussions are based on primary source material-interviews with the artists themselves. It offers a comparative study of the genre of performance art in countries and cities across the region, examining the manner in which artists addressed issues such as the body, gender, politics and identity, and institutional critique.

Working with Feminism Curating and Exhibitions in Eastern Europe

Author : Angela Dimitrakaki, Katrin Kivimaa, Katja Kobolt, Izabela Kowalczyk, Pawel Leszkowicz, Suzana Milevska, Bojana Pejic, Rebeka Põldsam, Mara Traumane, Airi Triisberg, Hedvig Turai
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This edited collection, bringing together art historians and curators working both in the ‘East’ and the ‘West’ of Europe, is a result of a growing interest in the theorisation and historical analysis of feminist curating as a distinct practice with its own transnational history and politics. In most former state-socialist countries of Eastern Europe, the emergence and public visibility of feminist curating and exhibitions usually dates back to the 1990s and is associated with the radical transformation of art practices, ideologies and art systems as well as with wider socio-political and intellectual changes, and challenges, of post-socialist transition. This history, and its legacy, is addressed in this book through national and regional case-studies ranging from the Baltics to the Balkans. An equally significant part of the book is dedicated to the present and future of feminist curating, as well as of other politicised forms of curatorial activities (e.g. queer curating). In addition to the theoretical or historical accounts presented, the collection includes two highly relevant interviews with curators: Bojana Pejic on the block-buster exhibition Gender Check(2009–2010) in Vienna and Warsaw; and Airi Triisberg and Rebeka Põldsam on Untold Stories (2011), the first international queer exhibition in Tallinn, Estonia.

On Art

Author : Ilya Kabakov
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"This volume offers for the first time in English the most significant texts written by the Russian conceptual artist, performer, and painter Ilya Kabakov. The writings have been expressly selected for this English-language volume; there exists no equivalent volume in any language."--Provided by publisher.

Neighbours in Dialogue

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Performing the East

Author : Amy Bryzgel
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Performance art in Western Europe and North America developed in part as a response to the commercialisation of the art object, as artists endeavoured to create works of art that could not be bought or sold. But what are the roots of performance art in Eastern Europe and Russia, where there was no real art market to speak of? While many artworks created in the 'East' may resemble Western performance art practices, their origins, as well as their meaning and significance, is decidedly different. By placing specific performances from Russia, Latvia and Poland from the late- and post-communist periods within a local and international context, this book pinpoints the nuances between performance art East and West. Performance art in Eastern Europe is examined for the first time as agent and chronicle of the transition from Soviet and satellite states to free-market democracies. Drawing upon previously unpublished sources and exclusive interviews with the artists themselves, Amy Bryzgel explores the actions of the period, from Miervaldis Polis's Bronze Man to Oleg Kulik's Russian Dog performances. Bryzgel demonstrates that in the late-1980s and early 1990s, performance art in Eastern Europe went beyond the modernist critique to express ideas outside the official discourse, shocking and empowering the citizenry, both effecting and mirroring the social changes taking place at the time. Performing the East opens the way to an urgent reassessment of the history, function and meaning of performance art practices in East-Central Europe.

Globalizing East European Art Histories

Author : Beáta Hock
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This edited collection reassesses East-Central European art by offering transnational perspectives on its regional or national histories, while also inserting the region into contemporary discussions of global issues. Both in popular imagination and, to some degree, scholarly literature, East-Central Europe is persistently imagined as a hermetically isolated cultural landscape. This book restores the diverse ways in which East-Central European art has always been entangled with actors and institutions in the wider world. The contributors engage with empirically anchored and theoretically argued case studies from historical periods representing notable junctures of globalization: the early modern period, the age of Empires, the time of socialist rule and the global Cold War, and the most recent decades of postsocialism understood as a global condition.

Environment and Planning

Author :
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Constitutional Politics in Central and Eastern Europe

Author : Anna Fruhstorfer
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The contributions to this edited volume discuss constitutional politics in 20 Central and Eastern European countries. The country chapters describe all constitutional amendments and new constitutions after the first post-communist constitution-making, all failed amendment attempts, and the political discourses about constitutional politics. Framed by a broad comparative chapter, the country studies are embedded in the established literature on constitutional politics. The book thus provides a better understanding of constitutional politics in the region and beyond.

Post Communist Aesthetics

Author : Anca M. Pusca
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In this book, Anca Pusca seeks to extend the aesthetic and cultural turn in international relations to an analysis of post-communist transitions in Central and Eastern Europe. Building on the philosophy of Walter Benjamin and Jacques Ranciere, the work investigates how post-communist film, photography, theatre, art, museumization and architecture have creatively re-engaged with ideas of revolution, communism, capitalism and ethnic violence, and how this in turn has helped people survive and reinvent themselves amongst the material and ideological ruins of communism. The work illustrates how popular culture has effectively targeted and re-interpreted the classical representations of the transition in order to question: • The origin – focusing on practices of re-staging, memorializing and questioning the 1989 revolutions. • The unfolding – focusing on the human and material consequences of significant changes in processes of production and consumption. • The potential end – focusing on the illusions and disillusions surrounding the 'transition' process. A unique take on the influence that popular culture has had and continues to have on how we understand the post-communist transitions, this work will be of great interest to students and scholars of cultural and visual studies, eastern European politics and international relations.

Empty Action

Author : Marina Gerber
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Collective Actions is one of the most significant artistic practices to emerge from Moscow Conceptualism. The group's enigmatic idea of 'Empty action' is the focal point for Marina Gerber's exploration of this practice in relation to labour in the late Soviet Union. Based on interviews with members of the group (Monastyrski, Panitkov, Alexeev, Makarevich, Elagina, Romashko, Hänsgen and Kiesewalter) she exposes the relation between their jobs, their individual art practices and their contribution to the collective in the context of post-Stalinist debates on labour and free time. Departing from the mundane fact that Collective Actions' practice took place in free time from work for the Soviet State, Gerber identifies Empty action as a form of 'art after work'.

Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation

Author : Juan J. Linz
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5. Actors and contexts

Soviet Critical Design

Author : Tom Cubbin
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Soviet Critical Design is the first monograph to explore the socialist design practice of 'artistic projecteering', which was developed by the USSR's Senezh Experimental Studio in the 1960s. Tom Cubbin first examines the studio as a site for the development of the design discipline in the optimistic environment of the Soviet Thaw of the 1960s. He then explores how designers adapted to new realities of the Soviet Union of the 1970s and 80s. Over two decades, designers at the studio worked on critical projects that highlighted how the Soviet state's treatment of citizens, urban heritage and the environment was manifest in daily life. Drawing on previously unpublished visual material from private archives and also extensive interviews, this book presents a new history of the late socialist period in the USSR, which gives insight into the creative strategies of designers who engaged their practice as a contribution to broader discussions on alternative models for socialist existence. Overall, it argues that artistic projecteering must be read as a utopian activity which privileged the political and ideological over the functional.

Post Soviet Affairs

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