Central and Eastern Europe
All neo-constructivists favored the discourse of freedom expressed in a more or less orthodox language of geometry. The crucial question, however, to repeat after Rosalind Krauss, is: how was the expression of freedom possible in that way, if the "grid," a system of intersecting lines, allegedly discovered anew again and again, is one of the most stereotypical visual devices? Furthermore, as the American art historian suggests, all the artists who started using "grid" as their "own" means of expression brought their artistic evolution to an end, since in many respects (structural, logical, as well as commonsensical) that particular figure can only be repeated.2 What was then the justification of the discourse of freedom or, more precisely, of its mythologization in the artistic practice of the Central European neo-constructivists? Most likely, it was the negative function of that art; the fact that under the specific historical circumstances it was directed against the socialist realism, absolutizing "form" (or even "pure form") while the authorities, particularly in the early fifties, were conducting a campaign against the so-called "formalism" identified with the bourgeois culture. According to the doctrine of the socialist realism, the form was supposed to be "national" ("narodnaya"), and the content "socialist." On the contrary, the neo-constructivists preferred the form to be universal, whereas the so-called content did not exist for then at all.