Kasper Opstrup: The Way Out: Invisible Insurrections and Radical Imaginaries in the UK Underground, 1961-1991 (2017)

22 June 2017, dusan

“A counterculture history of art and experimental politics that turns the world inside out

The Way Out examines the radical political and hedonist imaginaries of the experimental fringes of the UK Underground from 1961 to 1991. By examining the relations between collective and collaborative practices with an explicit agenda of cultural revolution, Kasper Opstrup charts a hidden history of experiments with cultural engineering, expanding current discussions of art, medias, politics, radical education and the occult revival. Even though the theatres of operation have changed with the rise of the Internet and a globalised finance economy, these imaginaries still raise questions that speak directly to the present.

Here we encounter a series of figures – including Alexander Trocchi, R. D. Laing, Joseph Berke, Brion Gysin, William Burroughs and Genesis P-Orridge – that blurred the lines between inner and outer, the invisible and the material. Four singular forms of speculative techniques for igniting an invisible insurrection with cultural means make up the central case studies: the sigma project, London Anti-University, Academy 23 and thee Temple ov Psychick Youth.

Contained within these imaginaries is a new type of action university: a communal affair that would improvise a new type of social relation into existence by de-programming and de-conditioning us without any blueprints for the future besides to make it happen. Instead of being turned upside down, the world was to be changed from the inside out.”

Publisher Minor Compositions, Wivenhoe, 2017
ISBN 9781570273285
252 pages

Publisher

PDF, PDF
Scribd

Osemdesata / The Eighties (2017) [Slovenian/English]

12 June 2017, dusan

A magazine and booklet for a trilogy of exhibitions focusing on the 1980s and their legacy organized by Moderna galerija in Ljubljana.

Edited by Adela Železnik and Ana Mizerit
Publisher Moderna galerija, Ljubljana, 2017
Open access
24 & 80 pages
via MG+MSUM

Exhibitions

Magazine (8 MB)
Booklet: The Heritage of 1989. Case Study: The Second Yugoslav Documents Exhibition (14 MB)

See also The 1980s: Today’s Beginnings? An Alternative View on the 80s (2016).

Branislav Jakovljević: Alienation Effects: Performance and Self-Management in Yugoslavia, 1945-91 (2016)

17 February 2017, dusan

“In the 1970s, Yugoslavia emerged as a dynamic environment for conceptual and performance art. At the same time, it pursued its own form of political economy of socialist self-management. Alienation Effects argues that a deep relationship existed between the democratization of the arts and industrial democracy, resulting in a culture difficult to classify. The book challenges the assumption that the art emerging in Eastern Europe before 1989 was either “official” or “dissident” art, and shows that the break up of Yugoslavia was not a result of “ancient hatreds” among its peoples but instead came from the distortion and defeat of the idea of self-management.

The case studies include mass performances organized during state holidays; proto-performance art, such as the 1954 production of Waiting for Godot in a former concentration camp in Belgrade; student demonstrations in 1968; and body art pieces by Gina Pane, Joseph Beuys, Marina Abramovic, and others. Alienation Effects sheds new light on the work of well-known artists and scholars, including early experimental poetry by Slavoj Žižek, as well as performance and conceptual artists that deserve wider, international attention.”

Publisher University of Michigan Press, 2016
Creative Commons BY-NC-ND License
ISBN 9780472900589
xii+369 pages

Review: Aleksandra Jovićević (Peščanik).

Publisher
OAPEN
WorldCat

PDF, PDF (3 MB)
Images, PDF (HathiTrust)
PDF chapters (Jstor)

Alexei Yurchak: Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation (2005–) [EN, RU]

2 January 2017, dusan

“Soviet socialism was based on paradoxes that were revealed by the peculiar experience of its collapse. To the people who lived in that system the collapse seemed both completely unexpected and completely unsurprising. At the moment of collapse it suddenly became obvious that Soviet life had always seemed simultaneously eternal and stagnating, vigorous and ailing, bleak and full of promise. Although these characteristics may appear mutually exclusive, in fact they were mutually constitutive. This book explores the paradoxes of Soviet life during the period of ‘late socialism’ (1960s-1980s) through the eyes of the last Soviet generation.

Focusing on the major transformation of the 1950s at the level of discourse, ideology, language, and ritual, Alexei Yurchak traces the emergence of multiple unanticipated meanings, communities, relations, ideals, and pursuits that this transformation subsequently enabled. His historical, anthropological, and linguistic analysis draws on rich ethnographic material from Late Socialism and the post-Soviet period.

The model of Soviet socialism that emerges provides an alternative to binary accounts that describe that system as a dichotomy of official culture and unofficial culture, the state and the people, public self and private self, truth and lie–and ignore the crucial fact that, for many Soviet citizens, the fundamental values, ideals, and realities of socialism were genuinely important, although they routinely transgressed and reinterpreted the norms and rules of the socialist state.”

Publisher Princeton University Press, 2005
In-Formation series
ISBN 0691121168, 9780691121161
x+331 pages

Reviews: Gleb Tsipursky (Soviet and Post-Soviet Review, 2005), Sheila Fitzpatrick (London Review of Books, 2006), John P. Ziker (American Anthropologist, 2006), Luahona Ganguly (Int’l J Communication, 2007), Christian Noack (H-Soz-u-Kult, 2007, DE), Christoph Neidhart (J Cold War Studies, 2010).

Publisher (EN)
WorldCat (EN)

Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More (English, 2005, EPUB)
Eto bylo navsegda, poka ne konchilos (Russian, trans. A. Belyaev, 2014, 15 MB)

The Age of Discrepancies: Art and Visual Culture in Mexico, 1968-1997 (2006) [Spanish/English]

22 December 2016, dusan

“This survey of artistic experimentation in late twentieth-century Mexico assesses fields as diverse as painting, photography, poster design, installation, performance, experimental theater, Super-8 film, video, music, poetry and popular culture. It also attempts–in what may be an experimental work itself–to recreate ephemeral works, insofar as possible, with the support of the artists. The three tumultuous decades between 1968 and 1997 saw the end of the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) in a violent final phase that began with the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre–which brutally crushed the student movement of 1968–and ended with the crises that followed the 1994 Zapatista uprising in Chiapas. The Age of Discrepancies is the first visual history to cover this exceptional period, and to propose a genealogy for the work that emerged from it.”

With essays by Olivier Debroise, Tatiana Falcón, Pilar García de Germenos, Vania Macías, Cuauhtémoc Medina, Lourdes Morales, Alejandro Navarrete Cortés, Álvaro Vázquez Mantecón.

La era de la discrepancia: arte y cultura visual en Mexico, 1968-1997
Edited by Olivier Debroise
Publisher Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México & Turner, México D.F., 2006
ISBN 9789703238293
469 pages
via Cármen Rossette Ramírez

Commentary: Cuauhtémoc Medina (c2013).

Publisher (2nd ed.)
WorldCat

PDF, PDF (35 MB)

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