Klara Kemp-Welch: Networking the Bloc: Experimental Art in Eastern Europe 1965-1981 (2018)

28 April 2020, dusan

“Throughout the 1970s, a network of artists emerged to bridge the East-West divide, and the no less rigid divides between the countries of the Eastern bloc. Originating with a series of creative initiatives by artists, art historians, and critics and centered in places like Budapest, Poznań, and Prague, this experimental dialogue involved Western participation but is today largely forgotten in the West. In Networking the Bloc, Klara Kemp-Welch vividly recaptures this lost chapter of art history, documenting an elaborate web of artistic connectivity that came about through a series of personal encounters, pioneering dialogues, collaborative projects, and cultural exchanges. Countering the conventional Cold War narrative of Eastern bloc isolation, Kemp-Welch shows how artistic ideas were relayed among like-minded artists across ideological boundaries and national frontiers.

Much of the work created was collaborative, and personal encounters were at its heart. Drawing on archival documents and interviews with participants, Kemp-Welch focuses on the exchanges and projects themselves rather than the personalities involved. Each of the projects she examines relied for its realization on a network of contributors. She looks first at the mobilization of the network, from 1964 to 1972, exploring five pioneering cases: a friendship between a Slovak artist and a French critic, an artistic credo, an exhibition, a conceptual proposition, and a book. She then charts a series of way stations for experimental art from the Soviet bloc between 1972 and 1976—points of distribution between studios, private homes, galleries, and certain cities. Finally, she investigates convergences—a succession of shared exhibitions and events in the second half of the 1970s in locations ranging from Prague to Milan to Moscow. Networking the Bloc, Kemp-Welch invites us to rethink the art of the late Cold War period from Eastern European perspectives.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2018
ISBN 9780262038300, 0262038307
xi+468 pages

Reviews: Cristian Nae (ARTMargins, 2019), Denisa Tomkova (H-Net, 2020), Henry Meyric Hughes (Critique d’art, 2020).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (17 MB)

Coronavirus and Philosophers (2020) [IT, EN, ES]

25 March 2020, dusan

Debate on the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) events and the state of exception sparkled by Giorgio Agamben’s article with contributions from Jean-Luc Nancy, Roberto Esposito, Sergio Benvenuto, Divya Dwivedi, Shaj Mohan, Rocco Ronchi, Massimo de Carolis, and others, in the Italian journal Antinomie. Included is an excerpt from Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish on the measures taken in the wake of a plague in the 17th century.

English translations of selected texts have been published by the European Journal of Psychoanalysis.

An expanded edition in Spanish was edited by Pablo Amadeo and published by ASPO (Aislamiento Social Preventivo y Obligatorio).

Paradoxia epidemica (Italian, HTML)
Coronavirus and Philosophers (English, Mar 2020, HTML, subsequent texts)
Sopa de Wuhan (Spanish, 29 Mar 2020, PDF, added on 2020-4-18)

Cedric J. Robinson: An Anthropology of Marxism (2001–)

29 January 2020, dusan

An Anthropology of Marxism offers Cedric Robinson’s analysis of the history of communalism that has been claimed by Marx and Marxists. Suggesting that the socialist ideal was embedded both in Western and non-Western civilizations and cultures long before the opening of the modern era and did not begin with or depend on the existence of capitalism, Robinson interrogates the social, cultural, institutional, and historical materials that were the seedbeds for communal modes of living and reimagining society. Ultimately, it pushes back against Marx’s vision of a better society as rooted in a Eurocentric society, and cut off from its own precursors. Accompanied by a new foreword by H.L.T. Quan and a preface by Avery Gordon, this invaluable text reimagines the communal ideal from a broader perspective that transcends modernity, industrialization, and capitalism.”

Preface by Avery F. Gordon
Publisher Ashgate, 2001
ISBN 1840147008
xxii+169 pages

Second edition
New foreword by H. L. T. Quan
Publisher University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC, 2019
ISBN 9781469649917, 1469649918
xxix+171 pages

Commentary: Avery F. Gordon (Race & Class, 2005).
Review: Rose Deller (LSE Rev of Books, 2019).

Publisher (2nd ed.)
WorldCat (2nd ed.)

PDF (1st ed., 2001, 9 MB)
PDF (2nd ed., 2019, 2 MB)