Artists & Agents: Performance Art and Secret Services (2019)

14 February 2021, dusan

Artists & Agents puts the spotlight on a neglected aspect of performance art from the 1960s to the 1990s: the interaction between secret services and performance art – an art form which the secret service agencies of communist Eastern European countries considered especially dangerous. Eastern Europe is one of the few places where archival records have been made public, and they reveal how these agencies acted to “undermine” and “eliminate” dissident artists. To achieve this objective, however, the agents themselves sometimes had to become “performance artists.”

Building on in-depth research into the archival records of secret services in Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Germany, this publication shines a light on the files which the secret services of these countries kept about such artists. It showcases instances of artistic subversion and agent infiltration, some of which have not been disclosed before, while more recent works demonstrate that the issue of ramping up intelligence gathering operations in politics and everyday life is highly topical. This catalogue includes an introduction, a glossary explaining secret service terminology, entries on the relevant works of art, and background information on all of the files presented.”

Edited by Inke Arns, Kata Krasznahorkai, Sylvia Sasse, and HMKV (Hartware MedienKunstverein)
Publisher Kettler, Dortmund, 2019
Open access
ISBN 9783862068395, 3862068390
224 pages

Interview with curators: Map (2021, DE).
Exh. review: Georg Imdahl (FAZ, 2019, DE).

Exhibition
Publisher
WorldCat

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James Mark, Artemy Kalinovsky, Steffi Marung (eds.): Alternative Globalizations: Eastern Europe and the Postcolonial World (2020)

6 October 2020, dusan

“Globalization has become synonymous with the seemingly unfettered spread of capitalist multinationals, but this focus on the West and western economies ignores the wide variety of globalizing projects that sprang up in the socialist world as a consequence of the end of the European empires. This collection is the first to explore alternative forms of globalization across the socialist world during the Cold War. Gathering the work of established and upcoming scholars of the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and China, Alternative Globalizations addresses the new relationships and interconnections which emerged between a decolonizing world in the postwar period and an increasingly internationalist eastern bloc after the death of Stalin. In many cases, the legacies of these former globalizing impulses from the socialist world still exist today. Divided into four sections, the works gathered examine the economic, political, developmental, and cultural aspects of this exchange. In doing so, the authors break new ground in exploring this understudied history of globalization and provide a multifaceted study of an increasing postwar interconnectedness across a socialist world.”

Publisher Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2020
ISBN 9780253046505, 0253046505
vii+341 pages

Reviews: Jelena Đureinović (Studies of Transition States and Societies, 2020), Markus Sattler (Eurasian Geography and Economics, 2020), Ondřej Bělíček (A2larm, 2020, CZ).

Interviews with co-author (James Mark): Zoltán Ginelli (LeftEast, 2020, Part 2, Part 3).

Project website
Publisher
WorldCat

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James Mark, Bogdan C. Iacob, Tobias Rupprecht, Ljubica Spaskovska: 1989: A Global History of Eastern Europe (2019)

6 October 2020, dusan

“The collapse of the Berlin Wall has come to represent the entry of an isolated region onto the global stage. On the contrary, this study argues that communist states had in fact long been shapers of an interconnecting world, with ‘1989’ instead marking a choice by local elites about the form that globalisation should take. Published to coincide with the thirtieth anniversary of the 1989 revolutions, this work draws on material from local archives to international institutions to explore the place of Eastern Europe in the emergence, since the 1970s, of a new world order that combined neoliberal economics and liberal democracy with increasingly bordered civilisational, racial and religious identities. An original and wide-ranging history, it explores the importance of the region’s links to the West, East Asia, Africa, and Latin America in this global transformation, reclaiming the era’s other visions such as socialist democracy or authoritarian modernisation which had been lost in triumphalist histories of market liberalism.”

Publisher Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2019
New Approaches to European History series, 59
ISBN 9781108427005, 1108427006
vii+372 pages

Reviews: Árpád von Klimo (H-Diplo, 2020), Tilmann Siebeneichner (German History, 2020), Nick Ostrum (Europe Now, 2020),

Interviews with co-author (James Mark): Ondřej Bělíček (A2larm, CZ, 2019), Ondřej Bělíček (Jacobin, 2020), Ronaldas Galinis (LRT.lt, 2020), Rūta Miškinytė (15min.lt, 2020, LT), Zoltán Ginelli (LeftEast, 2020, Part 2, Part 3).

Book summary (Eurozine, 2019).

Project website
Publisher
WorldCat

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