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)

Umbrella: The Anthology, 1978-1998 (1999)

4 November 2018, dusan

Essential anthology of writings from 1978-1998 published in the periodical Umbrella.

“It is hard to believe that more than twenty years have passed since the first issue of Umbrella was issued as a fledgling newsletter catering to the ever-changing vicissitudes of contemporary visual art, especially that of artist books, mail art, video art, rubber-stamps, audio art, and everything else that was considered not very important in the realm of the nearly new ‘market’ which came with the eighties and the boom in contemporary and modern art. … Many of these articles respond to a conference, symposium, a book art exhibition, all referring to date-sensitive events. But in a strange way, it also marks a trace of a historic moment, one in which there was a vitality and an energy, in which book publishers, resource collectors, multi-faceted artists, and curators did whatever seemed right at the moment. Many of our colleagues are gone, the publishers have quit their businesses, and alternative spaces and foundations which nourished their work are no longer extant. So read these chapters as if you were reading ‘you are there’ historic moments, traces of memory, and the markers in the history of alternative in the contemporary art world of the past twenty years.” — Judith A. Hoffberg (1934-2009) from book’s foreword.

Contributions by Clive Phillpot, Ken Friedman, Ita Aber, Walter Askin, Anna Banana, Mariona Barkus, Guy Bleus, Sas Colby, Patricia Collins, Jules Engel, J.C. Gagnon, William Harroff, Dick Higgins, E.F. Higgins III, Ruggero Maggi, Janet Pyle, Marilyn Rosenberg and Miriam Schaer.

Articles about and interviews with Ulises Carrión, Warja Lavater, Paul Zelevansky, Phil Dadson, Rod Summers, Maurizio Nannucci, Klaus Groh, Bern Porter, Wolf Vostell, Kevin Osborn, Juliao Sarmento, Paula Claire, Angela Pahler, Peter Kusterman, Leavenworth Jackson, Richard Kostelanetz, Elaine Langerman, Lawrence Weiner, George Maciunas, Jean Brown, and Judith A. Hoffberg.

Edited by Judith A. Hoffberg
Publisher Umbrella Editions, Santa Monica, CA, 1999
ISBN 0963504223, 9780963504227
164 pages

WorldCat

PDF (58 MB)

Give Them the Picture: An Anthology of La Mamelle and ART COM, 1975-1984 (2011)

24 October 2018, dusan

“An anthology of essays taken from La Mamelle and ART COM magazines. It collects and places in dialogue 24 articles penned by critics and artists such as La Mamelle / ART COM founder Carl Loeffler, Lynn Hershman, Richard Irwin, Anna Couey, and Linda Montano, plus interviews with artists such as Douglas Davis and Eleanor Antin.

This collection represents the complexity of the ideas presented in the exhibition as they were grappled with at the time of their original publication, and it also positions them as contemporary questions; particularly relevant is the mediation of performance. It also features conversations between the curators and two of La Mamelle / ART COM’s key figures, Nancy Frank and Darlene Tong.”

Edited by Liz Glass, Susannah Magers, and Julian Myers
Publisher Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice/CCA & CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, 2011
ISBN 9780980205572, 0980205573
202 pages
via editor

Exhibition
Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (5 MB)