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)

Primary Documents: A Sourcebook for Eastern and Central European Art Since the 1950s (2002)

13 April 2020, dusan

“For several decades after World War II, Communist governments suppressed artistic freedom in Eastern Europe, creating conditions for the development of artistic expression markedly different from those in the West. Primary Documents provides an introduction for English-speaking readers to influential figures in the artistic and critical realms of the region and includes seminal artists’ writings, manifestos and texts by art historians from the past four decades. Many of these texts originally appeared in obscure journals in various foreign languages and are translated here for the first time.

The book, resulting from the research of an international team of scholars, artists, and curators working with The Museum of Modern Art, includes texts from Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. The chapters, organized thematically, are preceded by brief introductions and followed by case studies that chronicle events or describe the creation or reception of artworks.”

Edited by Laura Hoptman and Tomáš Pospiszyl
Foreword by Ilya Kabakov
Publisher Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2002
ISBN 0870703617, 9780870703614
375 pages
via ARCH

Reviews: Martina Pachmanová (ARTMargins, 2003), Alexei Monroe (Transitions, 2003), Yevgeniy Fiks (Art Journal, 2004).

Publisher
Distributor
WorldCat

PDF (17 MB)

Emese Kürti: Screaming Hole: Poetry, Sound and Action as Intermedia Practice in the Work of Katalin Ladik (2017)

28 October 2019, dusan

“This book focuses on the experimental practice of Katalin Ladik, a poet, performer and actress born in the former Yugoslavia. Her career as a poet writing in Hungarian language began in the intellectual circles of the neo-avant-garde journal Új Symposion (New Symposium) in Novi Sad, but the subversiveness of her feminine practice gave her a distinctive position in the whole Yugoslav neo-avant-garde scene as early as the late 1960s. At the same time, linearity was also being replaced in Ladik’s poetic works by an extended notion of poetry, as she realised her actionism in a complex and mutual intermedial relationship between poetry, sound and visuality. Her performances attracted lively attention not only on account of an interpretation of poetry and sound that was radically new both in Yugoslavia and abroad at the time; her use of the eroticized body also seemed to lack any predecessors in the local avant-garde of the day. Katalin Ladik, who synthesized the traditions of Balkan folk music and Hungarian folklore, could work supraethnically, as it were, in this multiethnic Yugoslav context, using the references of multiple cultures, which suited with persistently international spirit of the avant-garde.”

Translated by Katalin Orbán
Publisher acb ResearchLab, Budapest, 2017
ISBN 9789631283617, 9631283615
247 pages
via Author

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (36 MB)