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Zsófia Bán and Hedvig Turai, eds., “Exposed Memories: Family Pictures in Private and Collective Memory” (Book Review) Print E-mail
Book Reviews
Written by Katherine Hill Reischl (Princeton)   
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 00:00

Roland Barthes's first reflections in Camera Lucida are propelled by the pleasure of viewing the photographic image. At the end of his survey of a wide photographic landscape, Barthes comes to realize his failing as an "imperfect mediator" whose investigation of photography led only to a clearer understanding of his own desire, and not "the nature (the eidos) of Photography" (Barthes, 60). Perhaps paradoxically, Barthes's turn to the "universal" in the latter half of Camera Lucida, to the ontology of the photograph, is founded on a more personal and intimate journey: the narrative exploration of the precious family photograph of his departed mother.

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Irina Botea: It is now a matter of learning hope, at threewalls, Chicago Print E-mail
Exhibition Reviews
Written by Susan Snodgrass (Chicago)   
Monday, 11 August 2014 00:00

Irina Botea, Still from “It is now a matter of learning hope,” HD video (2013-14). Image courtesy of threewalls gallery, Chicago.Throughout her practice that spans video, film, performance and installation, Irina Botea appropriates the instruments of mediation that shape the politics of memory to reconfigure the way history frames our contemporary consciousness. Employing strategies of role-playing, reenactment, and recitation, she recasts historical events, often from her native Romania, to remediate political traumas of the past while offering alternate views of reality than those produced by mainstream media.

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Special Issue: Art and the Environment in East-Central Europe Introduction Print E-mail
Articles
Written by Janeil Engelstad   
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 00:00

Oto Hudec, “If I Had a River,” 2012, mixed media, installation view. Image courtesy of the artist.Art and the Environment in East-Central Europe is an editorial project born from interviews and other forms of interaction with artists and cultural producers concerned, in one way or another, with the idea and the material reality of what goes by the name of the "natural environment." In the different pieces collected within this project, the term "environment" unfolds into a broad variety of concepts and artistic practices that do not, and should not, become homogenized. A survey rather than a deep investigation, Art and the Environment in East-Central Europe covers a wide range of art and ideas connected to ecology, sustainability and the nexus between environment, art, and political action, from the perspective of the following participants: Barbara Benish, Nina Czegledy, Maja and Reuben Fowkes, Oto Hudec, Tamás Kaszás, Attila Nemes, Marjetica Potrč, Rudolf Sikora, Matej Vakula, Kasia Worpus-Wrońska, and Jana Želibská. The project, which stretches across ARTMargins print journal (#3.2. 2014) and ARTMargins Online, investigates pronounced, and so far largely unnoticed, environmental accents within nonofficial art practices in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc, including escapism, redefinitions of public space, permaculture and romantic views of the natural world.

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György Galántai and Júlia Klaniczay, eds., “Artpool: The Experimental Art Archive of East-Central Europe” (Book Review) Print E-mail
Book Reviews
Written by Éva Forgács (Los Angeles)   
Monday, 02 June 2014 00:00

Artpool's first rubber stamp, 1979. Image courtesy of Artpool Art Research Center.The importance of this long overdue autobiographical volume by Artpool, the Budapest "Experimental Art Archive of East-Central Europe" is hard to overestimate. Archivists György Galántai and Júlia Klaniczay, who double as the book's authors and editors, account for both a Hungarian and widely international presence in and around Artpool's orbit. Art historian Kristine Stiles strikes a personal and professional chord in her pithy and highly appreciative Introduction, rightly calling the book "a milestone in the history of art for its documentation of a remarkable period," and points out that Artpool is both an artwork and an archive (p. 8).

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Interview with Alexei Yurchak Print E-mail
Interviews
Written by Andres Kurg (Tallinn)   
Thursday, 05 June 2014 00:00

Alexei Yurchak is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and core faculty member in the Department of Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2006, Yurchak published a groundbreaking study of the late-Soviet period, Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation (Princeton University Press), which earned him widespread recognition. Analyzing a variety of major shifts in political representation and meaning after the middle 1950s, and ensuing changes in late Soviet everyday practices—from Soviet ideological language to the fascination with Western rock music, the spread of popular jokes and anecdotes, among others—the book refutes a widespread take on this period as being structured by binary oppositions, such as public versus private; the people versus the state; the official versus the unofficial sphere, or the Soviet versus the anti-Soviet. Drawing on this extensive ethnographic study of the late-Soviet period, Yurchak expands in this interview on why the notions of the "dissident" or "nonconformist" artist are inadequate for characterizing informal artistic groups in the late-Soviet period.

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Report on the Construction of a Spaceship Module and Paweł Althamer: The Neighbors at The New Museum, New York Print E-mail
Exhibition Reviews
Written by Ksenia Nouril (New York)   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 00:00

Report on the Construction of a Spaceship Module, 2014. Exhibition View: New Museum, New York. Image courtesy of the New Museum. Photo by Jesse Untracht-Oakner.Two exhibitions of Central and Eastern European art were recently on view at the New Museum in New York. The first, Report on the Construction of a Spaceship Module, was part of the Museum as Hub series, a New Museum initiative supporting exhibitions, residencies, and public programs focused on promoting international contemporary art. It was guest curated for the New Museum by a multinational team from tranzit.org, including Vít Havránek, Dóra Hegyi, and Georg Schöllhammer, the three directors of the tranzit organizations in Prague, Budapest, and Vienna, respectively.(There is no catalogue for this exhibition; however, a newspaper with new and reprinted texts as well as an extensive bibliography was published. A copy of it can be found here: http://235bowery.s3.amazonaws.com/exhibitionlinks/103/Tranzit_FINAL_small.pdf) The second, Paweł Althamer: The Neighbors, was the largest survey of the Polish artist's work to date and his first solo exhibition in the United States. Massimiliano Gioni, Associate Director and Director of Exhibitions, and Gary Carrion-Murayari, Curator, organized the exhibition, which was accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with new essays and an interview.(Massimiliano Gioni and Gary Carrion-Murayari, eds., Paweł Althamer: The Neighbors (New York: Skira Rizzoli Publications, Inc., 2014).) Together, these exhibitions filled four out of the five floors in the museum, which in 2011 presented Ostalgia, a group exhibition of Soviet and post-Soviet art from the former Eastern Bloc that was as productive as it was problematic. These recent exhibitions attest to the New Museum's continued interest in the region.

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New In ARTMargins Print

ARTMargins Print has released its new issue, 3.2. (June 2014)!

ArticlesJoan Kee (Ann Arbor) considers the problem of scale in contemporary art practice. Carla Macchiavello (Bogotá) discusses the problem of influence in Latin American art during the 1970s and 1980s. Ruben and Maja Fowkes (Budapest) examine East European artists' approaches to the natural environment during the 1970s and beyond.

In the Document section, we present two pre-revolution Iranian manifestos of modern art (introduction/translation: Bavand Behpoor).

Artist ProjectShady El Noshokaty (Cairo), Rat Diaries, a series of drawings that attempts to map the intensity of everyday life in Egypt intertwined with intuitive visual and verbal comments on art practice.

Review Article: Monica Amor (Baltimore) discusses the exhibition Cold America: Geometric Abstraction in Latin America (1934-1973) and Alejandro Crispiani's book Objetos para transformar el mundo: Trayectorias del arte concreto-invención, Argentina y Chile, 1940-1970 [Objects to Transform the World: Trajectories of Concrete-Invention Art, Argentina and Chile, 1940-1970]. 

Click here for more information at the MIT Press ARTMargins site.

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Two independent outlets, in separate media, of one and the same publication.

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ARTMARGINS (print journal)

ARTMargins publishes scholarly articles and essays about contemporary art, politics, media, architecture, and critical theory. ARTMargins studies art practices and visual culture in the emerging global margins, from North Africa and the Middle East to the Americas, Eastern and Western Europe, Asia and Australasia.

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ARTMargins ONLINE

Founded in 1999, ARTMargins Online publishes material devoted to contemporary art, with a special focus on East-Central Europe.

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