- Written by Richard Kosinsky, Jan Elantkowski, Barbara Dudás (Lublin)
It is with great sadness and a sense of enormous loss that we learnt of the recent death of Piotr Piotrowski. Piotrowski was a professor in the Art History Department of Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, and a research fellow at the Graduate School for East and South-East European Studies at the universities of Munich and Regensburg. He is the author of several books, including: Meanings of Modernism (2009, 2011), In the Shadow of Yalta (2009), Art after Politics (2007), Critical Museum (2011), and Art and Democracy in Post-Communist Europe (2012). Between 2009 and 2010, he was the director of the National Museum in Warsaw, and in 2010 he was the recipient of the Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory. Piotrowski was on the Advisory Board of ARTMargins Print Journal and was an early supporter of this publication. The following interview was occassioned by the recent international conference Piotrowski organized on global art history, East European Art Seen from Global Perspectives: Past and Present, that took place in Lublin, Poland, October 24-27, 2014.(For further information about the program of the conference, the lectures and the speakers, visit: http://www.konferencja.labirynt.com/en.)
- The Editors
Richard Kosinsky: When defining a specific geographic location do you think that this carries the danger of fragmentation and/or generalization?
Piotr Piotrowski: Usually, conferences present a specific view of a certain research area; this leads to fragmentation because they cannot deal with everything. It is really hard to write or to discuss this sort of synthesis.
- Written by Natasha Kurchanova (New York)
One evening last December, an exhibition hall of the Art Center at Kunstquartier Bethanien, a handsome 19th-century building on Berlin's Mariannenplatz, was bustling. It was a usual opening night – with food, wine, crowds of people young and old getting together and talking about art. What could have caught a local by surprise was that most of the visitors spoke Russian. Cyberfest, a yearly festival of new media, which originated in St. Petersburg in 2007, was making its second appearance in Berlin, following its debut in the German capital the previous year.
- Written by Ameet Parameswaran and Rahul Dev (New Delhi)
This interview, conducted as part of a book project on Marx in Malayalam, is strongly contextual. The southern state of Kerala has the distinction of being the site for the first elected Communist ministry in the world. This was in 1957. The subsequent dismissal of the Communists remains a stain on the otherwise progressive politics of then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Generations of political activists in Kerala have tested the full spectrum of radical politics including elected governments and extreme left-wing positions that call for direct (revolutionary) action. Kerala intellectuals and artists are familiar, if not steeped in Marxist thought; this is also true of Kerala's great peasant leaders and theoretical ideologues that have led the Party over decades.