The Trips section has a cross-disciplinary and transnational dimension, and focuses in particular on presenting case studies proposed mainly, but not exclusively, by foreign researchers and authors. The Trips undertake to provide a comparative overview on the various modalities of writing, archiving and researching the recent history of visual and performing arts in direct relation with related areas such as literature and architecture, etc. The section monitors the way in which terms / terminologies in the extended field of art are understood and applied in order to discuss local propensities, the politics of representation, the processes triggered by the social and political dynamic of a historical moment. The Trips open up a constellation of themes and topics that are relevant to the local realities and respond to the current need to understand the cultural phenomenon in a regional and international context, to get to know the subtler aspects of historical mechanisms and artistic stances.


Henry Moore in Bohemia: Suggestiveness and Risks of the “Monumental Peace and Reconciliation”

Marie Klimešová

The exhibition of one of the greatest icons of modern sculpture—Henry Moore—took place in June 1966 at the National Gallery in Prague. It travelled to Prague from Bratislava where it was installed at the same prestigious venue, the Slovak National Gallery. These two events are only two segments of the travelling chain of exhibitions that […]

Rehandle with Care: East European Art and the Politics of Re-enactments

Maja and Reuben Fowkes

In 2005, during the era of peak globalisation and a year after the first wave of former socialist countries joined the European Union, Marina Abramović realised Seven Easy Pieces, a bold series of re-enactments of her own and other artists’ performances from the 1960s and 70s at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Her success […]

“Just don’t be yourself too much!”: Performing Politics in the Former Eastern Bloc

Adam Czirak

In recent years both artists and scholars of performance art have discovered a new critical strategy in gestures of withdrawal, in instances of doing nothing, or in choreographies of standing still. What is common to these acts is that they all undermine the hegemonic significance of mobility, movement and productivity as signs of a modernistic […]

From Cultural Diplomacy to Artistic and Curatorial Experimentation: The Paris Youth Biennale between 1965 and 1973

Juliane Debeusscher

A Biennial for the Youth[1] The Paris Biennale, in its full name, Biennial and International Exhibition of Young Artists, was founded in 1959 as a non-profit association subsidised by the French state. With a clear international orientation, it was placed under the joint patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Cultural […]

Romanian Art at the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts

Gregor Dražil

The Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts is one of the oldest print biennials in the world, having been founded already in 1955 by a small group of ambitious cultural workers in socialist Yugoslavia. Through the creation of an international printmaking exhibition, they aimed to connect one of its centres, Ljubljana, to the larger European visual […]

Vjenceslav Richter’s Sinturbanizam

Vladimir Kulić

Among a number of urban techno-utopias envisioned in socialist Yugoslavia, the long-term project known as Sinturbanizam [synthetic urbanism] devised by the Croatian architect, artist, and theorist Vjenceslav Richter was by far most consistently developed. Resonating with many other techno-utopian proposals of the 1960s, Richter’s “synthetic urbanism” sought to condense all urban functions into a single […]

Oskar Hansen’s Open Form: Architecture, Art and Pedagogy

Aleksandra Kędziorek

Although the theory of Open Form, created by Oskar Hansen (1922–2005), a Polish architect and member of Team 10,[1] was primarily devoted to architecture, thanks to his teaching at the Faculty of Sculpture of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts it overcame the disciplinary boundaries. Open Form became one of the seminal points of reference […]

Polish Futurological Projects and the International Context

Emilia Kiecko

This text is devoted to a short episode in the history of Polish architecture from 1945 to 1989. This episode is neither decisive nor a breakthrough; actually, it has been almost completely forgotten until recently.[1] It has not left too many material traces and even those remaining are entirely on paper. I am referring to […]

Traversing Myths and Regions: The Collaborative Tapestries of Jolanta Owidzka and Georgette Saliba

Jessica Gerschultz

This essay recovers a collaborative project between two fibre artists from Poland and Lebanon, Jolanta Owidzka (b. 1927) and Georgette Saliba (b. 1946), in order to critically analyse the framing of Eastern European tapestry by prominent voices associated with the Lausanne International Tapestry Biennials in the 1960s and 1970s.[1] This exhibition platform arose amid the […]

The Production of Art. Jindřich Chalupecký on Textiles and Means of Artistic Production

Johana Lomová

In 1958, the Czechoslovak art critic Jindřich Chalupecký (1910–1990) published an article titled “Výroba umění” [The Production of Art]. The text was accompanied by reproductions of textile prints signed by Olga Karlíková, Květa Hamzíková, Ladislav Vacek, Jiří Mrázek, Jaroslava Dušková and Jaroslav Kumpán[1] and published in the journal Umění a řemesla [Arts and Crafts], situating […]

Moscow—Riga. Revisiting Some Waypoints in Recent Art History

Ieva Astahovska

Centres and Peripheries, Continued The studies of East European art in the last decades have experienced diverse and emancipatory developments, with many significant inputs, explorations, (re-)writings and creations of new knowledge about their complex, parallel and simultaneously heterogenous histories from the socialist period. This course attempts to challenge the peripheral position of Eastern Europe within […]

The Methods and Meanings of Performance Art in East-Central Europe

Amy Bryzgel

Insofar as performance art was not recognised as an art form by official art institutions in East-Central Europe, it remained a “zone of freedom” in which artists could experiment. Artists employed a range of approaches to the genre, from happenings and actions to body and live art performances, as well as photographic and video performances. […]

Works and Words. The Invention and Renunciation of the Concept of East European Art

Zsuzsa László

Surveying the events and publications focusing on art “behind the Iron Curtain” suggests that the concept of East European Art has been formed through the confrontation of various temporalities and localities, being haunted by paradigmatic misunderstandings. Such experience of hollow communication that shifts understanding to a metalevel is captured by the following scene: two different […]

Performance Art in Latvia: The Case of Intermedial Appropriation

Laine Kristberga

This article is focused on the exploration of the theoretical framework—intermedial appropriation—that can be applied to the analysis of genealogy and legacy of performance art in Latvia, taking into account the socio-political and cultural circumstances in the late socialism period. This was the time when the everyday life was saturated with ideology and state-forced collectivism […]

A Panorama of Histories: Ilya Kabakov’s Periodisation of Soviet Life

Ksenia Nouril

“The future is certain. Only the past is unpredictable.”[1] This anekdot wryly characterises the temporality of what was once everyday Soviet life. Yet, Nikita Khrushchev’s 1956 proclamation of “communism in twenty years” remained unfulfilled, and Mikhail Gorbachev’s later attempts at glasnost and perestroika failed at keeping the Soviet Union from ruin. Its future was no […]

Akademia Ruchu. Performance as Fragments of Everyday Life

Marika Kuźmicz

Akademia Ruchu [Academy of Movement] was founded in 1972 by Wojciech Krukowski (1944–2014) and co-created by Janusz Bałdyga, Jolanta Krukowska, Zbigniew Olkiewicz, Jarosław Żwirblis, Cezary Marczak, Jan Pieniążek and Krzysztof Żwirblis. Insofar as Krukowski himself referred to Akademia Ruchu’s activity as “theatre,”[1] their work revealed a performative character—the artists, particularly during the 1970s, carried out […]

Kovács István Stúdió and Stances of Hungarian Neo-Avant-Garde Theatre during the 1970s

Gabriella Schuller

The year 1962 saw the beginning of a milder period in Hungary’s socio-political history. In spite of a tendency towards swing-like politics, which meant that from time to time the country’s leader, János Kádár, was obliged to make a show of his willingness to maintain Soviet standards, things were not so harsh as before and […]

Curating Performance in Belgrade during the Cold War: Bitef’s Fine Arts Programme

Ana Vujanović

In international circles, Yugoslav art of the 1960s and 1970s is recognised in terms of performance and related forms of contemporary art. What is less known is the role of theatre in the development of these forms, usually associated with visual art. A special chapter in this history belongs to the Belgrade International Theatre Festival—Bitef.[1] […]

We Face Neither East nor West. We Face Forward

Bojana Piškur

In the following I will discuss the emancipatory potentials of the Non-Aligned Movement [NAM] for today, more precisely, I will emphasize those ideas/ideals/principles from the movement that can be extracted, used and applied in the field of culture.

Monument to a Heroine. Július Koller’s Archive and Processes of Self-Historicisation

Daniel Grúň

Woman imprisoned in the patriarchal logic of monumentality. The victorious gesture with sword upraised passes over into an embrace with arms outspread, bare-breasted, in the manner of revolutionary Liberty. Her tremendous body is raised to the lonely heights on the summit of Mamajev Kurgan and floats in the air over the city of Volgograd. Carefully […]

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