Looking Forward, Looking Back #7
lecture programme associated to the exhibition
24 Arguments. Early Encounters in Romanian Neo-Avant-Garde 1969-1971
Monday, November 11, 2019, 19:00
British Council Romania, Calea Dorobanți 14, Bucharest
free access, event held in English
The Institute of the Present (IP) presents a new edition of its lecture series Looking Forward, Looking Back, the first in the series of events connected to the exhibition 24 Arguments. Early Encounters in Romanian Neo-Avant-Garde 1969-1971 open at the National Art Museum of Romania between November 7, 2019 – February 2, 2020. The exhibition starts from a research conducted in the Demarco archives from Edinburgh which retrospectively reveals the presence in the local field of art of a series of forgotten narratives, some fragmented, other impossible to reassemble in their temporal unfolding. Such narratives have, however, the capacity to evoke the existence of certain discontinuities in the apparently homogenous structure of the cultural landscape of the time, of certain trans-national zones of contact and transfer not only with the Western space, but also with the space of other Socialist worlds.
Reassembling the Social: Networking East European Experimental Art
Weaving together an interconnected series of minor narratives of exchange, Klara Kemp-Welch’s new book Networking the Bloc: Experimental Art in Eastern Europe 1965-1981 (MIT Press, 2019) challenges the idea of experimental artists in Soviet satellite countries operating in total isolation, pinpointing the connectivity that fuelled artistic practices from below. The talk explores how the emergence of an international field of experimental art in the 1960s and 70s was not just a matter of a Zeitgeist, but a development prompted by artists, critics, gallerists, publishers, and artistic propositions themselves. Charting a topography of dialogues among alternative artists from different parts of the Soviet bloc, the talk seeks to ‘reassemble the social’ dimension of artistic international relations under late socialism.
Klara Kemp-Welch is Senior Lecturer in 20th Century Modernism at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, where she teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses on the cultural Cold War, countercultures, and experimental art in Eastern Europe and Latin America. She is the author of Antipolitics in Central European Art 1956-1989 (London: IB Tauris, 2014) and Networking the Bloc: Experimental Art in Eastern Europe 1968-1981 (Cambridge Massachusetts and London, England: MIT Press, Dec. 2018). She is currently co-editing A Reader in Central European Modernism 1918-1956 and working on a new book on free-movement, contemporary art, labour and migration in a ‘two-speed’ Europe.
The 24 Arguments exhibition is realised by the Institute of the Present in collaboration with the National Museum of Art of Romania and the Demarco Archive, Edinburgh.
Image: Romanian Artist in front of Richard Demarco Gallery, Romanian Art Today, 1971. Ovidiu Maitec, Paul Neagu. Demarco European Art Foundation and Demarco Digital Archive, University of Dundee, © Paul Neagu Estate & DACS 2019. Visual by: Andrei Turenici
Supported by: British Council România, Rezidenţa BRD Scena9
Logistic partners: DHL International Romania, Hornbach
Communication partner: DC Communication
Media partners: Radio România Cultural, rfi România, Zeppelin
Funders: Cultural programme co-funded by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund and by the Romanian Order of Architects from the architectural stamp
The programme does not necessarily represent the standpoint of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. AFCN cannot be held liable for the content of the programme or the manner in which the outcomes of the programme may be used. These shall devolve entirely on the beneficiary of the financing.