Art and Theory of Post-1989 Central and Eastern Europe

A Critical Anthology

Art and Theory of Post-1989 Central and Eastern Europe

MoMA Primary Documents

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Book Pages: 408 Illustrations: 64 illustrations, incl. 15 in Published: August 2018

Art and Visual Culture, European Studies > Eastern Europe and Russia

The fall of the Berlin Wall and the ripple effects felt over the following years from Bucharest to Prague to Moscow demarcate a significant moment when artists were able to publicly reassess their histories and question the opposition between the former East and the former West. Art and Theory of Post-1989 Central and Eastern Europe takes the pivotal political changes between 1989 and 1991 as its departure point to reflect on the effects that communism's disintegration across Central and Eastern Europe—including the Soviet Union's fifteen republics—had on the art practices, criticism, and cultural production of the following decades. This book presents a selection of the period's key voices that have introduced recent critical perspectives. Particular attention is given to the research and viewpoints of a new generation of artists, scholars, and curators who have advanced fresh critical perspectives and who are rewriting their own histories. Their examination of artistic practices and systems of cultural production proposes distinct outlooks for acting in the contemporary world while simultaneously rethinking the significance of the socialist legacy on art today. Art and Theory of Post-1989 Central and Eastern Europe is an indispensable volume on modern and contemporary art and theory from the region.

Contributors. Branislava Andjelkovic, Edit András, Inke Arns, Marius Babias, Zdenka Badovinac, Ivana Bago, Zbynek Baladrán, Claire Bishop, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Andreas Broeckmann, Boris Buden, Ilya Budraitskis, Ondrej Chrobák, Keti Chukhrov, Kim Conaty, Cosmin Costinas, Eda Cufer, Bojana Cvejic, Ekaterina Degot, Branislav Dimitrijevic, Michelle Elligott, Octavian Esanu, Yevgeniy Fiks, Meghan Forbes, Maja Fowkes, Reuben Fowkes, Boris Groys, Daniel Grún, Marina Gržinic, Vít Havránek, Jon Hendricks, IRWIN (Miran Mohar, Andrej Savski, Roman Uranjek, and Borut Vogelnik), Sanja Ivekovic, Ana Janevski, David Joselit, Tímea Junghaus, Klara Kemp-Welch, Juliet Kinchin, Zofia Kulik, Andres Kurg, Katalin Ladik, Václav Magid, Eva Majewska, David Maljkovic, Roxana Marcoci, Lina Michelkevice, Aldo Milohnic, Viktor Misiano, Rastko Mocnik, Magdalena Moskalewicz, Deimantas Narkevicius, Ksenia Nouril, Ewa Opalka, Martina Pachmanová, Bojana Pejic, Dan Perjovschi, Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, Piotr Piotrowski, Bojana Piškur, David Platzker, Paulina Pobocha, Tomáš Pospiszyl, Lýdia Pribišová, Oleksiy Radynski, Karol Radziszewski, Christian Rattemeyer, Cristina Ricupero, Georg Schöllhammer, David Senior, Alina ?erban, Slavs and Tatars, Sven Spieker, Tamas St.Auby, Zuzana Štefková, Jakub Stejskal, Mladen Stilinovic, subREAL, Tomás Svoboda, Ovidiu Ṯichindeleanu, Margarita Tupitsyn, Gediminas Urbonas, Nomeda Urbonas, Jonas Valatkevicius, Jelena Vesic, Dmitry Vilensky, Raluca Voinea, What, How & for Whom (Ivet Curlin, Ana Devic, Nataša Ilic, and Sabina Sabolovic), Igor Zabel, Artur Zmijewski


"Art and Theory of Post-1989 Central and Eastern Europe helps navigate the post-socialist art scene from the current perspective of local art figures. . . . The publication effectively opens a due discussion not only about art of Central and Eastern Europe, but also compellingly includes it in a conversation about the world at large." — Adéla Janícková, Hyperallergic

"The result of several years of sustained research and documentation by a team of MoMA curators, along with local critics and artists, this book is the most substantial and authoritative survey of current and recent art in a huge region of Europe. Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals." — P. A. Stirton, Choice

"Art and Theory of Post-1989 Central and Eastern Europe consists of a great range of essays discussing many essential topics related to the region, including curatorial practice of the former Eastern bloc, democracy and the New Europe, art and politics and debates around art’s relevance in society." — Denisa Tomkova, H-SHERA, H-Net Reviews

"This book is the successful product of MoMA’s larger mission to rethink the modernist canon in terms of new ‘cross-cultural frameworks of connectivity.' What results is a picture of post-socialist art as more diverse than monolithic, more collaborative than individualistic, and more about dialogue between peripheries than emulation of the center." — Milena Tomic, Slavonic and East European Review

"Art and Theory of Post-1989 Central and Eastern Europe is an invaluable source for anyone with an interest not only in contemporary Eastern European art but also those concerned with post-communist analysis or the rethinking of the Western-centric cultural canon. At the same time, it also leaves us with questions for the future, not only with regards to the region but also Europe as a whole. And, in an age of rising nationalism, it urges us to ask what role art can, and should, play today." — Joanna Mardal, Junctions


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Ana Janevski is Curator in the Department of Media and Performance Art at The Museum of Modern Art.

Roxana Marcoci is Senior Curator in the Department of Photography at The Museum of Modern Art, and C-MAP Leader for Central and Eastern Europe at the Museum.

Ksenia Nouril is former C-MAP Fellow for Central and Eastern European Art at The Museum of Modern Art.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Foreword / Glenn D. Lowry  8
Acknowledgments / Jay A. Levenson and Sarah Lookofsky  9
Introduction / Ana Janevski and Roxana Marcoci  12
1. Reckoning with History  19
2. Exhibiting the "East" since 1989  67
3. Working in and on the Archive  135
4. After the Fall: Democracy and Its Discontents  177
5. Maintaining the Social in Postsocialism: Activist Practices and Forms of Collectivity  227
6. Deconstructing Gender Discourses  273
7. In a Global World  339
Conversations / Miran Moher, Andrej Savski, Roman Uranjek, and Borut Vigelnik of IRWIN with Meghan Forbes  391
The C-MAP Network, 2010-2017  394
Index  402
Trustees of The Museum of Modern Art  408
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Cloth ISBN: 978-1-63345-064-6