Society of Architectural Historians Announces
Architecture Tours and Public Seminar at Pasadena/Los Angeles Conference
The Society of Architectural Historians announces public programming scheduled for its 2016 Annual International Conference to be held April 6–10 at the Pasadena Convention Center. Academics and professionals from around the world will convene in Pasadena to share new research on the history of the built environment. In addition to the conference’s 42 paper sessions, SAH will present 18 guided architectural tours of the Pasadena/Los Angeles region as well as a seminar that examines SurveyLA, Los Angeles’ city-wide historic resources program developed by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the City of Los Angeles. All tours and the SAH Los Angeles Seminar are open to the public. Tickets are available at http://sah.org/2016.
Local historians and architects will lead architecture tours on Saturday, April 9, and Sunday, April 10, in Pasadena and Los Angeles, as well as nearby cities including Irvine and Claremont. Works by Richard Neutra, Frank Lloyd Wright, John Lautner, Myron Hunt, Paul Revere Williams and Rudolph Schindler will be featured, as well as building styles such as West Coast modernism, Beaux-Arts and Classical Revivalism. Tours of the architecture of the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Boyle Heights and Frogtown will explore issues related to multiculturalism, gentrification and development. A complete list of tours is listed below.
The SAH Los Angeles Seminar, “Surveying L.A.: Past, Present, Future,” will take place on Saturday, April 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at SCI-Arc’s Keck Lecture Hall. The program will include two panel discussions that examine the impact of the Los Angeles Historic Resources Survey, SurveyLA, and its website, HistoricPlacesLA, created to inventory, map and help protect Los Angeles’ significant historic resources. A tour of one of the neighborhoods surveyed, Boyle Heights, will be offered following the seminar (tour tickets sold separately).
Ken Bernstein, Manager,Office of Historic Resources, City of Los Angeles David Myers, Senior Project Specialist, The Getty Conservation Institute Trudi Sandmeier, Director, Graduate Programs in Heritage Conservation, University of Southern California; Member of SurveyLA Review Committee Maristella Casciato, Senior Curator of Architectural Collections, The Getty Research Institute Timothy Hyde, Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Planning, MIT Conference registration is NOT required to purchase tickets for tours and the SAH Los Angeles Seminar. For complete conference program information and registration rates, visit http://sah.org/2016.
Society of Architectural Historians 2016 Annual International Conference
Dates: April 6–10, 2016
Location: Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E Green St, Pasadena
Tickets: $25–$110 (plus a one-time $25 per order processing fee) AIA CES Learning Units available for participation in tours All tours will depart from the Pasadena Convention Center.
Saturday, April 9
TR1 Architecture of John Lautner (9 am–4 pm) TR2 Myron Hunt, Southern California Master Architect (9 am–4 pm) TR3 Irvine, California: The Master Planned City at 50 (11 am–4 pm) TR4 Los Angeles’ Chinatown and Union Station (11 am–4 pm) TR5 Pasadena and the City Beautiful Movement (12–4 pm) TR6 Schindler-Neutra-Ain in Silver Lake (12–4 pm) TR7 Conjunctive Points: Samitaur, Moss, Culver City (12–4 pm) TR8 Paul Revere Williams in West Adams (12–4 pm) TR9 Boyle Heights: The Heart of Los Angeles’ Historic Eastside (Complements the SAH Los Angeles Seminar) (12:45–4 pm) TR10 Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens (1–4 pm)
Sunday, April 10
TR11 Historic Design Gardens of Pasadena (9 am–12 pm) TR12 Kings Road: An Urban Idyll, 1867–2016 (9 am–12 pm) TR13 Frogtown and the Los Angeles River Now (9 am–12 pm) TR14 Master of Modernism: Neutra and Wright in Bakersfield (9 am–5 pm) TR15 Office Park: Post-Industrial Orange County, 1970–1990 (9 am–5 pm) TR16 Beyond the “Pasadena Style”: Regional Modernism in Southern California (9 am–5 pm) TR17 Claremont Modern: The Convergence of Art + Architecture at Mid-century (9 am–5 pm) TR18 Brand Library Restoration (9 am–12 pm)
SAH LOS ANGELES SEMINAR: “Surveying L.A.: Past, Present, Future”
Saturday, April 9, 8:30 a.m.–12 p.m. SCI-Arc (960 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA), W. M. Keck Lecture Hall (Free parking available in the parking lot at 350 Merrick Street, between Traction Avenue and 4th Street.) Tickets: $20 (advance registration required)| AIA CES: 4 LU
Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is a nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by vocation or avocation, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs. Learn more at sah.org.
CFP: The “state artist” in Romania and Eastern Europe, Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest, 5 November 2016
The establishment of communist regimes in Eastern Europe brought for the visual arts, the establishment of the “state artist” (Haraszti). Artworks were commissioned by the state, which offered extensive rewards for the artists, obliged to comply with the political and ideological rigors of the regime. As part of the research project “From the “state artist” to the artist dependent on the state: the case of the Union of Visual Artists (1950-2010) – the Bucharest branch”, this conference seeks to explore the different transformations that the artists underwent in order to comply with the extensive role assumed by the totalitarian state in the arts. We invite contributions on the broad topic announced, that of the state artist in Romania and Eastern Europe with a specific focus on visual arts, but we are also interested to discuss other instances of collaboration with the regimes in place (1950s-1990). The conference aims to discuss the state artist in the context of communist regimes from multiple points of views.
The topics discussed could be, but are not limited to: -How was the new artist shaped by the communist regimes? -Were artists able to integrate Socialist Realism as a mandatory style? If not, which were the limits of this mandatory style or the national specificities? -Which were the types of resistance to the model of the state artist? -How did Socialist Realism translate in different visual practices? -What role did the Union of Visual Artists of Romania play? How does it compare to other unions in the East? -What are the transformations of the unions of artists after 1990?
Those interested in presenting a paper should send an abstract of 500 words as well as a short CV (including a short list of publications) to Caterina Preda until the 15th of May 2016. A selection of conference presentations will be published in a volume, thus the accepted participants must send their contributions 1 month in advance (1st of October 2016). The contributions must address the topic of the state artist, and must have 8.000 words including footnotes with a separate list of references. Organizing committee: Caterina Preda, Alina Popescu, Dan Drăghia.
Place: The Institute for Political Research, Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest. The languages of the conferences are Romanian, English, French.
Exhibition: Eva Kot’átková: ERROR
International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP)
February 2–April 8, 2016
International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP)
1040 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, New York 11211
For her exhibition subtitled ERROR, Eva Kot’átková focuses on relationships between human bodies and the oppressive institutional structures that sometimes surround them, in a new video and series of collages and sculptures. Kot’átková is interested in the stories or cases of individuals who—for various reasons—are unable to integrate themselves into social structures. They become secluded, isolated, and handicapped by their circumstances, or develop alternative means to communicate, often through objects, props, and devices. Others build parallel identities to escape from reality into a constructed world. In such a world, people become subordinate to their own invented rules, and apply different communication patterns and new hierarchies to their everyday life.
The exhibition includes a group of sculptural assemblages and collages that reference outmoded medical equipment, surreal body extensions, body parts, props, and apparatuses. Also on view will be a video work filmed on the grounds of the Bohnice Psychiatric Hospital in Prague, titled The Judicial Murder of Jakob Mohr. The video shows a staged trial performed in the hospital’s theater, involving professional actors, staff, and patients. The genesis of this performance is a 1909–10 drawing made by psychiatric patient Jakob Mohr in which he depicted himself as a defendant on trial, suspecting the impartial court audience to be masked doctors or fellow patients who conspired to betray him. Mohr called his drawings proofs or documents that testified to the existence of a so-called “influencing machine,” a device that influenced his everyday actions and intercepted his most private thoughts.
Eva Kot’átková (b. 1982, Prague) was an artist in residence at ISCP in 2008, as the youngest person ever to receive the Jindřich Chalupecký Award for artists from the Czech Republic, with support from the Trust for Mutual Understanding. Kot’átková was born in 1982 in Prague, Czech Republic. From 2002 to 2008 she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague, at the San Francisco Art Institute and the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna. Recent solo exhibitions include Out of Sight, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Eva Koť’átková: Anatomical Orchestra, Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin; A Story Teller’s Inadequacy, Modern Art Oxford, United Kingdom; and Theatre of Speaking Objects, Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany. Group exhibitions include 2015 Triennial: Surround Audience, New Museum, New York; Avatar und Atavism. Outside the Avant-garde, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf; 5 Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Russia; and The Encyclopedic Palace, 55th Venice Biennale.
This exhibition is curated by Kari Conte, Director of Programs and Exhibitions, ISCP, and will be accompanied by a publication that includes an interview between the artist and Vit Havránek.
Eva Kot’átková: ERROR is made possible through the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Czech Center New York, National Endowment for the Arts, The Greenwich Collection, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Antonio Reynoso, Council Member, 34th District, and the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).
For more information, see: www.iscp-nyc.org
CYFEST NYC: PATTERNS OF THE MIND
Digital networks provide the traditional means of communicating within a new borderless set of parameters,creating a whole new structure of collective consciousness where dynamic, self-assembling tribes can unify instantaneously. Enabled by digital catalysts, society has gone from local to national and from national to transnational tribal behavior and congregation.
In this post-post-modern epoch, what defines one’s place in the virtual and the physical world is the ability to communicate convincingly reality or fantasy. Medium matters, but only up to a point, as a conduit for the message.
CYFEST NYC: Patterns of the Mind enquires into the primacy and power of a creator’s message, in which any medium is only the tool used to carry it across.
CYFEST NYC: PROGRAMMING
EXHIBITION “Patterns of the Mind”
Feb 6 – Mar 3, 2016 Mon to Fri 9am-5pm; Sat noon-5pm @ The Rubelle and Norman Schafler Gallery, Pratt Brooklyn Campus 200 Willoughby Ave (G or C train to Clinton-Washington)
Curator: Anna Frants (read Curatorial text) Artwork by: Justin Berry, Peter Belyi, Svjetlana Bukvich, Alexandra Dementieva, Marianna Ellenberg, Carla Gannis, Elena Gubanova / Ivan Govorkov, Pavel Ivanov, Peter Patchen, Vitaly Pushnitsky, Alexander Terebenin, Alyona Tereshko, The Window / Romanian Project, Bryan Zanisnik, Alexey Grachev and Sergey Komarov.
PANEL DISCUSSIONS “Digital Tribalism in Contemporary Art”
Feb 6 (2pm – 3:30pm) @ Pratt Digital Arts Department 536 Myrtle Ave, 4th Fl (G train to Classon or Clinton-Washington)
Moderator: Anna Frants (artist and Founder / CYLAND, CYFEST) Panelists: Alexandra Dementieva (artist), Carla Gannis (artist and Assistant Chair, Dept of Digital Arts / Pratt Institute), Natasha Kurchanova (Art Historian / Eastern European Art Critics Society), Lev Manovich (Professor / CUNY Graduate Center), Peter Patchen (artist and Chair, Dept of Digital Arts / Pratt Institute)
Cutting edge technology has made possible global communication and created a “digital tribalism” phenomenon – in which artists band together not on geographical grounds, but by interests. Historically, cultural tribes have formed among people sharing ideas, observations, and views in proximity to each other. As the world grew a virtual parallel, networks now connect like-minded members regardless of location. This panel will explore the transition of self-assembled, dynamic network structures from tangible roots to digital reality.
Feb 6 (11:30am – 1pm) @ Pratt Digital Arts Department 536 Myrtle Ave, 4th Fl (G train to Classon or Clinton-Washington)
Moderator: Tyler Coburn (artist and Assistant Professor, Dept of Photography / Pratt Institute) Panelists: Ian Hatcher (poet), Shannon Mattern (Associate Professor of Media Studies / The New School), Nicole Starosielski (Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication / NYU), Lance Wakeling (Filmmaker)
In modern times, “Infrastructure” departs from its conventional definition by becoming a relational field that various agents can potentially influence. Recently art has explored a wide range of sophisticated (often covert) systems, from military black sites to the electromagnetic signals that suffuse our everyday life. Culturally, these artworks speak to the broader concern of contemporary“infrastructure” – a term geographers Steven Graham and Simon Marvin attest doesn’t just describe what “runs ‘underneath’,” but comprises the “multiple, overlapping and perhaps contradictory” arrangements of politics, technology and economy. Drawing on their work in Media Studies, poetry, and film – panelists will inquire into how art can engage with systems that rarely have singular forms, but concatenate physical, immaterial and a signifying processes.
“Redefining Women in Technology:Tools, Agency, and Representation”
Feb 6 (3:30pm – 5pm) @ Pratt Digital Arts Department 536 Myrtle Ave, 4th Fl (G train to Classon or Clinton-Washington)
Moderator: Faith Holland Panelists: Seung Min Lee (artist), Mendi Obadike (artist and Assistant Professor, Dept of Media Studies / Pratt Institute), Martha Wilson (artist and Director / Franklin Furnace, Associate Professor / Pratt Institute)
In a reality where technology is not new but constantly evolving, multiple generations of artistshave developed approaches to various media. Panelist Martha Wilson was an early adopter ofvideo technology as a way to document her performances that challenge the constraints offemininity. Panelist Seung Min-Lee’s work uses live performances and installation to reflect ourvaried relationships to technologized food across races and classes. A discussion on how womencan mobilize digital media toward political and artistic agendas – this panel will explore the wayfemales, as an intersectional group, can deploy technology to create new pathways to agency and (self-)representation.
PERFORMANCE “Subjectivization of Sound”
Feb 6 (6:30pm) @ Digital Arts Gallery, 536 Myrtle Ave, 4th Fl (G train to Classon or Clinton-Washington)
Artists: Alexey Grachev and Sergey Komarov (CYLAND MediaArtLab)
There are two technologies of sound synthesis: digital and analog. If we are to forego serial solutions for any given synthesizer, we can find an infinite number of options for creation of sound forms, from simple oscillators to complex generative algorithms. The path of the authors is the ambition to achieve a sound minimalism and a continuity of creative process during the creation of musical compositions and forms where the choice comes down to the subjective tendency of each one to a certain sounding.
For more information, see http://cyland.org/lab/the-9th-cyberfest-continues-at-pratt-institute-in-february-2016/
CALL FOR PAPERS
Contested Spheres: Actually Existing Artworlds under Socialism
27-28 May 2016 Kassák Múzeum – Petőfi Literary Museum and Translocal Institute, Budapest
Deadline for proposals: 29 February 2016
This conference aims to provide a platform for fresh research into the art history of Eastern Europe that brings to light the varied solutions that artists and cultural workers found to living and working inside the socialist system in the period of the 1960s and 1970s.
While some took the path of direct confrontation with the authorities, leading to harassment, imprisonment or exile, and refused in principle all collaboration with state-run art institutions, others complied with the demands of the Party and freely placed their talents at the service of communist ideology, either through conviction or in exchange for public commissions, exhibition opportunities and institutional positions. There was also a wide band of artists, curators and art historians who, like the majority of citizens of ‘actually existing Socialism’, devised their own individual strategies for negotiating a haphazardly repressive system and actively participated in shaping a complex artistic landscape of alternative spaces, transitory gatherings and artist-run galleries, as well as semi-independent institutions, associations and open air symposia, which all functioned according to the unorthodox rules of the socialist art economy. Examining the art worlds of mid- to late Socialism not from the top down perspective symbolised by the notorious ‘three T’s’ of Hungarian cultural policy, which divided artists into the categories of supported, tolerated and forbidden, but rather through a bottom up approach that examines the variety of possible attitudes adopted by cultural producers to the socialist system, ranging from confrontation and withdrawal to conformity and compromise, this conference sets out to foster debate about the conditions of artistic production during the last decades of Socialism and how these affected the individual trajectories, aesthetic choices and post-communist legacies of East European artists.
Proposals for conference papers are sought that examine how artists, curators or art historians, or even entire art scenes, responded to the demands of the socialist system, investigating, for example, prominent cases of refusal and resistance, the self-image and social role of official artists, as well as instances of disingenuousness, ambiguity and doublespeak in the machinations of late Socialist art worlds. Of equal relevance are papers that examine the workings of the artistic economy under socialism, and the different ways in which artists reacted to, suffered under, or turned to their advantage the distinctive material and economic environment established by the socialist state.
Speakers are invited to submit abstracts of 250 words, along with a short biography (approx. 100 words) to email@example.com by 29 February 2016.
Papers will be selected by a conference board made up of: Dr. Klara Kemp Welch, Courtauld Institute London, Dr. Tomáš Pospiszyl, Academy of Fine Arts, Prague, Dr. Maja Fowkes and Dr. Reuben Fowkes, Translocal Institute, Budapest and Dr. Emese Kürti, ACB Research Lab, Budapest. This conference is organised with the framework of the Kassák Museum’s long term research project into the art of the 1960s and 70s.
For more information see: http://www.translocal.org/contestedspheres/index.html
CFP: Cold Atlantic Doctoral Seminar (Barcelona, 8-9 Sep 2016)
University of Barcelona, September 8-09, 2016
Deadline: Mar 15, 2016
Call for Papers Doctoral Seminar/Workshop Cold Atlantic. Cultural War, Dissident Artistic Practices, Networks and Contact Zones at the Time of the Iron Curtain
University of Barcelona, Spain
8-9 September 2016
(Spanish version below)
The University of Barcelona, Saint Louis University (Madrid) and the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid invite doctoral students in art history or related disciplines to participate in a doctoral seminar/workshop at the University of Barcelona (8-9 September). This academic event has been planned to coincide with an international conference at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid (5-7 September) (http://www.museoreinasofia.es/en/activities/cold-atlantic). Both seminar and conference are part of an international project entitled Cold Atlantic. Cultural War, Dissident Artistic Practices, Networks and Contact Zones at the Time of the Iron Curtain which has been generously funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
The seminar/workshop is aimed at doctoral students working on topics related to the conference and its four thematic axes. Based on the current research of the selected participants, the seminar-workshop will serve as a platform to discuss the transatlantic exchanges between North America, Europe, Africa and Latin America bringing into the fore other hubs of artistic exchange and influence, aiming not just to de-center the (still predominant) Paris-New York axis, but also to foster a discussion that gives a voice to cultural expressions that were generated outside the official power structures. Parting from the destabilization of the status quo, with the Bandung conference in 1955 and Hungarian revolution in 1956, we aim to emphasize forms of mediation, dissidence and resistance that offered alternative responses to the ideological and aesthetic schism that dominated social, political, artistic and curatorial practices after WWII.
The seminar will be structured around the four thematic axes of the conference giving particular emphasis to methodological and theoretical questions.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, SEE FULL POST
CFP: Seeking contributors for a book project on modernity, space and gender
Dr. Alexandra Staub is currently planning an edited volume on modernity, space and gender, using case studies from a variety of national contexts as seen through the lens of gender. She is seeking scholars who can contribute to this project by writing on how “modernity” has been shaped and defined in various cultures, how this has been used to inform public policy and spatial arrangements, and how this intersection of modernity and spatial practice has helped or hindered women. The volume would present thematically linked case studies of spatial practices and their gender implications across the globe. She would especially like to present a comparison between countries with strong social programs (such as Scandinavian countries), those with liberal or neo-liberal policies (such as the United States or Britain), rapidly developing countries (such as China or India), countries that have transitioned from a socialist economy to a capitalist one (such as Russian and other countries in Eastern Europe), and countries marked by a strong political dichotomy between modernization and traditionalism (such as Turkey or Iran) . If you are interested in contributing to this volume, or have any questions, please send an email with a short description of your work to Alexandra Staub, Associate Professor of Architecture, Penn State University.
CFP: The Aspect of Woman (Ljubljana, 26-27 May 2016)
Ljubljana, May 26 - 27, 2016
Deadline: Mar 20, 2016
“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman,” and there were those, who became a woman long before the famous quote of Simone de Beauvoir was said out loud in 1949 and who left their footprint, seen or hidden, praised or still unrecognized. Last couple of decades have seen a radical transformation in the ways of recreation, assimilation, dispersion and reception of woman, with scholars and societies trying to rediscover her role in the visual culture through times. Critical rethinking of the complementary roles and appearances of woman – female, who refused to remain solely the other sex and appeared in the context of visual culture throughout the past century as critical and provocative subject, challenging possibilities and limitations in the world of the first sex, is the main theme of the two day conference on “The Aspect of Woman”, organised by RI19+.
The conference is an integral part of an ongoing project “Artistic Creativity of Women from the 19th Century to the Present Time” and is the first in line of the periodically scheduled events in the course of the following years, all interweaved around woman in visual culture throughout the past and present times and intense aims to evaluate and analyse their contributions in wider European space.
For the conference, hosted by Stara mestna elektrarna – Elektro Ljubljana (Zavod Bunker), the organizer RI19+ welcomes proposals that might include, yet are not limited solely to the following topics:
- current status of studies, questions and themes discussing women in visual culture;
- current researches concerning active roles of women in visual culture: artists, art critics, architects, designers, conservators, restorers, costume designers, theoreticians, patrons of art, curators, collectors, professors of visual culture;
- new appearances of women in visual culture;
- reflections of sexuality and gender in popular culture from women’s perspective;
- the reception of images done by women artists;
- women‘s power and its acceptance in visual culture.
Particularly welcomed are submissions seeking to analyse the role of women in Central and Southern European artistic space and accentuating transnational connections throughout history.
RI19+ welcomes proposals from artists as well as scholars from across the disciplines (art history, architecture, design, philosophy, history, etc.), and from outside the academy as well as within.
Proposals for papers, limited to 300 words, and short CV, limited to 100 words, should be sent to the organizer RI19+ at Natasha Ivanovic by 20th March 2016.
Repositioning the East
January 30, 2016
mumok - Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien
It has been a good 25 years since “West” and “East” experienced a decisive shift in real political terms in Europe. And it has been nearly as long since the still-ongoing process of overcoming the narrow and restrictive notional corset of “art from the former Eastern Bloc” got underway. Articulating oneself in a more freely chosen, expanded context unaffected by the “Eastern art” label represents a special challenge of the transitional or threshold-order that has arisen since then. Initiated by Kontakt. The Art Collection of Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation, which is focused on precisely this area, and in cooperation with springerin, the conversations will take a closer look at the changing parameters of perspectives on art from the former East. The series of publicly held conversations between renowned theorists and art historians deals with questions such as: What new narratives have stepped up since 1989 to supplant the old East-West paradigm? To what extent has the approach of global art historiography made regional markers obsolete? And can the oft-proposed notional framework of contemporary art serve to sensibly identify what is specific about art that is anchored in a given political geography? This series of “parallactic” discussions is intended to help investigate the positionality, context-dependency and changeability of all the issues in question.
After a first round of conversations between Andrzej Turowski, Ekaterina Degot, Cosmin Costinaş, Nataša Ilić and Peter Osborne in 2015, this series will be continued with the following speakers:
Rasha Salti in conversation with Branislav Dimitrijević
Anthony Yung in conversation with Keti Chukhrov
Marta Dziewańska in conversation with Boris Buden
The conversations will take place from 2–7pm.
Parallax Views is a cooperation between Kontakt. The Art Collection of Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation and springerin – Hefte für Gegenwartskunst.
Friday, January 29, 2016 to Thursday, March 10, 2016 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Harriman Institute Atrium (420 West 118th Street, 12th Floor)
Pavel Romaniko was born in Pereslavl – Zalessky, near Moscow, in 1980. He received his MFA in Imaging Arts from Rochester Institute of Technology. The artist works with photographs, video and sculpture to explore gaps in the archive and the collective memory, relying on imagery and symbolism found in both the public realm and his own memory. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and collections, including Rovinj Photodays Festival in Croatia, Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago, Mimi Ferzt Gallery in New York, and the Art Center of Orange Coast College in California. Romaniko divides his time between New York City and Lowell, MA where he is a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts.
In the early part of the 20th century politicians, activists and artists in Communist Russia were involved in an act of building a Soviet myth, creating a new space-time continuum, while violently eradicating the past by erasing facts from history texts, documents, photographs, and from people’s consciousness. In the process, new histories were fabricated, thus creating a new order, new collective memory turning an entire country and its many cultures into exiles in their own land. In the years since, Vladimir Nabokov’s exploration of nostalgia and reflections on exile, and Ilya Kabakov’s reconstruction of the past, to name a few examples, are all part of a ritualistic return, an obsessive homecoming and anxious preservation of memory. Nostalgia in the work of these artists is palpable and real and has great impact on constructs of cultural memories. They do, however, remind us that the images produced and circulated within a culture need to be carefully examined. Perhaps, when remnants of history are scattered all over with no sign of provenance, they have no ability to tell a story of their own but can only remain in a form of melancholic nostalgia.
From Mimi Ferzt Gallery, New York:
The work from Romaniko’s project titled “Nostalgia” commenced in 2008. “Nostalgia” consists of photographs of miniature paper versions of Russian interiors. The artist describes this project as “a reflection on the topic of exile, home and the relationship with one’s past and belonging.” Romaniko manifests his curiosity and the desire to conserve history through the precise reconstruction of the modest yet so precious details of a Russian household or office. Devoid of human presence, Romaniko’s interiors bear an almost palpable air of uncertainty and the urge for change emblematic of Russian social and political landscape. “Kitchen” (2009, pigment print on archival paper) documents the Soviet residential experiment known as the communal apartment. The artist deliberately eschews the haphazard dynamics of communal cooking, allowing the viewer to reflect upon the peculiarities of communal living, both intimate and public. “Work Desk” (2008, pigment print on archival paper) is the artist’s tribute to Russia’s ominous past, with Joseph Stalin’s portrait hovering over a vintage piece of furniture, with paperwork scattered on the floor.
Exhibit viewing hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00am - 5:00pm, (1/29-3/10)