Performance art in Eastern Europe since 1960
By Amy Bryzgel
This volume presents the first comprehensive academic study of the history and development of performance art in the former communist countries of Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe since the 1960s. Covering 21 countries and more than 250 artists, this text demonstrates the manner in which performance art in the region developed concurrently with the genre in the West, highlighting the unique contributions of Eastern European artists. The discussions are based on primary source material-interviews with the artists themselves. It offers a comparative study of the genre of performance art in countries and cities across the region, examining the manner in which artists addressed issues such as the body, gender, politics and identity, and institutional critique.
Publisher: Manchester University Press http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9781784994228/
SHERA’s Board is pleased to announce that John Bowlt has received this year’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies from ASEEES, the Association for Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies. His recognition testifies to the increasing importance of the study of art and visual culture within the larger field of Slavic Studies. We congratulate Professor Bowlt on his remarkable achievement, and thank him for his foundational work in our field.
Below is the official citation from ASEEES:
2016 Distinguished Contributions Award Recipient John Bowlt
The 2016 Distinguished Contributions to Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Award, which honors senior scholars who have helped to build and develop the field through scholarship, training, and service to the profession, is presented to John E. Bowlt, Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Director of the Institute of Modern Russian Culture at the University of Southern California.
The contributions of John E. Bowlt to the study of Russian visual culture of the 20th century are exceptionally deep and multi-faceted. Starting from the late 1960s, when much of the material he has spent his career studying was taboo in the USSR, Professor Bowlt has worked sedulously to uncover, make available, and analyze the oeuvres of once almost forgotten (and now world-renowned) artists such as Kazimir Malevich, Pavel Filonov, Liubov Popova, and Varvara Stepanova as well as a host of lesser lights. He has curated exhibitions, translated and published collections of documents, written monographs, and given countless public lectures that have brought the seminal contributions of Russian modernist art and artists to the attention of specialists in the fields of art history and Russian culture as well as a broad general public. Indeed, it would be fair to say that without the efforts of Professor Bowlt, Russian avant-garde art would not have anywhere near the level of international recognition that it now possesses.
Professor Bowlt’s first book, The Russian Avant-Garde: Theory and Criticism 1902-1934, was published in 1976. In the forty years since, he has followed that foundational anthology with a steady stream of monographs, book chapters, exhibition catalogues, and translations. Among his most influential contributions are Pavel Filonov: A Hero and His Fate: Writings on Revolution and Art 1914-1940 (1984, with Nicoletta Misler); Moscow and St. Petersburg 1900-1920; Art, Life and Culture of the Russian Silver Age (2008), the latter written for a non-specialist audience. He was also the editor of the Art and Architecture section for the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Russia and the Former Soviet Union (1994). Perhaps even more influential have been the exhibitions he has curated (and their accompanying catalogues) including the path-breaking “Amazons of the Russian Avant-Garde” (with Matthew Drutt and Zelfira Tregulova, for the Guggenheim) and “A Feast of Wonders. Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes” (for the Nouveau Musée de Monte Carlo and the Tretiakov Gallery). All of Professor Bowlt’s publications are based on scrupulous and painstaking archival work. However, unlike many scholars who make a career in the archives, Professor Bowlt has the ability in his lectures and publications to transcend the myriad facts he has uncovered and create compelling visual and narrative presentations that enthrall and inspire both scholars and the general public.
Professor Bowlt has been a faculty member at both the University of Texas and the University of Southern California and in 2015 was elected Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge University. Professor Bowlt willingly engages in collaborative projects and his publications and exhibitions are often co-curated with younger scholars and scholars from Russia. One of Professor Bowlt’s innovative collaborative projects is the Institute of Modern Russian Culture and its journal Experiment, which has made available a broad range of primary documents on a wide range of topics drawn from 19th and 20th century Russian culture and cultural history.
For his tireless work in creating and promoting the field of Russian modernist visual culture, John Bowlt has been selected as the recipient of the 2016 ASEEES Distinguished Contributions to Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Award.
ANN: Large run of “Soviet Union” Magazine available from Productive Arts (Aleksandr Zhitomirsky - Head Designer)
Soviet Union is the last of the extravagant photo journals of the Soviet era. The editors made clear that Soviet Union, which commenced with its March 1950 issue, was “in place of the magazine USSR in Construction”, which ceased its publication in December 1949.
Soviet Union was published monthly in a full-scale format. The photomontage artist, Aleksandr Zhitomirsky, whose retrospective exhibition is now on display at the Art Institute of Chicago, was the head designer for the journal. (Wolf, E., Aleksandr Zhitomirsky, 2016, pp. 65-67) Early issues of Soviet Union included the work of well-known Soviet photographers of the pre-war era such as Alpert, Zelma, Shaikhet, Olga Ignatovich and Shagin, eventually giving way to the next generation… all in early Cold War style.
Soviet Union was disseminated in no less than 14 languages versus the 5 languages in which USSR in Construction was distributed. Yet, copies of Soviet Union can be more elusive than those of USSR in Construction.
Through the 1950s, Soviet Union was printed in its larger size approximating that of USSR in Construction. After this, the format for the magazine became smaller, then glossy and eventually kitschy, until it ceased publication in 1990.
Offered here is a large run of Soviet Union from the first issue though the mid-1960s. For more information see the Productive Arts website
SHERA is pleased to announce a forthcoming publication by Vice-President & President-Elect Éva Forgács, “Hungarian Art: Confrontation and Revival in the Modern Movement”
A collection of insightful essays, monographic texts and rarely seen images tracing from birth to maturation several generations of Hungarian Modernism.
“Leading modernist scholar Éva Forgács corrects long-standing misconceptions about Hungarian art while examining the work and social milieu of dozens of important Hungarian artists, including such figures as László Moholy-Nagy and Lajos Kassák, to paint a fascinating image of 20th century Budapest as a microcosm of the social and political turmoil raging across Europe between the late 19th century and the collapse of the Soviet Era.”
The book is currently available for pre-order from DoppelHouse Press
ANN: SHERA Member Alison Hilton was elected to membership in the Polish Association of Art Historians (Stowarzyszenie Historykow Sztuki) in spring of 2016.
In September 2016, she gave a lecture at the National Museum in Szczecin on “Borderlands and Conceptual Boundaries - Poland and Beyond.”
SHERA is pleased to announce the latest publication from member Vera Faber, together with Dmytro Horbachov and Johann Sonnleitner, eds.:
Austrian and Ukrainian Literature and Art. Contacts and Contexts in Modernism and Avant-garde
This collection of articles focuses on the mutual interrelations, interactions, analogies and divergences in the visual arts, literature and society in Viennese and Ukrainian modernism and avant-garde. Although the cultural relations between Austria and Ukraine after 1918 became increasingly sparse, the examination and description of the affinities and contrasts appears to be instructive. Moreover, the volume contains illustrations and images of the Ukrainian avant-garde in literature and the visual arts, as well as futurist and constructivist stage design.
Editors: Vera Faber (Wien) holds an MA in Slavonic Studies and an MDES in Design. She is a PhD candidate in Slavonic Studies (University of Vienna) and a lecturer for cultural studies and art history.
Dmytro Horbachov (Kyiv) works as an art historian and curator with focus on avant-garde and is a professor emeritus of the University of theatre, Film and TV in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Johann Sonnleitner (Wien) is professor for Modern German and Austrian literature at the institute of German Studies at the University of Vienna, Austria.
More information in German:
Faber, Vera / Horbachov, Dmytro / Sonnleitner, Johann (Hrsg.): Österreichische und ukrainische Literatur und Kunst. Kontakte und Kontexte in Moderne und Avantgarde
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2016. 276 S., 32 farb. Abb., 12 s/w Abb.
Wechselwirkungen. Österreichische Literatur im Internationalen Kontext. Bd. 20
General Editors: Norbert Bachleitner, Leopold Decloedt, Wynfrid Kriegleder und Stefan Simonek
Über das Buch
Der Band widmet sich den Wechselbeziehungen, Wechselwirkungen, aber auch Analogien und auffälligen Divergenzen zwischen Kunst, Literatur und Wissenschaft im Wien der Jahrhundertwende sowie in der ukrainischen Moderne und Avantgarde. Die kulturellen Beziehungen zwischen der Ukraine und Österreich werden gerade nach 1918 immer spärlicher, dennoch scheint es lehrreich, die Affinitäten und Kontraste zwischen den zunehmend auseinanderdriftenden kulturellen Räumen zu beschreiben und zu beobachten. Der Band macht zudem viele beeindruckende ukrainische Forschungsleistungen erstmals in deutscher Sprache zugänglich. Überdies enthält er umfangreiches Bildmaterial zur ukrainischen literarischen und bildkünstlerischen Avantgarde sowie zum futuristischen und konstruktivistischen Bühnenbild. Die in diesem Band versammelten Beiträge wurden zum Großteil bei der von Vera Faber gemeinsam mit dem Österreichischen Kulturforum Kiew sowie der Österreich-Bibliothek Kiew konzipierten Tagung „Wiener Moderne / Ukrainische Avantgarde”, die vom 20. bis 21. November 2014 an der Vernads’kyj-Nationalbibliothek der Ukraine sowie an der Österreich-Bibliothek Kiew stattgefunden hat, als Vorträge gehalten.
Inhalt – Vera Faber/Dmytro Horbachov/Johann Sonnleitner: Wiener Moderne und ukrainische Avantgarde – Jakub Forst-Battaglia: «Der farbenvolle Untergang» - Geistige und gesellschaftliche Strömungen in der Habsburgermonarchie zur Jahrhundertwende – Vera Faber: Konzept und Wirklichkeit - Frauen in der Wiener Moderne und in der ukrainischen Avantgarde – Gerhard Donhauser: Von Galizien nach Wien. Biographische Skizzen aus den «wilden Jahren» der Psychoanalyse – Anja Lange: Von Wien nach Lemberg - die Bedeutung des Kaffeehauses für die Lemberger «Moloda Muza» – Tamara Hundorova: Die «Femme Fatale» und die Spuren der Wiener Moderne im Werk ukrainischer Autoren von der Jahrhundertwende bis Ende der 1920er Jahre – Stefan Simonek: Mychajlo Draj-Chmara als Übersetzer Stefan Zweigs – Ivan Megela: Die Rezeption der Wiener Moderne in der Ukraine – Johann Sonnleitner: Weibliche Avantgarde in Österreich nach 1918. Zu Maria Lazar und ihrem Umfeld – Elina Knorpp: «Eine Ohrfeige dem öffentlichen Geschmack» - Expressionismus, Futurismus, Konstruktivismus auf den Bühnen in Wien, Kiew und Charkiw – Olena Balun: Das Volksbild «Kosak Mamaj» in den Werken der ukrainischen Avantgarde als Beispiel für Identitätskonstruktionen der europäischen Moderne – Nelli Kornijenko: Les’ Kurbas - Wien - und weiter… – Iryna Meleškina: Die Sammlung dеr ukrainischen szenographischen Avantgarde im Fonds des Nationalen Museums für Theater, Musik und Kino der Ukraine.
Vera Faber (Wien) hat Slawistik und Design in Wien studiert und ist Lehrbeauftragte für Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaft.
Dmytro Horbachov (Kiew) ist Kunsthistoriker und Kurator sowie emer. Professor an der Universität für Theater, Kino und Television in Kiew.
Johann Sonnleitner (Wien) ist Germanist und Romanist sowie Professor an der Universität Wien.
ANN: New Publication: Czech Feminisms: Perspectives on Gender in East Central Europe
Edited by Iveta Jusová & Jiina Šiklová
In this wide-ranging study of women’s and gender issues in the pre-and post-1989 Czech Republic, contributors engage with current feminist debates and theories of nation and identity to examine the historical and cultural transformations of Czech feminism. This collection of essays by leading scholars, artists, and activists, explores such topics as reproductive rights, state socialist welfare provisions, Czech women’s NGOs, anarchofeminism, human trafficking, LGBT politics, masculinity, feminist art, among others. Foregrounding experiences of women and sexual and ethnic minorities in the Czech Republic, the contributors raise important questions about the transfer of feminist concepts across languages and cultures. As the economic orthodoxy of the European Union threatens to occlude relevant stories of the different national communities comprising the Eurozone, this book contributes to the understanding of the diverse origins from which something like a European community arises.
Iveta Jusová is Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Literature at Carleton College.
Jiina Šiklová, CSc., is an acclaimed Czech sociologist, writer, former dissident, and one of the most influential Czech feminists. She is founder of the Gender Studies Center in Prague.
Indiana University Press September 2016
ANN: New Publication by Julia Tulovsky: Avant-Garde Textiles: Designs for Fabric
Book talk: Thursday, October 27, 2016, 6:00pm
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building)
Columbia University, Harriman Institute, NYC
In the mid-1920s, several great avant-garde artists in different artistic centers simultaneously began explorations in fabric design. Their designs, united by striking visual similarities, put forward a new artistic language that, in principle, anticipated future experiments in modernism, in particular op art and minimalism. Avant-Garde Textiles: Designs for Fabric provides an overview of these designs and argues that the reasons for their similarities lay in common influences from visual sources and theoretical writings of the time.
Tulovsky draws special attention to work by two Russian constructivist artists in Moscow, Liubov Popova and Varvara Stepanova, and that of Sonia Delaunay in Paris. The book analyses common features that link the artistic projects of the Russian constructivists and Delaunay, and explores how the new geometric patterns, very similar in style, were adapted to the drastically different social and economical conditions of Bolshevik Moscow and luxurious Paris of the Art Deco epoch. By the end of the 1920s, the new geometric style in textiles had grown into an international movement. The penetration of these fabrics directly into everyday life influenced people’s tastes, and prepared a firm ground for future developments in modernism.
Julia Tulovsky is the Curator for Russian and Soviet Nonconformist Art at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is a specialist in Russian art and holds her PhD from Moscow State University. Before coming to the Zimmerli she worked at the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, and since 2001 has served as executive director of the Malevich Society in New York. She has published broadly on Russian avant-garde and contemporary art, both in Russian and in English. She is co-editor of a special Russian-American issue of the Pinakotheke journal (Vol. 21-22, no 1-2, 2006), editor of Claude and Nina Gruen Collection of Contemporary Russian Art (Zimmerli Art Museum, 2008), a contributor to Moscow Conceptualism in Context (Prestel, 2011) and Sokov (Kerber, 2012), and editor of Oleg Vassiliev: Space and Light (Zimmerli Art Museum, 2014).
SHERA is thrilled to announce that member Corina Apostol is on the long list of nominees for the 2016 Kandinsky Prize (Премия Кандинского), in the category “Scholarly work. Contemporary art history and theory.”
Other nominees include Viktor Miziano, Georgii Kizevalter, Liudmila Bredikhina, Svetlanda Baskova, Alec Epshtein.
SHERA is delighted to announce that it has received its first donation!
An anonymous donation has been made in honor of Maya Semina, an art historian from Russia, whose book about Filipp Maliavin was published by Moscow’s BooksMArt Press in 2014.
The donation will support one graduate student’s travel to any conference listed on SHERA’s News Blog. The procedure for selecting a grantee will be elaborated during a SHERA membership meeting at ASEEES in November 2016 and announced shortly thereafter.
Thank you to this generous anonymous donor!