News tagged:

Eastern Europe

  • Funded PhD: Artistic Re-enactments of Performance Art as Vehicles of Cultural Transfer in Eastern Europe since 1960

    PhD Funding: Artistic Re-enactments of Performance Art as Vehicles of Cultural Transfer in Eastern Europe since 1960
    Department of Film and Visual Culture, University of Aberdeen
    Supervisor: Dr. Amy Bryzgel, Senior Lecturer in Film and Visual Culture, University of Aberdeen
    Application Deadline: March 21, 2017

    Applications are invited for PhD research topics that focus on artistic re-enactments of performances from across the former communist and socialist countries of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe in recent artistic practice. There are numerous examples of artistic re-enactments across the region, providing scope for a range of dissertation topics. Projects can include comparative studies, for example, of the relevance of re-enactments in one local tradition versus that of another; or single-country studies of a number of re-enactments being staged in one context. Dissertations will address the following research questions: what are the various functions of artistic re-enactments of performances in Eastern Europe? How do these functions compare with current understandings of re-enactment in the West? How can re-enactments be used to access a lost or inaccessible history (such as performance art in Eastern Europe)? Also welcome are proposals that consider revisiting culturally relevant or historically significant places by artists or within the context of artistic re-enactments.

    Selection will be made on the basis of academic merit. Individuals with a strong research background in the field of Eastern European contemporary art and/or performance art, from either an art history or visual culture background, are encouraged to apply. Applicants should have the necessary language skills needed to undertake the proposed research, and should consider funding sources for travel to conduct field research abroad if it is necessary to the proposed project.

    The project is funded by a University of Aberdeen Elphinstone Scholarship, which covers the cost of tuition fees only, whether Home, EU or Overseas, and will be awarded through an open competition.

    Interested applicants should contact Dr. Amy Bryzgel with a project proposal of no more than 2,000 words, including discussion of Aims and Objectives, Research Questions, Research Context, Methodology and Critical Approach.

    Deadline for all applications: 21 March 2017

    More information can be found here
    How to apply

  • CFP: Gender and Sexuality in Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia: Past and Present

    CFP: Gender and Sexuality in Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia: Past and Present
    Conference venue: University of Nottingham
    Deadline for submitting abstracts: 9th January 2017

    Description of the Event
    Research into gender and sexuality in Russian, East European and Eurasian contexts has rapidly expanded in recent years in the disciplines of history, geography, sociology, literature, politics and cultural studies. The aim of this conference is to facilitate the continued development of this field by encouraging cross-disciplinary conversations around these central themes.

    Eligible topics for the conference
    Presentations by postgraduates and early-career researchers are especially welcomed. Possible themes may include, but are not limited to:

    Paid and unpaid labour
    Constructions of femininity and masculinity in politics and popular culture
    The life cycle and the regulation of ageing
    Medicine and gendered bodies
    Intersections of gender, race and ethnicity
    Sexualities and gender identities
    Migration and displacement
    Violence and discrimination

    Keynote speaker: Dr Sarah Badcock, University of Nottingham

    Guidelines for submission
    Proposals for 20-minute papers and for panels of 3 papers are welcomed.
    Please send abstracts of 250 words and a brief biographical note to the organiser Siobhan Hearne by Monday 9th January 2017.

    For more information:

  • CFP: ARTMargins Online

    CFP: ARTMargins Online

    CFP: ARTMargins Online

    Interested in writing about contemporary art practice in Eastern Europe, Russia, or the former Soviet Union?

    ARTMargins Online accepts previously unpublished interviews, essays, reviews/review articles, blogs, podcasts and videos devoted to contemporary art, with a focus on the region formerly known as Eastern Europe.

    Please address submissions and all other correspondence to the

    For more information on ARTMargins Online go to:

  • CFP: Art as Cultural Diplomacy (Bologna, 14 - 15 Oct 16)

    CFP: Art as Cultural Diplomacy (Bologna, 14 - 15 Oct 16)

    Bologna, Italy
    October 14 - 15, 2016
    Deadline: Sep 9, 2016

    Art as Cultural Diplomacy: (Re)Constructing Notions of Eastern and Western Europe

    Part of the Fifth Euroacademia International Conference ‘The European Union and the Politicization of Europe’

    Panel Proposed by Cassandra Sciortino, University of California, Santa Barbara

    Panel Description:

    The panel “Art as cultural diplomacy” seeks papers that explore the function of art (in its broadest definition) as an instrument of cultural diplomacy by the state and, especially, by nongovernmental actors. The main theme of the session is the question of art and diplomacy in Europe before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Papers are welcome which explore issues related to the role of art, diplomacy and the politicization of the European Union and its candidate countries, as are those which consider how the arts have pursued or resisted East-West dichotomies and other narratives of alterity in Europe and worldwide. The panel seeks to combine a wide range of interdisciplinary perspectives to explore how art—its various practices, history, and theory—are an important area of inquiry in the expanding field of cultural diplomacy.

    Some examples of topics include:
    ~ How can art serve as a neutral platform for exchange to promote dialogue and understanding between foreign states?
    ~ How can art, including organized festivals (i.e. film, art, music.)
    cultivate transnational identities that undermine dichotomies of East and West, and other narratives of alterity in Europe and beyond it?
    ~ The implications for art as an instrument of diplomacy in a postmodern age where geopolitics and power are increasingly mobilized by image based structures of persuasion
    ~ How has/can art facilitate cohesion between European Union member states and candidate states that effectively responds to the EU’s efforts to create “unity in diversity.”
    ~ The politics of mapping Europe: mental and cartographic
    ~ Community based art as a social practice to engage issues of European identity
    ~ The difference between art as cultural diplomacy and propaganda
    ~ The digital revolution and the emergence of social media as platforms
    for art to communicate across social, cultural, and national boundaries?
    ~ Diplomacy in the history of art in Europe and Eastern Europe
    ~ Artists as diplomats
    ~ Art history as diplomacy—exhibitions, post-colonial criticism, global art history, and other revisions to the conventional boundaries of Europe and its history of art
    ~ The international activity of cultural institutes

    For full details of the conference and on-line application please see:

  • Exhibition: Making Continuity Contemporary: Eastern Europe in New York

    Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection at Hebrew Home at Riverdale is pleased to announce its latest exhibition:
    Making Continuity Contemporary: Eastern Europe in New York
    Elma and Milton A. Gilbert Pavilion Gallery
    March 13–July 17, 2016**

    This exhibition featuring work by eight artists originally from Eastern Europe addresses themes of personal history, geographical dislocation, identity, and intellectual freedom. In different ways, each artist explores the disruptions and continuities in their cultural backgrounds, whether through pictorial abstraction, participatory projects, auditory or written language, or conceptual reinterpretation of cultural symbols. Their mediums also range widely and include hand-drawn animation and audio, chemigrams, painting, mixed media, photography, sculpture, and installation.

    Maryna Bilak, a Ukrainian artist originally from the Carpathian mountains, came to the U.S. to study art at the New York Studio School in 2012. Using her knowledge of traditional Ukrainian textile motifs, she incorporates these patterns into 3-dimensional paintings in which she manipulates color and shape by folding canvas and in multimedia installations in which she assembles hand-painted stones.

    Alina and Jeff Bliumis’s series “Casual Conversations in Brooklyn” (2007) engages questions of how cultural experiences and identities intersect. The photographers spent a day in Brighton Beach—home to a large Jewish and Russian-speaking community—and offered passersby the opportunity to choose from three different signs featuring the words “Russian,” “Jewish,” and “American,” or to create their own. On view are a selection of subjects photographed holding the signs they chose—sometimes more than two—to represent their cultural identity. Alina and Jeff Bliumis were born in Belarus and Moldova, respectively.

    Yevgenia Nayberg, who grew up in Kiev, Ukraine, is represented by the painting “Bird Dictionary” (2011), a rumination on the process of learning a new language. Phrases in Cyrillic text are incorporated into the work, labeled as ordinary things: “regular person,” “regular landscape,” and “standard moon.” However, the reality is the opposite, and the work touches on the idea that learning a new language is strange and surreal for non-speakers. The artist also pays homage to Suprematism in another work on view, a triptych entitled “Happy Man Series” (2013).

    Bulgarian-born artist Eva Nikolova references Balkan architecture in her hand-drawn animation and chemigrams—paintings on light sensitive paper—that construct narratives about memory and personal dislocation. In the animation “Zemya Zemya” (2008), the iconic architectural form of the Orthodox Christian church is seen through a series of free-associative events, leaving interpretation of the narrative up to the viewer. According to the artist, the title is a doubling of the Bulgarian word for earth, land, or ground and refers to the signage on rockets designating the missile type—ground-to-ground or surface-to-surface. The architectural images in Nikolova’s works function as cultural emblems—whether intact or seemingly dilapidated—and explore shifting identities.

    Acclaimed illustrator Peter Sís’s work using the motif of wings references themes of freedom and liberation. In two illustrations from his adaptation of “The Conference of the Birds” (2011)—a 12th century Persian epic poem published by The Penguin Press—a surrealistic flock of birds in the shape of an eye that spreads across a richly colored surface, one blue, one yellow, demonstrates the process of journeying. Sís emigrated to the United States from Czechoslovakia in 1982.

    Diana Shpungin’s “You Will Remember This” (2011) is a hand-drawn animation derived from video footage of her father recorded several months before his death. In it he recounts anecdotes about life in Soviet Latvia, including the tale of acquiring his first car and the black market culture of the USSR in the late 1950s.

    Leonard Ursachi’s drawings of bunkers and a maquette for “Fat Boy”—a large sculpture on view in Prospect Park in Brooklyn—engage what the artist describes as “the bunker mentality.” Ursachi’s native Romania is dotted with bunkers abandoned after the Soviet period—symbols that instill a sense of fear and the unknown. He defected from the country in 1980.

    As a member of the American Alliance of Museums, Hebrew Home at Riverdale by RiverSpring Health is committed to publicly exhibiting its art collection throughout its 32-acre campus including the Derfner Judaica Museum and a sculpture garden overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. The Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection provide educational and cultural programming for residents of the Hebrew Home, their families and the general public from throughout New York City, its surrounding suburbs and visitors from elsewhere. Hebrew Home is a nonprofit, non-sectarian geriatric organization serving more than 12,000 elderly persons in greater New York through its resources and community service programs.

    Museum hours: Sunday–Thursday, 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
    Art Collection and grounds open daily, 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
    Call 718-581-1596 for holiday hours and to schedule group tours.
    Further information please visit our website

    Full catalogue available online: [}(

    This exhibition is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

  • CFP: Marian Iconography East and West (Rijeka; 2-4 June, 2016)

    Rijeka, Croatia, June 2 - 04, 2016
    Deadline: Mar 30, 2016

    Marian Iconography East and West
    Tenth International Conference of Iconographic Studies

    Center for Iconographic Studies - University of Rijeka (Croatia) in collaboration with
    Study of Theology in Rijeka, University of Zagreb (Croatia)
    University of Thessaly (Greece)
    University of Ljubljana (Slovenia)
    Gregorian Pontifical University Rome (Italy)

    The conference seeks to explore and discuss recent development in the dialogue between theology, art history, philosophy and cultural theory concerning the iconography of Mary in Eastern and Western art. We welcome academic papers that will approach this subject in an interdisciplinary and methodologically diverse way. The themes and subjects can include the following:

    • early representations of Mary
    • images of intercession and authority
    • devotional iconography
    • Mary Mother of God
    • Virgin as queen
    • Mary as Ecclesia
    • Mary and Eve
    • Life of the Virgin
    • post-Tridentine iconography
    • hermeneutical and phenomenological aspects of Mary

    Paper proposals should be submitted electronically to

    A paper proposal should contain:

    1. full name, institution, affiliation, address, phone number(s), e-mail address
    2. title
    3. abstract (maximum 2 pages – 500 words)

    Invitations to participate will be sent out by email before April 15, 2016

    There is NO registration fee

    Administration and organizational costs, working materials, lunch and coffee breaks during conference as well as all organized visits are covered by the organizers. All presented papers will be published in the thematic issue of the IKON journal in May 2017.

    Please contact us for any additional information.

    Contact person: Sanja Jovanović Center for Iconographic Studies Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences University of Rijeka Sveucilisna avenija 4 51 000 Rijeka Croatia E-mail:

  • CFP: Art History and Socialism(s): 1940s-1960s (Tallinn; 28-29 October, 2016)

    Tallinn, October 28 - 29, 2016 Deadline: Feb 25, 2016

    Art History and Socialism(s) after World War II: The 1940s until the 1960s

    Location: Institute of Art History, Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn
    Hosting institution: Estonian Academy of Arts

    Although the Soviet and Eastern European socialist regimes of the latter 20th century seem to lie in the distant past now, research on them still has many uncovered areas. This applies not least to the role of “socialist” art historians, their activities and functions in universities, exhibitions and the mass media, and especially their academic text production. Deriving from a complicated socio-cultural set of relations, the common denominator for which was “socialism”, these art historical “acts” shaped the general comprehensions of art, culture and history in the society at large. With the overall historiographical turn in the humanities, scholars from the Baltic to the Balkan region have begun to re-address the various histories of artworks, architecture, artistic styles and whole epochs that these practices constructed. Conferences on this recent art historical past have been held and scholarly publications issued, including in English, today’s lingua franca, but the vast majority of research remains only in native languages, thus circulating mainly at the local level.

    Our call for papers originates from the conviction that researchers of socialist art history need a common platform, to introduce and compare art historical practices across the former Soviet Union and the socialist countries of Europe. Paraphrasing the late Piotr Piotrowski, the time is ripe for the project of a “horizontal” reading of socialist art history. As with different “socialisms”, “socialist art history” as an umbrella term covers a variety of ways of writing the history of art and architecture. Moscow’s influence varied greatly depending on the decade, region and particular situation. In addition to ideological pressure and terror, other factors – of which neighbours might not have been or still might not be aware – affected the art historical ideas and practices of different Soviet republics and the satellite states in Eastern and Central Europe. The making of art history and its visual displays by means of exhibitions (as well as contemporary artistic practices) also depended on the international art history discourse, even though the range and accessibility of literature etc. varied from country to country.

    The conference addresses these topics primarily via the historiographical and theoretical levels:

    • Moscow’s role in developing the theoretical grounds of the Marxist-Leninist art history discourse (one centre?, unity of theoretical approaches?)
    • implementing this discourse in the Soviet Union, in its new member republics and in the new “socialist countries” (national socialist schools of art history?)
    • interpreting art historical concepts and periodisation; shifts occurring over time; comparison with the Western art history discourse(s);
    • the complicated relationship with Modernism during the Stalinist era; its later inclusion in the Marxist-Leninist discourse of art history.


  • Opportunities: Studienreise: Russische Avantgarde

    Das Deutsche Forum für Kunstgeschichte in Paris (DFK) bietet in Kooperation mit dem Deutschen Historischen Institut in Moskau (DHI) mit Unterstützung der Europäischen Universität in Sankt-Petersburg eine Studienreise an:
    Moskau und Sankt Petersburg, May 22 - 28, 2016
    „Russische und westeuropäische Avantgarde in Moskau und Sankt-Petersburg um 1900“ Deadline: Feb 15, 2016


  • Opportunities: Patterns Lectures Call for Proposals for University Courses


    Application deadline: The call for submissions is open from 19 January 2016 to 7 March 2016.

    PATTERNS Lectures has launched a new call to develop university courses in the fields of artistic research, art history, cultural theory and cultural studies. The fourth edition of the programme focuses on new artistic and activist practices, new social movements and their significance for the recent cultural history in Central and South Eastern Europe (CEE). The programme aims to research, analyse and understand different aspects of cultural practices related to the transformation of society, life, art and culture in CEE, while accounting for the pluralities that characterise the region.

    The programme stresses critical methodology as well as innovative and interactive teaching practices. It encourages international academic exchange by enabling lecturers to go on study visits and offer guest lectures by international colleagues.

    All application documents including guidelines are available for download at

    Witih further questions, please contact:

  • Exhibition: Kiev, Moscow and Beyond – 20 Years of springerin (Depo Istanbul; December 6-31, 2015)

    Opening: 5th of December 2015 at 17.30 h

    With contributions by Ricardo Basbaum, Sanja Iveković, Gülsün Karamustafa, Yuri Leiderman & Andrey Silvestrov, Yasmine Öczan, Johannes Porsch, Felix Sobolev, Haim Sokol, Mikhail Tolmachev

    An exhibition project curated by springerin in cooperation with Depo Istanbul

    springerin – Hefte für Gegenwartskunst is a quarterly magazine dedicated to the theory and critique of contemporary art and culture. Based in Vienna, Austria it has been running since 1995 when its first issue came out. On the occasion of springerin’s 20th anniversary, a series of presentations in various locations provides glimpses of the history of the magazine and tries to develop prospects for the future. The last of these presentations, taking place at Depo, is an attempt to generate links between a condensed version of the magazine’s history and the particular context of Istanbul. While the journal, due to its nature as a print medium, is confined to the format of text and image, the presentation at Depo is specifically adapted to the exhibition space.

    Thematically, it addresses the context circumscribed in the October 2015 issue titled Kiev, Moscow and Beyond which was produced in connection to “The School of Kyiv” Biennial. Taking a critical look at cultural and political geographies at the eastern margins of the European Union, the issue was focused on the role of contemporary art might within an environment of political conflict, violence and ethnic/nationalist rivalry. One of the primary questions being how a constructive dialogue between art and civil society can be initiated—one that will foster intellectual and artistic exchange beyond any simplistic national framework.

    The particular setting of the exhibition, conceived by artist/designer Johannes Porsch, is a version of the so-called “springerin Mobile Library,” which has been used on other occasions in Vienna, Budapest and Bregenz (Austria) before. It is both as display unit for the magazine’s backlist since 1995, and functions as a model exhibition space for selected artworks chosen around the specific thematic focus.

    Within that selection, several works commissioned for, or recently shown at the Kiev Biennial stand out. Mikhail Tolmachev’s installation Line of Site consists of a series of photo etchings based on photographs from Russian and Ukrainian agencies, representing artillery positions amidst the conflict in the Donbass region. By contrast, Yuri Leiderman’s and Andrey Silvestrov’s film Odessa. Fragment 205 stages an action akin to a political manifestation or church procession in the streets of Odessa, shot through with an absurdist poetics and political disenchantment. A somewhat related vein is pursued in Ricardo Basbaum’s collective-conversation (The School of Kyiv), an audio arrangement of different voice ensembles: co-authored, the workshop-produced scripts put forth a rhythmic proposition of different voices and languages. Finally, a fragment of Felix Sobolov’s documentary Seven Steps Beyond the Horizon (1968) provides a historic glimpse of the “Kyiv school of scientific cinema.” Intertwined with these examples from the more immediate Kiev/Moscow context is a series of recent works by Gülsün Karamustafa, Sanja Iveković, Haim Sokol, and Yasemin Özcan. In Özcan’s video Run, we see the artist run next to the empty tribunes of Atatürk Olympic Stadium; what first appears to be a competitive race against a smoothly dressed woman finally reveals a process of running “together-apart.” Taking on the difficult issue of individual/collective representation, Sanja Iveković’s Why an Artist Cannot Represent a Nation State is structured along a dialogue between Rada Iveković, a philosopher and feminist, and the deaf actress Isabelle Voizeux. Based on a performance, the video tackles “the impossibility and yet the inevitability of representation.” Finally, Haim Sokol’s On the Concept of History takes up Walter Benjamin’s famous work of the same title and connects it with current issues. In the posters, inscribed with quotes by Benjamin, both historical figures and anonymous victims of recent post-Soviet military violence are depicted.

    Together, these works—in combination with the springerin back-catalogue and the most current (international) issue—testify to a multi-faceted discursive, politically inclined endeavor that has been characteristic of the magazine throughout its 20 year history.

    Supported by Bundeskanzleramt Österreich and Österreichisches Kulturforum Istanbul / Avusturya Başkonsolosluğu Kültür Ofisi