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  • Conference: Framing Regionalist Art Forms in Late Empires - 1900-1950 (Vienna; 3-5 December 2015)

    Vienna, Austria, December 3 - 05, 2015
    Registration deadline: Dec 1, 2015

    The Picturesque Eye. Investigating Regionalist Art Forms in late Empires (1900–1950)

    Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art & Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna

    The international conference is a collaborative exercise between the Cluster of Excellence „Asia and Europe in a Global Context – The Dynamics of Transculturality” at Heidelberg University (and its project „Picturesque Modernities“, Michael Falser), the Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art (Herbert Justnik) and the Institute of Culture Studies and Theatre History of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (with its research cluster “Cultures of Knowledge”, Johannes Feichtinger and Cornelia Hülmbauer). The conference is planned in association with the DFG-Research Group „Transcultural Negotiations in the Ambits of Art“ at the Institute of Art History, Freie Universität Berlin.

    Regionalism – a means of stabilizing the centre? With this as an overarching question, the conference intends to focus on scientific approaches and artistic projects in the inner-European border areas and outer-European colonies between ca. 1900 and 1950 that tried to stabilize the imperial project mostly through two strategies: a deliberate “re-valuing” of existing regional cultural forms and a centrally governed initiation of new, regionalistically shaped art forms.

    Both of these strategies involve actors who – according to the first working hypothesis of the conference – drew on picturesque, i.e. selective, segmented and ‘agreeable’ directions of the eye. With the intention of broad aesthetic consent among the respective target audience, it was above all geared towards establishing political consensus between periphery and centre.

    Grouped around the wider context of the two world wars , the different case studies investigate late-colonial Empires with two overlapping regions: border areas within the European colonial powers themselves and overseas colonies.

    The case studies of different regionalist forms of culture and art are devoted to three thematic areas:
    a) the methods applied at the time in disciplines like art and architecture history, archeology, anthropology, etc., which were particularly influential in the colonies
    b) the institutional regimes and individual actors specifically involved in the regionalist projects, and
    c) the primarily visually oriented methods of selection and documentation (e.g. sketch book and inventory) and techniques governing the picturesque steering of the eye (e.g. photography and film).

    As an overall framework, the case studies either investigate the concrete procedures of mapping and recording, collecting, salvaging, and displaying of existing ‘regional’ art forms; or discuss newly commissioned regionalist projects. The papers focus on those visually constructed and at the same time (culture-)politically consensus-oriented approaches that manifested themselves mostly in architecture, sculpture, painting, arts and crafts, costumes, theatre, dance, photography, film and literature.


  • Exhibition: Love in Times of Revolution. Artist couples of the Russian avant-garde (Kunstforum Wien; October 14, 2015 - January 31, 2016)

    Love in Times of Revolution Artist couples of the Russian avant-garde

    In autumn 2015 the Kunstforum will focus on the ground-breaking achievements of the Russian avant-garde from a new perspective: the artist couple. Equality of status in production and ways of living for men and women artists in the context of the October Revolution (1917) not only eschews the image of the “solitary artistic genius”, but establishes an interconnection of art and life, public and private. Artist couples like Varvara Stepanova and Alexandr Rodchenko, or Natalia Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov connected all genres of artistic creativity to the formation of theories and aesthetic action, formulating through their art the political aspiration for a change in life. Although the artist duo could not always realise their ambitions with the corresponding equality of status, and it remained a theoretical construct, this form of life and creativity nevertheless fostered the crystallisation of a society’s gender ideology. The show investigates what work methods and formations of personal and power relationships were developed by the Russian avant-garde and what special structural features of artistic identity, creativity and production were the results. The Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and the Schusev State Museum of Architecture, Moscow as well as many private lenders are supporting the exhibition with important loans from their collections.

    Artist Couples:

    Natalia Goncharova & Mikhail Larionov
    Varvara Stepanova & Alexandr Rodchenko
    Liubov Popova & Alexandr Vesnin
    Olga Rosanova & Alexei Kruchenykh
    Valentina Kulagina & Gustav Klutsis

    Curators: Heike Eipeldauer and Florian Steininger

  • CONF: Papanek Symposium: Emigre Design Culture (Vienna; 27-28 May 2015)

    Exhibition Centre Heiligenkreuzer Hof, Schönlaterngasse 5, Vienna, Austria
    May 27 - 28, 2015

    Papanek Symposium 2015: Émigré Design Culture. Histories of the Social in Design

    Émigré Design Culture highlights the significance of Austrian and Central European émigré and exile designers and architects in promoting a progressive culture of debate in the USA, around the needs of society and strategies for social inclusion. This symposium is the first to address the pivotal role of émigré networks in shaping a new social agenda in design. Scholars in the fields of cultural, design and architectural history consider the critical contribution of émigrés and exiles in forming new humanistic directions in design, opening up a forum to debate its relevance for today’s global perspective.

    Curator: Dr. Elana Shapira
    Director: Prof. Dr. Alison J. Clarke
    Assistant: Bryleigh Morsink

    Kindly supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)

    Public event, free of charge, registration required.