CONFERENCE: Avant-Garde Magazines in Central Europe (Budapest; September 17-19, 2015)

Kassák Museum, Fö tér 1, 1033 Budapest, Hungary, September 17 - 19, 2015
Registration deadline: Sep 11, 2015

Local Contexts / International Networks – Avant-Garde Magazines in Central Europe (1910–1935)

The subject of the conference is the ‘Central European avant-garde magazine’, arguably the most important medium of communication for progressive literature and visual arts in the region during and after WWI. Given the multifaceted nature of the phenomenon, the analysis will take an interdisciplinary perspective and employ several different approaches. The avant-garde magazine will be examined as a discursive space of avant-garde communication, as a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’, and as a historical document. As the recent conjuncture in scholarship positions the art of the region in the international context, our aim is to draw more attention to the interrelationships between the local contexts and international networks of Central European avant-gardes.

How did the different cultural and historical characteristics affect the ‘local’ avant-gardes of Central Europe? How are the avant-garde magazines of Central Europe related to each other? Accordingly, how could ‘Central European avant-gardes’ be described from the perspectives of Kraków, Warsaw, Prague, Bratislava or Budapest? Through detailed case studies, the conference will emphasize the complex and problematic nature of Central European avant-garde magazines regarding the questions of national/local and international/cosmopolitan. The conference includes monographic, thematic and problem-oriented lectures on current research on local avant-garde magazines published during WWI and in the interwar period.



10.00–11.00: Plenary I

Edit Sasvári (Kassák Museum): The Kassák Museum in Central and East European perspective

Eszter Balázs (Kodolányi János University of Applied Arts): ‘Artist and Public Intellectual, Artist or Public Intellectual’ – Polemics of the Hungarian Avant-Garde on New Art, 1915–1918

11.00–11.30: Coffee

11.30-13.30: Session I

Oliver Botar (University of Manitoba, Winnipeg): Moholy-Nagy: Art as Information / Information as Art

Jindrich Toman (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor): Moholy Nagy’s idea of a Synthetic Journal

Sonia de Puineuf (Université de Bretagne Occidentale, Brest): “Syntetische Zeitschrift” – Study cases Nová Bratislava and Nový Svet

13.30–15.00: Lunch

15.00–17.00: Session II

Lucie ?esálková (Masaryk University, Brno): Artuš ?erník between national and media contexts

Vendula Hnídková (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague): Styles of Styl – Platform for Czech modern architecture

Przemysław Strożek (Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw): Chaplin goes viral – Avant-garde publications and the images of popular culture


10.00–11.00: Plenary II

Gábor Dobó – Klára Rudas – Merse Pál Szeredi (Kassák Museum): Curators’ introduction to the exhibition ‘Signal to the World – War - Avant-Garde - Kassák’

Merse Pál Szeredi (Kassák Museum): The politics of artistic utopia – Lajos Kassák and MA in Vienna (1920–1925)

Gábor Dobó (Kassák Museum): “Extraterrestrials in Budapest” – Self-description of Kassák’s avant-garde magazine Dokumentum (1926–1927)

11.00–11.30: Coffee

11.30-13.30: Session III

Kinga Siewior (Jagiellonian University, Kraków): From aesthetics to anthropology – The concept of East in Zenit magazine

Jakub Kornhauser (Jagiellonian University, Kraków): From repulsion to attraction – A long story of surrealism in Romanian avant-garde magazines

Dušan Barok (Monoskop, Bratislava): Body of Thought – Artists’ texts and their contribution to theory

13.30–15.00: Lunch

15.00–16.30: Session IV

Klára Prešnajderová (Slovak Design Museum, Bratislava): Two magazines with two different concepts – Slovenská Grafia and Nová Bratislava

Michał Burdziński (University of Warsaw, Warsaw): How much did our graphic arts fly aloft? On defining the spirit of avant-garde pretensions in an impecunious world

Hanna Marciniak (Charles University, Prague): The D Programme and the Czech avant-garde in the 1940s

16.30–17.00: Coffee

17.00–18.30: Session V

Markéta Theinhardt (Université Paris-Sorbonne, Paris): L’Art et les Artistes: Revue mensuelle d’art ancien et moderne (1905–1939) – Central European art between modernism and conservatism

Vojtěch Lahoda (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague): Global Art History “avant la lettre” – The Case of Um?lecký m?sí?ník (1911–1914)

Lenka Bydžovská (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague): On the extreme left? The Dev?tsil monthly ReD in international networks (1927–1931)


10.00–12.00: Session VI

Piotr Rypson (National Museum in Warsaw): Tadeusz Peiper’s strategy for Zwrotnica magazine

Michalina Kmiecik (Jagiellonian University, Kraków): The aftermath of Zwrotnica? Kraków avant-garde and its magazines in the 1930s

Michał Wenderski (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan): Between Poland and the Low Countries – Mutual relations and cultural exchange between constructivist magazines and avant-garde formations

12.00–13.00: Lunch

13.00–14.30: Roundtable on the research of Central-European avant-garde magazines

The conference is free of charge, however, for organisational reasons we ask to register in advance – before 11 September 2015 – via e-mail to

The conference is supported by the International Visegrad Fund and the Centre français de recherche en sciences sociales (CEFRES).

The conference is accompanied by the temporary exhibition entitled ‘Signal to the World – War - Avant-Garde - Kassák’ dedicated to the first avant-garde magazine of Lajos Kassák, A Tett [The Action] published between 1915 and 1916. The exhibition marks the centenary of Kassák’s ‘debut’. The Kassák Museum is the only thematic showroom of the historical avant-garde in Hungary. Its objectives in this regard are to reach a broader audience and to establish the museum as a regional focus point for research into the avant-garde and modernism.

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