Extending the Dialogue
Essays by Igor Zabel Award Laureates, Grant Recipients, and Jury Members, 2008–2014
Contributions by Edit András, Fouad Asfour, Keti Chukhrov, Karel Císař, Ekaterina Degot, Maja Fowkes and Reuben Fowkes, Alenka Gregorič, Daniel Grúň, Sabine Hänsgen, Tímea Junghaus, Klara Kemp-Welch, Miklavž Komelj, Lev Kreft and Aldo Milohnič, Kirill Medvedev, Piotr Piotrowski, Jelena Vesić, Raluca Voinea, What, How & for Whom / WHW.
Editors: Urška Jurman, Christiane Erharter, and Rawley Grau
IZA Editions. Publications series by the Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory (Ljubljana) and Archive Books (Berlin).
Series editor Urška Jurman
Design by Ivian Kan Mujezinović / Ee
December 2016, English
17 x 23 cm, 417 pages, 46 b/w and 54 color ill., softcover
This book brings together texts by 18 contributors coming from twelve different countries and representing a range of disciplines and interests: their number includes art historians, philosophers, cultural theorists and activists, critics, curators, and poets, with most of them falling into two or three of these categories. All have made important contributions to contemporary art and cultural production, art history writing, and critical thought within, and sometimes far beyond, the region once known, problematically, as “Eastern Europe”. The book thus offers a collection of urgencies and agencies in art history, art writing, and art and cultural production from across this cultural and political geography. It is a survey of the pressing issues that stimulate these authors’ scholarly, curatorial, and cultural investments and so provides a referential, if fragmented and incomplete, picture of current conditions of art and culture in the region. The question of the centre–periphery relationship in writing about Central and Eastern European art is enriched by perspectives from other “peripheries” and discussions about competing global, regional, and national views, including questions about the impact of rising nationalism in Europe. Feminist, post-colonial, and minority positions also come into play as the matrix of power in art writing, art history, and art education is critically examined.
Several of the essays apply comparative and horizontal art-historical methods to reposition Eastern European art within the global context. Critical environmental concerns are also represented here. In many cases, the artworks under discussion were developed outside official institutional structures, often as ephemeral manifestations; hence, the artistic and performative potential of documentation and archives also becomes a prime concern. Other essays, meanwhile, reflect on the conditions of contemporary cultural production in the region, critically examining the role of cultural institutions in the struggle for access to knowledge, and in national representations, and ponder the future of the public art museum at a time of renewed political pressures and reduced state funding.
Another group of texts deal with the intersection of politics and art, specifically with the region’s (utopian) legacy of revolution, socialism, and communism. But they do this from very different, sometimes contrasting perspectives, presenting a mix of scepticism and idealism, philosophical caution and guarded hope for art’s role in today’s discouraging political and social climate.
All contributors have in common an affiliation with the Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory as Laureates, Grant Recipients, or Jury Members. Every two years since 2008, the Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory and the ERSTE Foundation have presented this Award. Named in honour of the distinguished Slovene curator, essayist, and art critic Igor Zabel (1958–2005), the award recognizes the achievements of curators, art historians, and art theorists whose work deepens our knowledge of visual art and culture in Central, Eastern, and South-eastern Europe.