Lectures by: Klara Kemp-Welch & Piotr Piotrowski

Jarosław Kozłowski & Andrzej Kostołowski, NET
Jarosław Kozłowski & Andrzej Kostołowski, NET

Monday, 22 September 2014, at 6 pm, Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Maistrova 3, Ljubljana

Klara Kemp-Welch: Continuity and Rupture. Networking and Collaboration from the 70s to the 00s
Since at least the landmark exhibition After The Wall (Stockholm, 1999 ), each new year seems to produce a framed survey of what goes under the pseudonym “East European art” – notably, IRWIN’s best-selling East Art Map (2000-06), but also the exhibitions Les Promesses du Passe (Paris, 2010), Ostalgia (New York, 2011), The Desire for Freedom (Berlin, 2012), Report on the Construction of a Space Module (New York, 2014), to name just some. Each initiative has to stake out its position in relation to the concerns of a complex network of participants and institutional stakeholders. The same is true of projects in which unofficial late-socialist art has been put into discursive play with its experimental equivalents from around the world: Global Conceptualism (New York, 1999), Subversive Practices (Stuttgart, 2009), and more recently, the Museum of Parallel Narratives (Barcelona, 2011). I examine the uses and abuses of narratives of the micro-historical isolation and marginalization of “East European art” while considering locating the historical germs of our present condition in the late-socialist period, comparing the cultural situation today with its late-socialist counterpart.

Piotr Piotrowski: The Global NETwork. Approaching Comparative Art History
At the beginning of the 1970s, Jarosław Kozłowski and Andrzej Kostołowski invented NET – a global network of artists who wanted to exchange their thoughts. Ultimately, over the course of more than a dozen years, a few hundred people from both Eastern and Western Europe, the US, Latin America and Asia participated in this initiative. This lecture does not, however, aim to describe the project itself, but rather takes it as a point of departure for an analysis of the different contexts in which artworks circulate in an effort to arrive at a theoretical approach to comparative art history. I understand this concept not necessarily as in the way in which the circulation of ideas caused them to be influenced by each other, but rather how different geo-historical circumstances lay behind their (contextual) meaning, how they illuminated each other.

Klara Kemp-Welch is an art historian, theoretician and a lecturer in 20th century Modernism at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, where she teaches East European and Latin American art history. In 2014 her monograph Antipolitics in Central European Art. Reticence as Dissidence Under Post-Totalitarian Rule was published, and since 2009 she has been researching and working on a book project entitled Networking the Bloc: Rethinking International Relations in European Art.

Piotr Piotrowski is an art historian, theoretician and a professor ordinarius at the art history department at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland. He is the author of a dozen books, including: Meanings of Modernism (1999, 2011), In the Shadow of Yalta. Art and the Avant-garde in Eastern Europe (2005, English 2009, Croatian 2011), Art After Politics (2007), Art and Democracy in Post-Communist Europe (2010, English 2012) and Critical Museum (2011, Serbian 2013).

More about the lectures and lecturers.

This event is part of the 2014 World of Art public programme, which is being prepared by the SCCA–Ljubljana and the Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory.
Partner of the event
: Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova
The programme is supported by: the City of Ljubljana – Department for Culture; ERSTE Foundation