Academic Session 27: UEA 2015

41st Annual Conference & Bookfair
Sainsbury Institute for Art, UEA, Norwich
9 – 11 April 2015

Subversive Practices and Imagined Realities in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe since 1945

Session Convenors:

Amy Bryzgel, University of Aberdeen,
Andrea Euringer-Bátorová, Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava,

In communist Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, the building of socialism had as its final endpoint a utopia that provided the ultimate motivation: sacrifice now, reward later. In its sheer impossibility, it was an elusive and illusory dream that formed the foundation for everyday life under totalitarian regimes. Within this visionary world, artists such as Alexander Mlynár?ik (Slovakia), Marko Kova?i? (Slovenia) or Mark Verlan (Moldova) created their own parallel worlds, utopias, dystopias and fantastic domains. In many cases, alternative and nonofficial artists’ works served to carve out a unique space in the so-called ‘grey zone’ of Europe that offered an alternative not only to state-sponsored socialism but also to Western capitalism, both of which many artists and dissidents viewed with equal suspicion.

This session will examine a range of artistic ideas, participative strategies, subversive practices, networks and projects (imaginary or real) which demonstrate an alternative sphere of thinking and modes of creative living, and which possibly attempt to move beyond the classical binary systems of West and East – all from within an everyday world order that seemed to be set in stone.

Ruth Addison (Independent) Vasya-Cloud Won’t Block Out Vasya-Sun!

Iliana Veinberga (Art Academy of Latvia) Things that Matter. Cultural heritage preservation as an act of disobedience in Latvia in 1960s/70s

Katalin Cseh-Varga (Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich / University of Vienna) Fake, Pseudo, Fiction. Constructed art realities in late socialist Hungary

Kristof Nagy (Courtauld Institute of Art, London) György Krassó – The artistic critic of the Hungarian regime change

Micha Braun (University of Leipzig) Surrealistic Mimicry. Practices of repetition and transgression in Eastern European performative arts of the 1970s and 1980s

Bojan Ba?a (York University, Toronto) ‘If You Can’t Beat Them, Confuse Them’: The possible by-products of an impossible world