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By Piotr Piotrowski

Whilst the Iron Curtain fell in 1989, jap Europe observed a brand new period start, and the frequent alterations that prolonged into the realm of artwork. paintings and Democracy in Post-Communist Europe examines the paintings created in mild of the profound political, social, monetary, and cultural changes that happened within the former jap Bloc after the chilly warfare ended. Assessing the functionality of paintings in post-communist Europe, Piotr Piotrowski describes the altering nature of artwork because it went from being molded by way of the cultural imperatives of the communist nation and a device of political propaganda to self reliant paintings protesting opposed to the ruling powers.

Piotrowski discusses communist reminiscence, the critique of nationalism, problems with gender, and the illustration of historical trauma in modern museology, quite within the fresh founding of up to date paintings museums in Bucharest, Tallinn, and Warsaw. He finds the anarchistic motifs that had a wealthy culture in japanese ecu paintings and the new emergence of a utopian imaginative and prescient and gives shut readings of many artists—including Ilya Kavakov and Krzysztof Wodiczko—as good as Marina Abramovic’s paintings that answered to the atrocities of the Balkans. A cogent research of the inventive reorientation of jap Europe, this ebook fills an immense hole in modern creative and political discourse.

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Extra resources for Art and Democracy in Post-Communist Europe

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This ironic view of the Central European intellectual diet reveals complete dependence on foreign, mainly Western provisions. But there is also the opposite tendency, which manifests as a fear of the so-called new paradigms. 74 The legacy of communism and the function of Marxism as the official state ideology provoked negative reaction against the left-leaning theoretical and methodological tendencies (the New Critical Theory) that emerged from the experience of 1968. This could also be said about sociologically and politically based art historic studies, as well as feminism, gender, cultural, queer or postcolonial studies.

But, as Hans Belting has observed, it does not have to be global. The issue here is not whether global art history is the history of global art, but rather 39 art and democracy in post-communist europe what the term ‘global’ means in this context. Belting responds that it signifies globalization of Western art history and, as such, is a form of intellectual imperialism and neocolonialism. However, he adds, this does not have to be the case. 57 Here then is my thesis: the fall of communism in Europe in 1989 was one of the factors that supported the development of the horizontal approach to art history.

56 Seen from a postmodern perspective, a nation is devoid of any essential qualities. By contrast, within the practice of postcolonial studies certain forms of national essentialism seem necessary for identification of strategies of resistance and critique of the centre. Perhaps the greatest paradox of postcolonial studies rests in the fact that they investigate national essentialism imposed on the colonized by the colonizers. In order to defend decolonized nations, they must once again engage in the construction of the national subject.

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