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"FRAMING" OF THE CENTRAL EUROPE

PIOTR PIOTROWSKY

Some time ago I have travelled on the Inter-City train from Budapest to PÈcs with Katalin Keser, a Hungarian historian of modern art, who suddenly asked me what I thought about Donald Kuspit's book New Subjectivism.(1) I shrugged. We were talking about the study of East Central European art history, in which both of us had been involved, and Kuspit's considerations seemed to me totally useless as regards attempts at the revision of the methodology of such studies. Quite on the contrary, one might say that the method of the American scholar and his interpretation of the art of the eighties, which are the subject matter of New Subjectivism, as well as his categories of description stemmed from those tendencies in the methodology of art history which not only ignore the need for the revision of the artistic geography, but in fact petrify the so-called universal perspective. If we translate this perspective into the language of geography, it entails a hierarchical model of analysis formulated in terms of the opposition of center and periphery.
We can easily prove that Kuspit's book is not only useless for our purposes, but also that it conceals under the surface of the author's vast erudition a premise of imperialism. If Kuspit's intention was to account for the artistic culture of the eighties, which in East Central Europe was marked with such phenomena as a wave of neo-expressionism rising in a very specific political atmosphere of the fall of communism, there is no doubt that he missed the point. Using his terminology, we have no chance to grasp the art of the Czech "Tvrdohlavy" or the significance of the "Forum `88"; the Hungarian exhibitions from the series called "New Sensibility" and "Eklektika"; Polish groups such as Luxus, Gruppa, Ludo Kaliska or Neue Bieremiennost; the Rumanian debate on postmodernism; the unique artistic revival in Bulgaria; the alternative developments in Leipzig and East Berlin; and finally, the highly original Russian art of the "perestroika" - all these artistic facts will vanish from our sight or rather dissolve in the enigmatic "new subjectivism." Therefore, it is not difficult to demonstrate that Kuspit's study is not relevant for the objectives of the new artistic geography. On the contrary, it is a typical example of the discourse of art history dealing with various periods in the art of our region. It is only the Russian art, distinct and influential, which has enforced a geographical redefinition of the interpretive perspective, particularly in relation to the formative period of the avant-garde of World War I and the twenties, and even in this case the revision began only after some time, that is, in the sixties. The earlier Western accounts showed utter ignorance of the contexts in which the avant-garde had risen and the meanings to which it had been historically linked.

To give an example of a specific postulate of the universalization of language as a strategy of the appropriation of geographically "other" cultures, I will refer to a text by a very influential American critic associated with the "correct" magazine of the New York bohemia, The Village Voice. Peter Schjeldahl, whom I mean here, writes: "The world of the American [or Western - P. P.] art has been and is expecting from the former Soviet empire something new. On the one hand, this expectation stems from sound interest and good will, on the other, it boils down to the admission that our exhausted artistic resources need exotic transfusion. So far, however, the achievements seem rather modest, and the best instances - such as those of Ilya Kabakov and Miroslaw Balka - show us why it is so. Besides, they teach us how to adjust our expectations to what we will probably obtain. The "Eastern" artist must first acquire the artistic idiom of the West, since even the most sophisticated local art did not outlive the long era of darkness. Then the artist must try to speak this idiom and call painful things by their names; they must tell us, stuttering, about the truths so long untold that now they are covered with layers of mud like a river bottom. Only after uncovering all the layers of silence we will see the new face to face in our crazy Western sense."(2) Indeed, I don't know why the American critic believes that Ilya Kabakov has learned to speak the "Western artistic idiom." Perhaps he has never been to Russia and he does not know that the Russian "komunalka" is. Besides, I have no idea what the "long era of darkness" would mean in reference to the art in Russia (to stick to just this one area). Anyway, let's put these specific questions aside. A fundamental issue, which, I suppose, has been put forward in good faith, is the problem of the "translatability" or "compatibility" of language - a genuine trap, as it were. Language is the most sensitive instrument with which we can perceive the genius loci; which best expresses the artist's identity, and which may become the best starting point for the reconstruction of the artistic geography. Thus, it is not the recognition of similarities but of differences that may invalidate the hierarchical approach to geography. Contrary to the demand of the American critic, developing his or her analysis, a revisionist geographer of East Central Europe should reveal what is different or "other" from the "Western idiom," instead of coming up with the requirement of learning it as a necessary condition of being marked on the artistic map of the world.
Schjeldahl's postulate stems from the belief that language is a transparent means of communication. It is grounded in a specific modernist utopia of language, best epitomized by various kinds of abstraction allegedly referring to the universals common to all people, that is, to reason with is geometrical order and to intuition with its emotional particularity. The utopia of the universal language claimed that if we used one tongue, we would understand one another better, yet the problem is that there is no language which is neutral. The universal or global language of our everyday use is English. The same relates to art. In fact, Schjeldahl is honest enough to call a spade a spade, by the same token revealing the mechanisms of the market of artistic culture.
The problem lies not just in the internal strategy of adjusting the "other" cultures to the universal, that is, Western standards. My Hungarian friend, to whom I have mentioned at the beginning of this essay, is certainly not the only Central or Eastern European intellectual to be interested in the universalist view of art. One might even take the risk and claim that right here, in this "peripheral," as it were, region of the continent, the interest in universalism as an interpretive approach to art history is directly proportional to the absence of East Central European art from the European art history textbooks, with the exception of the art of Russia. A striking example in this respect is the Europa, Europa exhibition set in 1994 by Ryszard Stanislawski and Christoph Brockhaus in the Bonn Kunst- und Ausstesslungshalle as a comprehensive manifestation of the art from the eastern part of the continent.(3) The task that the makers of the exposition faced was extremely difficult not only in the organizational, but also theoretical and psychological sense. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the rise of the "iron curtain" allowed them to ask a question about the identity of the "other" Europe - the Europe shaped by the Yalta Agreement - whose ambition, however, is also the change of the Yalta order. The political context of the exhibition was quite obvious, but somewhat less obvious were its artistic premises: the eastern part of the continent was defined as the "other" in a retrospective manner, since it was distinguished not just in reference to the aftermath of the Yalta conference, but also to the pre-Yalta times. Moreover, the typical Central European trends, such as the Czech cubism which developed among local historical tensions referred to the far metropolis (Paris) and simultaneously to the closer one (Vienna), was combined within one and the same geographical area with the art of the Russian avant-garde. The art of Austria and Germany, no doubt the historical points of reference (at least in the first half of the century) for Central European artists, was not included. Excluded was also the art of the German Democratic Republic, a fragment of the German territory incorporated after 1945 into the political sphere of the East. If the geographical division of Europe into two parts was justified by the threshold of World War II, there were indeed few convincing arguments to apply it retrospectively to all of the twentieth century. Before World War II, because of the role of such centers as Berlin and Vienna, the internal divisions were much more complicated.
Of course, it is perfectly possible to explain such a decision by the strategy of the exhibition. Had Stanislawski and Brockhaus limited its scope for the sake of descriptive precision to the second half of the century only, then, most likely, it would have been more coherent in the historical sense, but commercially less attractive. Unlike scholars and critics, curators cannot totally disregard this aspect, as they are inevitably involved in the dilemmas of promotion and financing. Still, in my opinion that was not the main problem of the Bonn exposition, particularly in the context of the artistic geography. At this point, the crucial question does not refer to the historical divisions, but to the identity or rather to historical significance of the art produced in this region. Of course, the makers of the exhibition were quite aware of this issue. According to Andrzej Turowski, a critic who was also its co-organizer, the question was formulated in a universal perspective or, more precisely, in the perspective of the "coexistence of many universal traditions on various levels of generalization, among which as the most important, even though directly incomparable, were two: the constructivist-avant-garde and the narrative-Judaic."(4) In fact, Stanislawski admitted that his basic intention was to show the universal character of the art of the eastern part of the continent.(5) Reading between the lines, and sometimes even listening to the curator himself, one could realize that the primary objective of the undertaking was to valorize the art of the "other Europe" in the context of its absence from art history textbooks. The same intent was expressed by the exhibition itself as well as by its monumental catalogue, and I don't think that there was something wrong about it. Moreover, I believe that the Bonn event showed the dimensions of the Eastern European art on an unprecedented scale. Regardless of all the particular objections raised in various countries of (mostly Eastern) Europe, its effects remain beyond dispute, but actually the problem lies elsewhere: as a matter of fact, Europa, Europa did not put forward any new aesthetic categories applicable to the discussion of the European art in the twentieth century. Expanding the range of material, it did not modify the paradigm of the artistic geography, and what's even worse, did not even articulate such possibilities. On the contrary, the question of European art was formulated on its occasion in terms of universalism, that is, of the common experience and repertoire of meanings.

However, history has undermined such an assumption. The experience of various Europes were by no means common, nor the meanings of their cultures analogical. The art of Czechoslovakia, Rumania, and Hungary was developing in different semiotic and ideological spaces than the art of Italy or France, while the universal perspective understood as a methodological instrument prevents the discovery of the particular meanings of cultures and disrupts all attempts at defining their regional, ethnic, and local identities. One can easily understand the psychological background of the frustrations of art historians from Eastern and - in particular - Central Europe, caused by the absence of our cultural production in the canon of the artistic culture of the continent (with a few exceptions) and by its "peripheral" location. Yet, the point is not to reproduce the imperialist and hierarchical interpretive models, but to revise the paradigms, to change the analytical tools so that they would allow us to discover the meanings of cultures of "other" geographical regions. What may perhaps facilitate a reconstruction of the hierarchical paradigms of art history by artistic geographers is, to borrow a term of Jonathan Culler cited by Norman Bryson, the "frame."(6) Replacing in Culler's/Bryson's conception the idea of context, the "frame" (which, of course, can be traced back to the Derridaean "parergon") is structurally an element of the text, although - and this is very important for our considerations - it is not given, but derives from the adopted interpretive strategy. Referring to the frame/context, writes Bryson, is then a "step back" from the work of art; from the "uncertainty" of the text (work) towards its anchoring foundation. However, once such a step has been made, it becomes irrevocable. The context is a text or, as Bryson puts it, "it is just more text,"(7) an active instance which we activate by our interpretive practice. The "frame" - to refer to Derrida's metaphor again - established by an interpretive gesture and not emerging by itself, discovers, as it were, a genius loci which turns out to be a research strategy rather than a kind of the metaphysics of place.
Consequently, regardless of the scope of the visual field, its meaning is determined by the "frame" or, in other words, it is us who create "more text" in the process of "framing." Thus, visiting Budapest, Bucharest, Moscow, Prague, Sofia or Warsaw, we can find in these cities the art articulated in the "idiom of Western artistic culture," but since we are visiting them neither as tourists (no matter if eastern or western), nor as representatives of some major artistic institution having just one week to collect material from the whole region, we can also realize differences and the profusion of meanings. We can see all this thanks to our experience and sensitivity, due to the interpretive strategy which we work out. Even though sometimes the perceived forms resemble one another, they acquire their meaning because of our "framing" so that we ought to pay more attention to the "frame" than to the "idiolect." It may be that art all over the world, or at least in the East and West, speaks similar languages, but in fact it communicates diverse meanings dictated by the "frame" which we activate.
Referring to the achievements of Miroslaw Balka and Ilya Kabakov who, according to Schjeldahl, have been exploiting the poetics of contemporary artistic culture as it is fabricated in Dusseldorf, London, New York or Rome, we should not let ourselves be seduced by the illusions of the Western curators of great international expositions. Developing our interpretations, we ought to be more penetrating and more active, taking into account the "frame" of the work. The language of Balka and Kabakov only seemingly resembles that which is being used in the center. If we approach it within our own "frame," if we grasp the text/con-text relation, then we will see its proper meaning, completely different from that what is implied by the "Western artistic idiom." One might say even more - without a reference to the Russian social practice of living in the communal apartments of big Soviet cities, Kabakov's installations are actually incomprehensible,(8) and so are the sculptures of Balka without the artist's individual mythology set in the local contexts in which it is involved: the house at Otwock, the material for tombstones, and grey soap.(9)
Defining or drawing the "frame," one may refer to many areas and levels of the East Central European culture. Our heritage is a distinct element of the context, a definite point of reference from which we can start "framing" a given geographical area. The tradition, and particularly its deeper levels, has been playing an active role in the development of the artistic identity: it is worth to mention the impact of the Czech surrealism on the local art after the "thaw," the Hungarian "European school," or the influence of the Polish and Russian constructivism on many artists seeking a remedy for the communist indoctrination. On the other hand, wherever the local tradition of the avant-garde was absent, whenever the local artists were deprived of historical support, any alternative forms of resistance to the official aesthetics appeared very late. For instance, in Bulgaria an attempt at establishing an alternative artistic system by the art of the so-called April generation in the early sixties did not bring about any significant "modernization" of the artistic culture, as it belonged to the official institutional system and proclaimed an aesthetics which to a startling extent resembled that of the socialist realism. In that Balkan stronghold of communism, a sort of "modernization" or, in the formal terms of the process, "post-modernization" of art took place as late as in the eighties.
Hence, an element of the "frame" may be both a tradition or its lack. Besides, it may be the will to have a heritage; the search for it, particularly among the universal discourses indicated above. Therefore, one can say that one of the crucial elements determining our East Central European context and "framing" the local artistic processes is the very effort to revalorize our culture in universal terms, which in practice probably means "under Western eyes." It is not only a specific strategy of assent to the imperialism of the "Western idiom," but a more general attitude - an endeavor to inscribe our culture in the universal perspective. There are many reasons for such a state of affairs, and one of them is an economic handicap of this part of the continent, which has always been significant to become even more significant now, in the age of dynamic global economy. To put it simply, in the West there is more dough. Those who have it can not only dictate their own conditions, but also exert the pressure on artists to adjust to them. The prestige and comfort guaranteed by affluence are effective instruments of coercion enforcing the adjustment strategies sanctioning the ways of thinking which are prevalent in the center. We can see it not only in the work of our colleagues, but also in the strategies of contemporary artists. Of course, the problem of models has always been important and often related to the economic background, but nowadays, when the world has shrunk to the dimensions of the TV and computer monitor, while its physical space can be covered in short time thanks to the network of passenger airlines, the pressure has definitely become greater than ever. If the artist (especially a young one) can feel on his or her back the breath of the Western dealer or art critic, and soon becomes aware that his or her living standard can easily improve, particularly in comparison with the surrounding poverty, it should be no wonder that he or she is open to any suggestions. In fact, such suggestions may not even be explicitly articulated, since the artist can accurately recognize all the market-controlling mechanisms just by the examples of his or her "successful" colleagues which stimulate the strategies of adjustment to the "Western idiom" in an effective way.
Another reason, which is also related to the economic background, is the sense of the political degradation. The world order is not determined here in the "periphery," but there, in the "center." In this case, once again, Russia occupies in the eastern part of the continent a special position, but for many reasons Central European nations consider themselves handicapped by history, especially that the consequences of the Soviet political system imposed on them not only by Stalin, but also, in a sense, by the West, provide convincing evidence that this area has been considered backwoods, and it still is now, after the Soviet domination has ended. This gives rise to a natural need for compensation and proving to oneself and to others that at least as far as culture is concerned our part of Europe is no worse than more fortunate ones. Hence the neutralization of the context and absolutization of universalism in the practice of scholars and curators.
Finally, there are also psychological reasons which naturally stem from the ones already discussed, although they cannot be reduced to them. These reasons have deeper roots, just as deeper is the sense of the economic and political handicap caused by penury and slight influence on the political construction of the world. Psychological conditioning is the most significant motivation of the universalist strategies, often rooted in personal traumatic memories and as such extremely difficult to neutralize. All this does not mean, however, that East Central European complexes cannot be removed. One might say that in order to treat such cases a geographer must change - at least for a while - into a psychoanalyst and make the patient (that is, himself or herself) aware of the sources of his (her) ailment. Such a geographical psychoanalyst is perhaps Magda Cerneci. In her opinion there are many Eastern Europes; there is a geographical, a historical, a political, but also a cultural one.(10) This last one generates a very specific mechanism of self-defense against the "evil of history" or the "evil of politics." In this part of the continent, C,rneci writes, culture could function as a strategy of resistance against the totalitarian oppression, because acquiring the qualities of the absolute, it became an ahistorical construction. To the local intellectuals it gave a chance to form their identity by the affiliation to the European universe of values. This is the background of the universalism supposedly rooted in the genius loci of East Central Europe, containing an inherent mechanism producing local mythologies of culture in order to compensate for the traumatic historical experience. In nearly each country of the region we may find convictions about its unique importance for the future of Europe, its local messianism, and the vision of preserving the "genuine" European values - more genuine than those produced in the West, because free of the commercial conditioning. Another typical feature is the sense of being an "antemurale" or - conversely - a bridge between East and West, a borderline separating civilization from barbarism.

Let us, then, realize that the mechanism of identity building of Eastern European intellectuals is mythologization. The mythological function of culture deprives it of its critical capacity, especially with respect to geographical relations. In other words, trying to develop his or her identity against the background of the universal culture, the East Central European artist would actually petrify the classic center-periphery order. No doubt, one of the most popular artistic trends in East Central Europe, which was also a strategy of resistance against the indoctrination by the socialist realism, was neo-constructivism. Particularly after Stalin's death, it was practiced everywhere except for Bulgaria, for the reasons which I have mentioned above. In Bulgaria there were no historical points of reference, not to mention biographical continuity which was observable in Hungary and in Poland. A Hungarian constructivist Lajos Kasak was not very active after World War II, but he was still extremely influential, while a Polish artist, Henryk Staªewski, before the war a member of many international groups, was not only influential, but creative almost till end of his very long life (he died in 1988 at the age of 94). Also in Czechoslovakia and in Rumania, where the ties with the prewar traditions were not so distinct, in the sixties and seventies the neo-constructivist tendencies were developing as well, represented by such artists as Hugo Demartini, Stanislav Kolibal, Jan Kubinek, and Zdenek Sykora, or the Rumanian groups "111" and "Sigma." All those artists were dedicated to the mythology of freedom expressed in the languages of geometry. However, the question, repeated after Rosalind Krauss, is: how was it possible to cultivate the sense of freedom by means of the "grid," a system of intersecting lines which is one of the most conventional visual devices allegedly discovered anew every now and then? What's more, claims the American scholar, the artists who started using the "grid" as their "own" means of expression brought their creative development to a halt, since in many respects (structural, logical as well as, simply, commonsensical) this figure may only be reproduced again and again.(11) What was, then, the justification of the discourse of freedom or, in fact, of its mythologization in the artistic practice of the Central European neo-constructivists? Most likely - and that was precisely the effect of "framing," of its negative function - the decisive factor was that under the specific circumstances, in a given historical context, neo-constructivism was directed against the socialist realism. It is the "frame," the context which determines the historical dimension of such a discourse. Yet, if we draw it somewhat more precisely, we will see differences: the Hungarian authorities practiced the local principle of the three "T" (T,rni, Tiltani, Tamogatni - Tolerate, Forbid, Support); in the most liberal period of political "thaw," that is, in the late sixties and early seventies (between Nicolae Ceausescu's coming to power in 1965 and his "July Theses" from the early seventies, and the "election" of the dictator for president of the Republic) the policy of the Rumanian communist party at best oscillated between tolerance and forbiddance; whereas the strategy of the Polish communist regime since 1956 till its end in 1989 was the most permissive - not only was modern art tolerated, but sometimes it was even accepted as official. In such a situation, the "frame" of a relationship between the "grid" and the discourse of freedom turns out changeable: in some cases, as for example in Rumania, it was rooted in the genuine practice of resistance, in others, for instance in Poland, it belonged in the first place to the domain of mythology.

This demythologizing perspective appears to be a result of the recent changes, of a growing historical distance from the artistic practices of the so-called "bygone period," of the access to materials, but also - evidently - of our more and more critical and self-critical attitude towards the past. Not so long ago, almost immediately after the Berlin Wall had been torn down, a former East German critic, Christoph Tannert, wrote on the occasion of a huge Metropolis exhibition shown in the Martin Gropius Bau, exactly where the two parts of the divided Berlin were coming close together, that what the East (by which he meant the culture of the GDR) might contribute to the Western "crisis of meaning" (please note a sort of reversal of the center/periphery perspective) was the tradition of a non-conformist culture, of the moral attitude of resistance against the structures and institutions of the Eastern European regimes.(12) Only a few years later, on the occasion of another exhibition shown in the same place, Der Riss im Raum, he was much more skeptical, putting into doubt the non-conformity of the artists from the Berlin Prenzlauer Berg, Dresden-Neustadt or Leipziger Osten. Tannert doubted whether the so-called alternative movement had indeed been authentic, but above all, whether it had been subversive and critical with respect to the official cultural policy. In fact, the critic suggested that the reverse might have been the case, namely that the secret police might have created a "rubber cell for the formalists."(13) After opening the STASI archives and revealing the actual scope of its power such a suggestion seems perfectly well justified.
The case of the German Democratic Republic may perhaps be unique, comparable only to Rumania and the omnipotence of the Rumanian "Securitate." Still, we must not surrender to illusions. In terms of the cultural policy tactics and the practice of surveillance, there were some differences among particular countries of the region, however, in terms of the power system and structures the differences were minor. Shouldn't we, then, have a more critical look at the considerable permissiveness of the Polish authorities and only slightly more restrictive approach of the Hungarian communists to the modernist and postmodernist developments in these two countries? Shouldn't we be more penetrating and more self-critical, accounting for the supposed artistic liberties, particularly in Poland, allegedly the most liberal "compartment" of the Eastern Bloc? Unfortunately, such criticism is not common. Quite on the contrary, the process of mythologization is going on without much counteraction and in the atmosphere of total self-indulgence, which has been recently confirmed by the ∫ywa galeria exhibition at the Warsaw Zachenta Gallery, and more precisely, by the companion text by Jozef Robakowski.(14) To borrow a metaphor of a Hungarian writer, the "velvet prison"(15) was everywhere, only the cells differed in size. Of course, there were examples of art which was critical towards the regime; for instance, to refer just to the two countries mentioned before, in Poland it was the Repassage Gallery, and in Hungary the works of such artists as Sandor Pinczehelyi and Tamas Szentjoby, but they do not provide enough material for generalization.
The awareness of the mythologizing and non-critical function of the cultural practices in East Central Europe may be the most important conclusion to be drawn by the geographer from the diagnosis provided by the history of this part of the continent. As a result, the treated patient may look at his or her place somewhat more soberly and without being afraid of relapses of the disease, asking about the context of the contemporary artistic culture of the region. Then, he or she may start looking for more tangible and material premises to construct the interpretive "frame" than the vague and metaphysical category of the genius loci, the mythologization of culture, and the idealization of history.
Finally, what are the conclusions for the artistic geographer intending to "frame" in one way or another the practice or practices of the East Central European art? Arguably, such conclusions should be arranged to form a triangle of problems: first, the strategies of the local cultural policies of the authorities; second, the local artistic traditions and varieties of the mythologization of culture or, more precisely, of the autonomy of the work of art isolated from "evil history" and located somewhere beyond it, in the sphere of variously defined absolute values (from the modernist form to the metaphysical revival); and third, the universalist ambitions of the local cultures attempting to find compensation for the traumatic reality experience. Adopting such a perspective, which is actually a strategy of interpreting artistic production, the art critic can change into the revisionist geographer, disrupting the traditional paradigms of the field and creating new ones, free of the concepts of hierarchy and domination. The point is not to turn the old model upside down, but to introduce another frame of reference, a "frame" which will shed on the art of the "other" regions of Europe the light of diverse contexts replacing the dominant influence of the center. Under such circumstances, the informelle painting of the late fifties and early sixties, the neo-avant-garde movements around 1970, the poetics of the Neue Wilde from the eighties, and the most recent interest in the multimedia will not be just fashionable results of the influence of the center, but they will acquire new specific meanings. Moreover, the very mechanism of the adaptation of formal models will acquire a historical meaning as well so that it will be possible to explain it not only as formal reception of the art of the "center" in the countries of the European "periphery," but in its specific context.

  1. D. Kuspit, The New Subjectivism: Art in the 1980s (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1988).
  2. P. Schjeldahl, "Polskie haiku" [The Polish Haiku], Polish trans. J. SzymaÒska, in Miroslaw Balka (Warsaw: Galeria Foksal, 1993), 17.
  3. Europa, Europa. Das Jahrhundert der Avantgarde in Mittel- und Osteuropa, eds. R. Stanislawski, Ch. Brockhaus (Bonn: Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1994).
  4. A. Turowski, "Dyskurs o uniwersalizmie" [Discourse on Universalism], Magazyn Sztuki, No. 5 (1995): 92.
  5. Among many statements of the exhibition curator, cf. a long interview "`Europa, Europa'" an Interview with Ryszard Stanislawski by Booena Czubak," Magazyn Sztuki, No. 5 (1995): 223-237.
  6. N. Bryson, "Art in Context," in Studies in Historical Change, ed. R. Cohen (Charlotteville: The University of Virginia Press, 1992), 21.
  7. Bryson, 21.
  8. Cf. V. Tupitsyn, "`Nonidentity within Identity.' Moscow Communal Modernism, 1950s-1980s," in Nonconformist Art. The Soviet Experience, 1956-1986, eds. A. Rosenfeld, N. T. Dodge (Rutgers, N.J.: Thames and Hudson, Jane Voorheer Zimmerli Art Museum, 1995).
  9. Miroslaw Balka: Die Rampe, ed. M. Morzuch (Eindhoven: Van Abbemuseum, and ◊Ûdü: Muzeum Sztuki, 1994).
  10. M. C,rneci, "Another Image of Eastern Europe," Revue Roumaine d'Historie de l'Art, Vol. XXX (1993): 43.
  11. R. Krauss, The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths (Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1987), esp. the chapters: "Grids," 8-22, and "The Originality of the Avant-Garde," 151-170.
  12. Ch. Tannert, "Reality in the Foreground," in Metropolis, eds. Ch. M. Joachimides, N. Rosenthal (New York: Rizzoli, and Berlin: Martin Gropius Bau, 1991), 34.
  13. Ch. Tannert, "`Nach realistische Einscho/ootzung der Lage...' - Absage an Subkultur und Nischenexistenz in der DDR," in Der Riss im Raum. Positionen de Kunst seit 1945 in Deutschland, Polen, der Slovakei, und Tschechien, ed. M. Fl,gge (Berlin: Guardini Stiftung, Martin Gropius Bau, 1994), 45. An abridged Polish version of the text in Rysa w przestrzeni [The Rift in Space] (Warsaw: Galeria ZachÍta, 1995), 21.
  14. J. Robakowski, "The Progressives Are Coming," in ∫ywa Galeria: ◊Ûdzki progresywny ruch artystyczny/ The Progressive Art Movement in ◊Ûdü (1969-1997) (◊Ûdü, 1997).
  15. M. Haraszti, The Velvet Prison. Artists under State Socialism (New York)
Piotr Piotrowsky
Professor of Art History, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan. Vice-president of AICA Poland. Author of many books and exhibition catalogues, currently working on a book project concerning Central European modernism and neo-avant-garde. Lives in Poznan
© 1998 - Piotr Piotrowsky / Moscow Art Magazine N°22





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