Symposium Russian Avant-garde Revisited - Boris Groys, Claire Bishop, Ekaterina Degot, Anton Vidokle, Tania Bruguera, Peter Osborne

Former West
Lissitzky show machinery 0264-01

Symposium Russian Avant-garde Revisited Boris Groys, Claire Bishop, Ekaterina Degot, Anton Vidokle, Tania Bruguera, Peter Osborne

13/03/2010 - 14/03/2010
15:00 - 17:00
Opening: 13/03/2010 15:00 by Groys, Boris (Speaker)

Watch the recordings from Saturday March 13 and Sunday March 14...

The Van Abbemuseum is delighted to invite you to join us for the symposium Russian Avant-garde Revisited that will take place from on Saturday 13 March (3 - 5pm) and Sunday 14 March 2010 (11am – 5pm) at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. This seminar will be broadcasted live through the internet on both Saturday and Sunday.

The symposium is part of the long-term project FORMER WEST, which aims to investigate the influence of the end of the Cold War (in the year 1989) on contemporary Western culture. It takes place in the context of Victory over the Sun, an exhibition that explores the designs of Lissitzky and Malevitch for the opera and also their work in UNOVIS, Vitebsk together with Chagall and others in the early years of the Soviet Union.

The symposium Russian Avant-garde Revisited will revisit the cultural history of Russia and other Eastern European countries in the 20th century, histories that still remain virtually unknown or misrepresented in the West due to a lack in the flow of information on both sides of the Iron Curtain. 

Russian Avant-garde is relatively well known in the West. Therefore, the discussion will not focus on the history of the Russian Avant-garde as such, but rather the influence that Utopian projects of the Russian Avant-garde exert on contemporary culture. There is no doubt that contemporary art practices like participation art, installation art and socially engaged artistic projects are creating new audiences that are deeply influenced by the Russian Avant-garde. Today however, it is considered even more important to understand that the Russian Avant-garde tried to expand the notion of art and its inclusion in everyday life, something that is traditionally believed not to be part of the sphere of art.  The attempt to democratize the notions of art and artistic practices can be understood as a precursor and future model for many similar artistic and theoretical investigations on the level of the quotidian. 

Programme (tbc)

Saturday 13 March 2010           
15:00    Welcome by Charles Esche
15:30    Boris Groys
16:30    Discussions
17:15    Drinks
20:00    Closing

Sunday 14 March 2010 
11:00    Welcome with coffee
11:30    Peter Osborne
12:00    Anton Vidokle
12:30    Katherina Degot
13:30    Lunch
14:00    Claire Bishop
14:30    Bik Van der Pol
15:00    Tania Bruguera
15:30    Discussion panel, moderator Boris Groys
17:00    Drinks and dinner
20:00    Closing


Boris Groys
Boris Groys is a philosopher, essayist, art critic, media theorist, and an internationally acclaimed expert on late-Soviet postmodern art and literature, as well as on the Russian avant-garde. Dr. Groys’s writing engages the wildly disparate traditions of French poststructuralism and modern Russian philosophy.
In the 1970s, Dr. Groys, who had studied philosophy and mathematics at Leningrad State University, immersed himself in the unofficial cultural scene in Russia’s capitals, coining the term “Moscow conceptualism.” From 1976-1981, he held a position as a Research Fellow in the Department of Structural and Applied Linguistics at Moscow State University, and in 1981, Dr. Groys emigrated to West Germany, where he earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Müenster. 

Claire Bishop
Claire Bishop (born 1971) is an art historian and critic based in the History of Art Department at CUNY Graduate Center, New York since September 2008. Previously Bishop was an associate professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Warwick, Coventry and Visiting Professor in the Curating Contemporary Art Department at the Royal College of Art, London. Bishop is editor of the highly regarded volumes Participation (2006) and Installation Art: A Critical History (2005) and is a contributor to many art journals including Artforum, Flash Art, and October; her essay “Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics,” which appeared in October in 2004, remains an influential critique of relational aesthetics. Bishop is currently working on a history and theory of socially-engaged art. In 2008 she co-curated (with Mark Sladen) the exhibition Double Agent (ICA, London; Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre; and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead). Bishop lives and works in New York.

Ekaterina Degot
Ekaterina Degot is a PhD, art historian, art critic and curator based in Moscow. She has worked as a senior curator at the State Tretyakov Gallery, art columnist at Kommersant Daily and since 2008 is senior editor of , an independent site of art news, art criticism and cultural analysis. She has taught at the European University, St Petersburg, has been a guest professor at various American and European universities, and is currently professor at Moscow Alexander Rodchenko photography and new media school. In 2001, she curated Russian pavillion at the Venice Biennial.

Anton Vidokle
Anton Vidokle was born in Moscow and moved to the U.S. with his parents in 1981. His work has widely been exhibited in shows such as the Venice Biennale, Lyon Biennial, Dakar Biennale, Lodz Biennale, and at Tate Modern, London. As founding director of e-flux, he has produced projects such as Next Documenta Should Be Curated By An Artist, Do it, Utopia Station poster project, and organized An Image Bank for Everyday Revolutionary Life and Martha Rosler Library. Vidokle initiated research into education as site for artistic practice as co-curator for Manifesta 6, which was canceled. In response to the cancellation, Vidokle and oothers set up an independent project in Berlin called Unitednationsplaza—a twelve-month project involving more than a hundred artists, writers, philosophers, and diverse audiences. Located behind a supermarket in East Berlin, UNP’s program featured numerous seminars, lectures, screenings, book presentations and various projects.

Tania Bruguera
Tania Bruguera was born in Havana, Cuba in 1968. She is primarily working in performance art, installation and video. Reflecting on the 'experience of the other' she uses performance art as a method of social enquiry, exploring different aspects and countenances of Cuban life, culture and traditions. In 1998 she was selected as a Guggenheim fellow. In 2000 she received the Prince Claus Award. Her work has been shown in major exhibitions in the United States, around Europe and in Cuba.

Peter Osborne
Peter Osborne is Professor of Modern European Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University, London and an editor of the journal Radical Philosophy. His books include The Politics of Time: Modernity and Avant-Garde (Verso, 1995), Philosophy in Cultural Theory (Routledge, 2000), Conceptual Art (Phaidon, 2002), Marx (Granta, 2005) and (ed.) Walter Benjamin: Critical Evaluations in Cultural Theory (3 Volumes, Routledge, 2005). His writing on contemporary art includes contributions to Afterall, Art History, October, Oxford Art Journal, and catalogues for Manifesta 5 (San Sebastian, 2004), Time Zones (Tate Modern, 2004), Zones of Contact (2006 Biennale of Sydney), The Quick and the Dead (Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2009) and Matias Faldbakken: The Shock of Abstraction (National Museum of Art, Architecture and Desiogn, Oslo/Ikon, Birmingham 2009). A Spanish edition of his recent essays, El arte más allá de la estética: Ensayos filosóficos sobre el arte contemporáneo, is forthcoming from CENDEAC, Murcia, March 2010.

Bik Van der Pol
Liesbeth Bik (1959) and Jos van der Pol (1961) have been working together as Bik Van der Pol since 1994. The two Rotterdam citizens are not classical studio artists.

They often work on location, use, reuse and reactivate the work of others – be they from the world of art, journalism, media or history – and confront the visitors with situations in which they themselves have the last word. They are ‘occasional creators’ who enable a confrontation without wanting to control everything. They challenge and we, visitors, critics, artists, scientists, historians and curators, are asked to get involved. One of the projects that they were involved with are Differentiated Neighborhoods in 2006. The was the first large and 'all inclusive' project of the research of New Belgrade. Initiated by Zoran Eric, curator of the department for Visual Culture of the , the project started in February 2006 as an open research and collective workshop of artists, filmmakers, architects, sociologists, curators, journalists and other people interested in the conversation. They 'exercised' to get-to-know New Belgrade over one year, during which they arranged various sessions, internal debates, social researches and artistic sub-projects. The model of collaboration was a typical non-hierarchical and participative one, resulting in a set of fragmented views coming from the antagonisms of the very debate.

Realized within the framework of FORMER WEST, a contemporary art research, education, publishing, and exhibition project (2008–2013), initiated and organized by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, the Netherlands, and generously supported by the Mondriaan Foundation, EU Culture Programme, European Cultural Foundation, and the City of Utrecht. FORMER WEST is initiated by Maria Hlavajova, artistic director BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht. It is curated by Charles Esche (curator, author, and director, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven), Maria Hlavajova, and Kathrin Rhomberg (curator, Berlin Biennial 6, 2010) and developed with a dense network of researchers and partners. For more information please visit: .

FORMER WEST is supported by the Mondriaan Foundation, EU Culture Programme, European Cultural Foundation, and the City of Utrecht. 

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