In this 5 Questions interview, Olga Kopenkina describes her curatorial practice, which moves away from grand historical narratives toward specific, national histories producing intersectionalities that she feels are missing in art history today. She advocates for a study of Russian art, including the historical avant-garde, that goes beyond aesthetics to include the literature and politics of the corresponding period. Considering contemporary Russian art, she is compelled by artists, who “entertain lost avant-garde utopias and unrealized Soviet dreams” in their works.
Eda Čufer, art historian and member of the art collective Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK), sheds light on the challenges in negotiating between canonical art histories and local specificities in Eastern Europe, specifically in the countries of former Yugoslavia.
Curator and writer Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez wants us to look at art history from both sides—the canonical and the traditionally “uncanonical” or those areas and things outside the accepted parameters of a “Western” art history.
Art historian Anthony Gardner reminds us to think of art historical categories as broad and flexible, and identifies exhibition histories in the former Yugoslavia, as a rich area of interest.