The 2022 C-MAP seminar series, Transversal Orientations Part II, was held on Zoom across four panels on May 25 and 26, 2022. This text by Irmgard Emmelhainz, independent translator, writer and researcher, is the second written response to the seminar.
Breaking Down Binaries, Feeling Contradictions: Thoughts on Some of the Conundrums Concerning Art’s Ecologies
Sarah Lookofsky, former Associate Director of the International program at MoMA, rumintes on the presentations and conversations held on Day One of the 2022 C-MAP seminar. Lookofsky calls out the contradictions of art’s embeddedness with various ecologies, rehearsing her own writing-thinking as produced by a “dumpy dialectic.”
In this essay, Māra Traumane guides readers through the diverse, interdisciplinary practice of the Riga-based collective Workshop for the Restoration of Unfelt Feelings (NSRD), which operated from the end of the 1970s until 1989. NSRD was involved in the avant-garde music scene as well as in architecture, and their activities ranged from concerts and the production of record albums to performances, writing, and video art.
This essay highlights the reconstruction of memory through material culture in Ukrainian museums since the 1990s. Within the context of the Bohdan and Varvara Khanenko National Museum of Arts, the Ivan Honchar Museum, and the Maidan Museum—all of which are in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital—cultural workers have responded to politically salient events, including Ukrainian independence, the Maidan revolution, and the current war.
What is common and what differs between Georgian artist collectives of the late 1980s and those of today are among the questions explored by curator and researcher Vija Skangale in this text.
In this text focused on how postcolonial and decolonial processes are reflected in contemporary Ukrainian culture, art historian Svitlana Biedarieva examines methods of decolonizing Ukrainian cultural discourse through the lens of works by contemporary Ukrainian artists—specifically those addressing complex aspects of identity conflicts actualized by Russia’s ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine.
The program showcases moving image works by contemporary artists from Ukraine. Created between the Maidan revolution, which was followed by Crimean annexation and occupation of Donbas in 2014—and the full-scale Russian invasion launched on February 24 of this year—the works in the program take the viewer through the country’s urgencies and contradictions, the streets and fringes of its cities, and the experiences of its inhabitants.
The conversation with Vasyl Cherepanyn, head of the Visual Culture Research Center (VCRC) in Kyiv, took place several days before Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, reflecting on the local art scene and political situation, forced to be left unfinished abrutply.
Zenta Logina (1908–1983) was a Latvian artist at work during the Soviet occupation. Her paintings, reliefs, and sculptural objects developed in a singular manner, as she broke away from the accepted framework of visual arts codified by the regime and crossed into the realm of contemporary art as we define it today.
Curator Veronika Molnár discusses questions of industrial agriculture, techno-optimism, and the fossil energy infrastructure with the artist Rita Süveges, also touching upon the pervasive role of the current right-wing political regime in Hungary’s contemporary art scene.
Social theorist and researcher Jan Sowa and curator Joanna Warsza examine the place of Central and Eastern Europe in discussions of colonialism, postcolonialism, and decolonization, and consider examples of recent art and curatorial projects in this dialogue.
Art historian Inesa Brašiškė highlights the ideas behind the work of Lithuanian-American artist and architect Aleksandra Kasuba (1923–2019), most notably her countering of the rigid geometry of architecture through the use of soft materials and curved shapes, and her emphasis on the fundamental connection between the built environment and the formation of subject.