SUMMER SCHOOL: The big Shift: the 1990s. Avant-gardes in Eastern Europe and Their Legacy

SUMMER SCHOOL: The big Shift: the 1990s. Avant-gardes in Eastern Europe and Their Legacy

Moderna galerija

Marko Peljhan, MAKROLAB mark IIex CAMPALTO ISLAND OPERATIONS, part of Individual Systems, Venice Biennale 2003.

February 18, 2019
SUMMER SCHOOL: The big Shift: the 1990s. Avant-gardes in Eastern Europe and Their Legacy
August 23–30, 2019
Application deadline: March 15
Moderna galerija/Museum of Modern Art plus Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova
Moderna galerija
Windischerjeva ulica 2
SI- 1000 Ljubljana
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This year’s Summer School, organized by Moderna galerija, Ljubljana for the second year in a row, will continue to draw on the topics related to the legacy of Eastern European avant-gardes. A particular emphasis will be placed on the major changes caused by the collapse of socialism, the end of the Cold War and the restoration of capitalism in the late 1980s to the early 1990s. The discussions will focus on the paradigm of an avant-garde artist and art that was thoroughly shaken and altered in the 1990s.

During the socialist era, the main point of reference for Eastern European (including Russian) art was the Communist ideology and the conflict with the West. Today, the main (explicit or non-explicit) points of reference are the new nationalist and populist movements in Europe and attempts to define one’s cultural identity by artistic means. This also implies a reassessment and reinterpretation of the avant-garde traditions and of the socialist past.

The Summer School will be organized around four major topics: art and economy, art and war, art and identity and Third Path.

In the 1990s, art collectives, so characteristic of the socialist era, transformed: some artists organized in NGOs, or artist-run spaces, or small institutions. Now, artists have somehow stopped fighting the wheels of history and ideology and started pragmatically adapting to or resisting the same thing: the all-powerful neo-liberalism.

The war in the Balkans in the 1990s left a deep mark on the work of artists and institutions. Some of the artists explored the relationship between art and technology in the context of the Balkan wars. Another very important tool of resistance in the 1990s was political performance—in many cases it was not only considered a “witness” to the events, but also direct political action against the regime.

The 1990s saw the framing of different identity policies: regional, gender, class, racial etc. In Eastern Europe, this related especially to the common experience of socialism, which nonetheless differed significantly from country to country. Yugoslavia with its self-management socialism and the Non-Aligned Movement was a particular exception. Especially in Ljubljana, the 1990s saw a strong trend of focusing on Eastern European art; one of the results of this orientation is the international Arteast 2000+ Collection, presented in 2000 in a former Yugoslav People’s Army complex in Metelkova.

During the Summer School, the Southern Constellations exhibition will be on view, featuring both historical works and materials and contemporary artists responding to the Non-Aligned Movement. The historical experience of the Non-Aligned Movement is certainly an inspiration for reflection on different current global alliances outside today’s centers of power.

Our Summer School will not limit its topics to the Eastern European context alone, but attempt to point out the dialogue with other spaces operating outside the Western context.

The Summer School will be directed by Boris Groys, a Global Distinguished Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University and Senior Research Fellow at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design in Karlsruhe, and Zdenka Badovinac, Director of Moderna galerija, curator, writer and initiator of the Arteast 2000+ Collection.

The Summer School will give participants an opportunity to meet and learn from some of the leading curators and theorists of Eastern European contemporary art and to be introduced to prominent artists and other professionals in the field.

The programme will consist of lectures delivered and workshops led by the invited speakers as well as some Moderna galerija’s curators, with exclusive access to the Arteast 2000+ and the national collections.

The summer school speakers are: Boris Groys, Zdenka Badovinac, Inke Arns, Keti Chukhrov, Eda Čufer, Branislav Dimitrijević, Charles Esche, Marko Jenko, Viktor Misiano, Marko Peljhan, Bojana Piškur, Walid Raad, Igor Španjol, Arseny Zhilyaev.

The programme will be published on our website. All the courses will be held in English. The summer school will take place at the Moderna galerija and the Museum of Contemporary art Metelkova, Ljubljana, from August 23 to 30, 2019.

The Summer School: The big Shift: the 1990s. Avant-gardes in Eastern Europe and Their Legacy is a part of a four-year programme Our Many Europes led by L’Internationale confederation of museums with its partners Valand Academy (University of Gothenburg) and National College of Art and Design Dublin, supported by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

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February 18, 2019

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