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Tag: Art

Soviet mosaics of Tbilisi. What they reflect and why they vanish

Soviet mosaics as artwork can tell a lot about Georgia’s recent history and its socio-cultural transformation. Reducing them to communist propaganda to erase their artistic value is a destructive attempt to wipe out the legacy of the Soviet past from cultural memory.

April 30, 2021 - Natalia Mosashvili

Remembering Mark Verlan. The artist who bridged poetry and apocalyptic jest

The style of the late Moldovan artist Mark Verlan is not easy to classify. According to his nephew, the artist created a style that cannot be found in any other movement. He coined the term “ultra-stiobanism” to describe his uncle’s artistic approach.

Talk to anyone who met Mark Verlan and they will have a story to tell. Like that time when the famous Swiss curator, Harald Szeemann, travelled to Chișinău just to meet him and offer him the opportunity to exhibit his work in BLUT & HONIG (Blood and Honey), a retrospective hosted by the Vienna Essl Collection. During the time that Szeemann spent in Chișinău, Verlan was nowhere to be found, but 25 of his paintings (more than any artist’s present at the exhibition) made it to the retrospective. His friend and fellow artist Pavel Brăila recalls that, at the same exhibition, someone asked Verlan why he did not speak English and the artist sarcastically replied: “It was already difficult for me to learn Russian.”

April 11, 2021 - Giovanna Di Mauro

Preserving Soviet-era mosaics in Georgia

A conversation with Nini Palavandishvili, a curator and researcher involved in the process of documenting and mapping Soviet-era Mosaics in Georgia. Interviewer: Natalia Mosashvili

NATALIA MOSASHVILI: Can you say a few words about the meaning of Soviet-era mosaics and why they are often reduced to propaganda of the Soviet system?

NINI PALAVANDISHVILI: I would like to start by saying that my position is the following: of course, these mosaics were created during the Soviet times, but they are not necessarily “Soviet” mosaics. During this period mosaics were created in Mexico, America, France, Spain, Portugal, and many other places. Emphasising them as "Soviet mosaics" is not right.

April 11, 2021 - Natalia Mosashvili Nini Palavandishvili

The case of Tallinn’s Telliskivi Loomelinnak and the ‘Belarus. Protest. Art.’ exhibition

How the former Kalinin factory became a creative space to raise awareness for Belarus’s internal crisis and its artists who were forced to flee.

March 29, 2021 - Antonio Scancariello

Andrzej Zaręba political cartoons

Political cartoons by New Eastern Europe's illustrator Andrzej Zaręba.

January 20, 2021 - Andrzej Zaręba

The power of Ukrainian youth

Young Ukrainians tend to put the values that are related to their lives first. These include family, health, well-being and love. They also value clear conscious, service to the homeland and having open debates on social issues. Over half declare that they feel responsible for the future of their state and want to contribute to it.

The first 25 years of independent Ukraine is already behind us. In attempts to help understand the changes that have occurred over this time, there are countless political, economic and social analyses, commentaries, recommendations and prognoses. The vast majority of them have referred to this period as one of wasted opportunities. In our research, which we have been carrying out in this regards, we focus on the role the youth has played in the democratic transformation and its future potential.

November 16, 2020 - Natalia Dolgopolova, Anna Surkova, Kinga Anna Gajda, Alina Meheda

The COVID-19 crisis is generating far-reaching outcomes for culture

An interview with Jakub Kornhauser, a Kraków-based poet, literary critic and researcher of avant-garde. Interviewer: Grzegorz Nurek

GRZEGORZ NUREK: You are one of the co-founders of the Centre for Avant-Garde Studies at the Jagiellonian University’s Department of Polish Studies. The work of the centre concentrates on avant-garde research, but is it limited to literature?

JAKUB KORNHAUSER: We established our centre a few years ago convinced that there is a need to get the story of avant-garde out of schoolbook charts and definitions. We are all victims of different clichés which are sold to us by school materials, which tend to repeat the same names and works and which are further spiced up by some remote anecdotes, as if avant-garde was a Sumerian phenomenon. Avant-garde is not only a shared name for numerous artistic searches which took place 100 years ago, but also a state of mind, an experimental potential, which can get activated regardless of the historical context.

July 7, 2020 - Grzegorz Nurek Jakub Kornhauser

Discovering Paraska Horytsvit

A review "Overcoming Gravity", an exhibition of the artist Paraska Plytka-Horytsvit. Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kyiv, October 17th 2019-January 19th 2020.

January 27, 2020 - Mariia Kashchenko

Art and sex in communist Albania

Stalinist dogma called for socialist realist art that was meant to reproduce an enhanced (that is, unreal) reflection of the reality of “the people’s work and progress”. The stories of the pieces on display at a 2015 art exhibit in Tirana’s National Art Gallery demonstrate that socialist realist art was also quite prudish – but sometimes sexual, “anti-communist” art made it past the censors.

April 10, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

The house that Mykola built

Mykola Golovan believes that Ukraine is changing and becoming even more beautiful. It is being built anew, just as he has been rebuilding his house. It only needs to get rid of some wrongful ideologies and open itself more to the world.

“I get my energy from the river. Recently I was bathing in the Vistula river, but it was cold and I could not stay there very long” – these are the first words I hear from Mykola Golovan who continues with his life story to tell me more about his art. Indeed, the story told by this 75-year old Ukrainian artist from Lutsk is not so much expressed by his words as it is to be found in the language of culture. It is depicted in his sculptures, bas-reliefs, rotundas and ornaments. For over 30 years now, Golovan has been the creator of a house which he calls an exhibition.

January 2, 2019 - Kinga Gajda

Culture in a conflicted region

The Republic of Abkhazia is a partially-recognised small de facto state located in the South Caucasus between the Russian and Georgia. In 2014 the first contemporary art initiative of its kind emerged here – the cultural project SKLAD.

The history of Abkhazia is complex, multifaceted and quite dramatic. A small landmass on the Black Sea, Abkhazia has been historically located between the vast Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Russian Empires. This explains not only its multi-ethnic population, numerous historical and cultural monuments, and international trade, but also the number of conflicts it has experienced. The most recent conflict was the Georgian-Abkhaz War of 1992-93, the result of which was the declaration of independence by Abkhazia as an autonomous republic. This conflict, directly linked to the collapse of the Soviet Union, is known in the newly created republic as the Patriotic War of the People of Abkhazia.

April 26, 2018 - Anton Ochirov

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