Join us for “Revolution in the Margins, 1907-2017,” a graduate student conference on modern and contemporary art from Eastern, Central, and South Eastern Europe, featuring Keynote speaker Klara Kemp-Welch, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London.
By pioneering a radical form of political governance and redefining the meaning and function of art, the 1917 Russian Revolution marked a critical turn in the political, social, and cultural history of not only Russia, but also the continent more broadly. This conference proposes the centennial of the 1917 Russian Revolution, with its both cultural and historiographical aftershocks in the region, as an opportunity to re-examine the last century of artistic production in the countries of Eastern, Central, and Southeastern Europe. While acknowledging the significant role of the Soviet Union as both a political superpower and an arbiter of cultural policy in the region, a central aim of this conference is to nuance the picture of art in the region by “provincializing” Russia and challenging the common perception that Eastern European art can be entirely equated with Soviet politics and aesthetics. Instead, this conference will highlight the ways in which modern and contemporary artists from these countries—East Germany, the former Czechoslovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Bulgaria, Hungary, former Yugoslavia, Romania, Moldova, and Albania—negotiated their positions within the broader cultural networks of the region.