Unexpected Encounters: Points of Intersection


Methodologies of research and interpretation of the practices of “historical conceptualism”

>> open seminar >>

The seminar Unexpected Encounters: Points of Intersection, organized by [BLOK] (Local basis for the refreshment of culture) and DeLVe – Institute for Duration, Location and Variables, is part of the broader research and publishing project dealing with conceptual art and its history, bringing into relation individual research endeavors by recognizing multiple points of intersections in the examined artistic, curatorial and intellectual practices, in relation to the various contexts in which they developed. Most researches included in the project are focused on lesser known and marginalized phenomena, in their local contexts as well as within the international art histories. The goal, however, is not merely to “inscribe the missing chapters” into existing art-historical narratives, but to consider ways in which the selected research topics, incite and call for also new interpretative and theoretical apparatus, thus transforming the existing art-historical discourses and narratives. The project is based in the idea of ‘close rading’ of individual artistic practices or works and their comparative analysis through relations formed either within individual research contributions or within the research project as a whole. Evading the format of a ‘survey’, the project aims at surpassing superficial, one-sided and already existing analogies and references, opening itself to an experiment in which analogies are created through potentially unexpected and revealing ‘encounters’ and intersections of different research contributions.

The artistic, curatorial and intellectual practices discussed are those that were themselves searching for new methodologies, overcoming conventional dichotomies and revealing the interstices between the collective and individual, private and public, action and escapism, art and nonart, art and politics, artist and curator, urban and nature, visible and invisible.
The seminar gathers ongoing research contributions, some of which are publicly presented for the first time. Therefore, it is imagined primarily as a meeting point of research notes and materials and the questioning of methodologies in which both the seminar contributors and the audience are invited to participate in an open reflection.
A special emphasis is placed on divergent models of defining the term conceptual art, as well as its art-historical interpretation, keeping in mind also the chronological shifts with regards to the ‘expanded’ geography of contemporary art.


Saturday, 27 November 2010 12am – 3pm & 4.30pm – 6.45pm
Galerija Miroslav Kraljevic
Subiceva 29, Zagreb

12.00 – 12.30 Branka Stipancic & Vlado Martek, guided tour at the Poetry in Action exhibition

12.45 – 13.30 Edit András: Genius at the Price of Her Death

13.30 – 14.15 Alexandra Jach: Pitch-In Culture – Phenomenon, group or strategy? Artistic practice and the discourse of community in Lodz, Poland in the early 1980s?

14.15 – 15.00 DeLVe (Ivana Bago & Antonia Majača): Removed from the Crowd. Proposals for Delayed Audience

16.30 – 17.15 Mara Traumane: Artistic Collaborations: happenings of Andris Grīnbergs (1970s) and actions by NSRD (1980s)

17.15 – 18.00 Lissette Olivares: Colectivo de Acciones de Arte (CADA) & Las Yeguas del Apocalipsis (the Mares of the Apocalypse). Conceptual practices in Chile in the 1970s

18.00 – 18.45 Nives Sertić: O MM (On MM Centre), presentation of the artistic research project


Branka Stipancic & Vlado Martek, guided tour at the Poetry in Action exhibition

The curator Branka Stipancic selected from the vast opus of Vlado Martek those works that more directly refer to the figure of poet and poetry, the writer and the book. The exhibition features poem-objects, artist’s books, poetic agitations, poetry-actions and slogans along with drawings, geographical maps, through which Vlado Martek’s poetry unfolds.

Edit András: Genius at the Price of Her Death

Through a close reading of the sculpture Beauty of Hungary 1985made by Hungarian artist Gyula Pauer, its making process and its reception, Edit András deconstructs the modernist myth of male genius, the precondition of which is the death of a woman. András analyses this myth by relating the story of the Hungarian 1985 beauty queen who committed suicide with the topos found all over in Eastern Europe, in which a devoted wife of a medieval mason had to be sacrificed and buried alive into the wall, in order for her husband to build a castle. The analysis refers back to fairytales and those archetypical works at the turn of century that could be classified into different groups, from deathbed scenes, (dead) bodies on display, the dead beloved as a muse, Ophilism and “necromancy” via lust murder scenes in German expressionism until the very recent Hollywood movie “Parfume”.

Edit András is an art historian and art critic, holding a PhD from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. Since 1987 she has been working at the Research Institute for Art History of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, recently as a senior research fellow. Her main interest concerns modern and contemporary Russian, Eastern and Central European art, gender issues, public art, conceptual art and art theory in the time of transition in the post-socialist countries. She has published numerous essays in different languages on issues of contemporary art and theory as well as she has participated in different international conferences. She continouosly teach at different Hungarian Universities. She gave courses at Tallin Art Academy and Brastislava Art Academy. Her recent book entitled Cultural Cross Dressing. Art in the Ruins of Socialism, Argumentum, Budapest, 2009 (in Hungarian). She is editor of the anthology Transitland. Video art from the Central and Eastern Europe 1989-2009, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, 2009. In 2008 she got the art criticism award of the Hungarian section of AICA. She lives and works in Budapest and in Long Island, USA.

Alexandra Jach: Pitch-In Culture – Phenomenon, group or strategy? Artistic practice and the discourse of community in Lodz, Poland in the early 1980s?

Aleksandra Jach will focus on the discourse of community in artistic practice emerged without institutional support in the beggining of 1980s. exposed in articles, books, artzines, manifestos, interview of phenomenon called as Pitch-In Culture – informal group of artists and amateurs set up in the middle of Martial State in Poland (1981). Their private, situational and ephemeral activity brings methodological problem – how to describe dynamic artistic process in the context of esthetic, political, economical differences inside group. I will present films, photographs and artzines which help to discuss notion of “being with” during communist times.

Aleksandra Jach is an art historian, PhD student at Jagiellonian University in Kraków. She is working on dissertation about the notion of collectivity in the last decades of Polish art. She curated: “Body in the Library” (Design gallery, Wrocław, 2010), “Controlled image” (RCA, London, 2009), “Ain’t no sorry”(Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, 2008). Aleksandra Jach has contributed widely to magazines (“Obieg”, “Ha!art”, “Czas kultury”, “Res Publica”) and to other publications as “Textiles. Young Polish Culture Dictionary” (2007), “Report about independent art institutions in Poland 1989-2009” (2011).

DeLVe (Ivana Bago & Antonia Majača): Removed from the Crowd. Proposals for Delayed Audience

Removed from the Crowd is a curatorial/art-historical project started in 2008 with a research and contextualization of the artistic and exhibition practices of the 1960s and 1970s in Croatia. The research wasn’t focus on the analysis of artistic works themselves, but rather focused on the forms of artistic associations and collaborative work, in opposition to the ideologically set definitions of the collective, the relation between institutions and self-organized artistic initiatives, as well as the impact of several curatorial and exhibition projects on the transformation and empowerment of the artistic practice. The title Removed from the Crowd(taken from the title of a piece by Mladen Stilinović) is a signifier not only of the differentiation of the “associated individuals” as against the social collectivity but also a signifier of the actual methodology, resulting from the researched material and based on a ‘weak’ structure of associated fragments and cuts, evading the linear historical narrative. The continuation of the project will focus on practices in the period of historical conceptualism which evolved in nature and other non-conventional spaces, looking at how they can be used to redefine the concept of public space and action, and subvert the imperative of audience.

Ivana Bago i Antonia Majača Ivana Bago & Antonia Majaca are art historians and curators, based in Zagreb, Croatia, where they are engaged in curating the program of g-mk | galerija miroslav kraljevic (directed by Antonia Majaca) and running a research-oriented organization DeLVe – Institute for Duration, Location adn Variables. The have curated several exhibitions and projects together (including Where Everything is Yet to Happen / SpaPort Bienial 2009/10 (Banja Luka, 2009/2010, And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out (Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, 2009.), Removed from the Crowd (Fragment 1 within the project Political practices of (post)-Yugoslav art, Prelom collective, Belgrade) and Fragment II at Skuc Gallery, Ljubljana, 2009, Stalking With Stories – The Pioneers of the Immemorable at Apexart, New York, 2007; The Salon of Revolution, HDLU, Zagreb, 2008), edited the No. 83 Issue of the Zivot umjetnosti/Life of Art magazine and conceived several informal education programmes, including the seminar on the historization of self-organized artist initiatives and curatorial and exhibition practices in Croatia within the Curatorial platform project, Student Centre, Zagreb (2008/2009).

Mara Traumane: Artistic Collaborations: happenings of Andris Grīnbergs (1970s) and actions by NSRD (1980s)

Mara Traumane will present her research on heppenings and performances in Latvia in the 1970’s and 1980’s, made during the preparation of the exhibition “And Others. Movements, Explorations, Artists in Latvia 1960 – 1984” which is currently on view in Riga Art Space. She will approach the problematics that local material on performance art is presenting to curator and researcher, and explore how local contexts of art history could be approached form comparative perspective. This involves evaluating focus of the current knowledge on art in the Eastern Europe.

Mara Traumane is a researcher, art critic and curator working in Berlin and Riga. Her main research focus is post-WWII art and culture in Eastern Europe and media art. She is writing her PhD titled “Interdisciplinary art collectives in Riga and Moscow in the 1970’s and 1980’s” at the Humboldt University, Berlin. She is editing anthology of the Latvian artists group Workshop for the Restoration of Unfelt Feelings (NSRD). In summer 2008 Mara conducted the Latvian research for Gender Check. Femininity and Masculinity in the Art of Eastern Europe. In 2009 together with Bojana Pejic, Büro Trafo.K and ERSTE Foundation she co-organized Symposium READING GENDER. Art, Power and Politics of Representation in Eastern Europe (MUMOK Vienna, November 2009). In November 2010 she is co-curating exhibition And Others: Movements, Explorations and Artists1960 – 1984, which is focusing on the unofficial and experimental art practices in Latvia in the post-WWII period. Her chapters within the show include happening and performance art sections.

Lissette Olivares: Colectivo de Acciones de Arte (CADA) & Las Yeguas del Apocalipsis (the Mares of the Apocalypse). Conceptual practices in Chile in the 1970s and 1980s

Lisette Olivares will provide a close reading of the changing role of artistic agency – specifically thinking through latin american conceptual practices from Chile and Argentina in the 70s and 80s. Some artists that will be discussed include: Colectivo de Acciones de Arte (CADA), Las Yeguas del Apocalipsis, (the Mares of the Apocalypse) amongst others. Attention to how each collective intervenes into public space under authoritarian rule and their transgressions of the authoritarian state will be considered.

Lissette Olivares, an Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, pursues interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge production. As an artist, theorist, curator, and storyteller, her work emphasizes feminist epistemologies and draws from a diverse range of methodological approaches in critical theory, performance theory, cultural studies, visual studies, postcolonial studies and posthumanities. She is especially interested in the interrelationship between aesthetics and politics and in analyzing the role of cultural resistance under periods of political repression. A doctoral candidate in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, she is finishing her dissertation, Repertoires of Literary Resistance, which explores how literary performances during the 80s decade in Chile provided a symbolic space for the articulation of diverse democratic imaginaries. Lissette is also an alumna of the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program and an independent curator and critic specializing in contemporary art with an emphasis in performance and transmedia. She has curated numerous individual and collective exhibitions, including Chile’s first Performance Biennial in 2006, Grotesques in Toronto’s A Space Gallery, and recently Writing Resistance in Crisis in Collaboration at UCSC Library. In 2009 she co-founded the Museum and Curatorial Studies faculty research group, which is dedicated to exploring the poetics and politics of display practices.

Nives Sertić: O MM (On MM Centre), ,presentation of the artistic research project

O MM is a multidisciplinary artistic project dealing with the historical context of the Multimedia centre, part of the Student centre, in Zagreb, in relation to its current ‘image’ in the public. MM Centre was one of the key places of media art from the end of the 1970s onwards, and especially during the 1980s, in Zagreb and Croatia, but its history and activities are little known and discussed. The form of artistic project here implicates questioning the matter from the point of historical and recent context of the archive in relation to the public and posing key questions with regards to the social responsibility within the relatin of cultural heritage – individual – community. Rethinking this context happens on several levels: from the artistic research and the process of work on the project to the collaborations with art historians, coservation specialists, people who worked at the Centre, as well as communication and opening the process towards the public.

Nives Sertić is a multimedia artist. She graduated at the Department for New Media, Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb, 2009. Since 2005 she has presented her work at many venues and has collaborated with numerous theatre, performance and visual artists. Since 2007 to 2009 she was the coordinator of the interdisciplinary project Academy as Laboratory, Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb. Currently she is working on the research project about the MMC Centre in Zagreb and, together with Iva Cepanec, is responsible for Antibiotik, the program for young visual artists at AKC Medika. She lives and works in Zagreb.