University at Buffalo
Department of

Art

Art & Design

Art History

Visual Studies

Spring 2015 Graduate Course – VS 500SEM Beyond Marina Abramovic: Art from the East of Europe

November 5, 2014  by: Natalie Fleming

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VS 500SEM Beyond Marina Abramovic: Art from the East of Europe
Instructor: Jasmina Tumbas
Mon 2:00-4:40pm Clemens 606
Class# 18304 

Course Description:

This course examines art from Eastern Europe beginning with the Soviet/Zhdanovist dictate for social realism, before turning to an exploration of various forms of resistance in South East European experimental art, including, performance, conceptual, video and installation art after 1968. Considering the globalization of “the East,” we will first read the Yugoslavian group IRWIN’s book, East Art Map (2006), which introduced the idea of “mapping” for interlinking national histories and artistic manifestations of contemporary art in order to account for the historical tensions of the prior Cold War period and the radical and rapid changes that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall. We will analyze the tensions between what was called, beginning in the former Soviet Union, “official” and “unofficial” art in those regions and consider artistic strategies of resistance, political protest, and alternative forms of transnational communication such as was practiced in Mail Art. This course will also identify common patterns throughout the USSR and the Eastern Bloc of how “the East” was represented in visual culture, especially in reaction to the fall of the Berlin Wall, November 9, 1989, and the subsequent efforts for democratization of the entire region and reentry into the global art world of the 1990s-2000s. As such, this course will identify common patterns in the visual culture of representing “the Balkans” in performance and conceptual art, popular culture, and international art exhibitions.