Networking the Bloc: International Relations in Eastern European Experimental Art of the long-1970s
A series of creative initiatives by artists, art historians, and critics, centered in places like Budapest, Poznań, and Prague, bridged the internal divisions between the countries of the Eastern bloc and fostered links among like-minded people around the world over the course of the long 1970s. This talk introduces a selection of the personal encounters and collaborative projects that produced this network of artistic connectivity. Countering the conventional Cold War narrative of Eastern bloc isolation, the talk considers how artistic ideas were relayed among experimental artists across ideological boundaries and national frontiers.
Klara Kemp-Welch is Reader in 20th Century Modernism at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, where she teaches courses on art in Eastern Europe and Latin America. She is the author of Antipolitics in Central European Art. Reticence as Dissidence under Post-Totalitarian Rule 1956-1989 (IB Tauris, 2014), Networking the Bloc. Experimental Art in Eastern Europe 1965-1981 (MIT Press, 2019) and co-editor of A Reader in East-Central European Modernism 1918-1956 with Beata Hock and Jonathan Owen (Courtauld Books Online, 2019). She is currently writing a monograph on Art, Labour and Migration in a ‘Two Speed’ Europe.