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Antipolitics in Central European Art
Author: Klara Kemp-Welch

ISBN: 9781784533144
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 360
Published: 17 July 2017
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6 x 2.5
Description:
Art historians have tended to frame late socialist central European art as either 'totalitarian' or 'transitional'. This bold new book challenges this established viewpoint, contending that the artists of this era cannot be simply caricatured as dissident heroes, or easily subsumed into the formalist Western canon. Klara Kemp-Welch offers a compelling account of the ways in which artists in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary embraced alternative forms of action-based practice just as their dissident counterparts were formulating alternative models of politics - in particular, an 'antipolitics' of self-organization by society. Drawing on Vaclav Havel's claim that 'even a word is capable of a certain radiation, of leaving a mark on the "hidden consciousness of a community"', the author argues that all independent artistic initiatives in themselves served as a vehicle for opposition, playing a part in the rebirth of civil society in the region. In doing so, she makes a case for the moral and political coherence of Central European art, theory and oppositional activism in the late-socialist period and for the region's centrality to late-twentieth ce...

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