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Caterina Preda. Art, State and Ideology under Communist Dictatorships in Eastern Europe

13.10.2018 at 6 pm

Published at:18.09.2018

On Saturday 13 October at 6 pm, you are invited to a lecture by dr Caterina Preda – the second edition of the RESEARCH TANK project from Nośna Foundation and MOCAK the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow.

This presentation deals with the role of the visual arts and artists under communist dictatorships in Eastern Europe (1945–1989), with a focus on the privileged relationship between the state and artists. At various times, artists were coerced, encouraged, or rewarded with significant financial incentives to produce art that promoted the official ideology. Artists’ responses differed; some complied and helped consolidate a state aesthetic based on Socialist Realism, while others resisted, and others still faked compliance. Unions for the creative professions, formed at the turn of the 1940s and 1950s, played a key role in the consolidation of the state aesthetic. They generated and co-ordinated public commissions for monuments, paintings and other aesthetic elements in the public space. The analysis of communist dictatorships marks a starting point for reflection on the radicalising tendencies in contemporary social reality.

The lecture will be given in English, with Polish translation.

Caterina Preda: PhD in Political Science. Researcher and Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Bucharest. She investigates relationships between art and politics in dictatorship and post-dictatorship contexts with a focus on Chile and Romania. Her most recent publication is the book Art and Politics under Modern Dictatorships: A Comparison of Chile and Romania (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

 

RESEARCH TANK documents and promotes research in the field of art history and visual anthropology, placing particular emphasis on the cognitive potential of art and its socio-political contexts.

In its first edition RESEARCH TANK fully reflects the voice of female researchers from Central and Eastern Europe: Marina Gržinić, Caterina Preda and Emese Kürti. By this means project is trying to revise artistic geography and supplement the history of art "written" from the western perspective. By discussing the issues of necropolitics, art in the face of dictatorships and artistic strategies of resistance, Research Tank becomes a kind of guidebook for those who are interested in meeting points of art and politics, seized in a possibly interdisciplinary perspective.

The next event in this series will take place on Saturday 24 November at 6 pm. Emese Kürti will be talking about Disobedient: The Limits of Dissent in the Hungarian Experimental Art.

 

This presentation deals with the role of the visual arts and artists under communist dictatorships in Eastern Europe (1945–1989), with a focus on the privileged relationship between the state and artists. At various times, artists were coerced, encouraged, or rewarded with significant financial incentive[A1] s to produce art that promoted the official ideology. Artists’ responses differed; some complied and helped consolidate a state aesthetic based on Socialist Realism, while others resisted, and others still faked compliance. Unions [A2] for the creative professions, formed at the turn of the 1940s and 1950s, played a key role in the consolidation of the state aesthetic. They generated and co-ordinated public commissions for monuments, paintings and other aesthetic elements [A3] in the public space. The analysis of communist dictatorships marks a starting point for reflection on the radicalising tendencies in contemporary social reality.

Caterina Preda: PhD in Political Science. Researcher and Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Bucharest. She investigates relationships between art and politics in dictatorship and post-dictatorship contexts with a focus on Chile and Romania. Her most recent publication is the book Art and Politics under Modern Dictatorships: A Comparison of Chile and Romania (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)


[A1]you cannot be "rewarded" with a "retribution".

This word means punishment, eg money TAKEN AWAY from you rather than given TO you.

[A2]An important tool in the establishment of this state aesthetic was played by the creative professional unions:

1. you cannot "play" a "tool".

Repetition: establishment/established. A sentence of this length in the Passive Voice sounds contorted.

[A3]This is too detailed. Why "mosaics"? What about eg other elements of building elevations? This sounds too specific and clearly excludes other examples. You need a moe general, all-inclusive word. Better:

... paintings, and other aesthetic elements