[artinfo] fwd) CFP: View, issue 12: Capitalist Realism

Andreas Broeckmann ab at mikro.in-berlin.de
Tue Sep 29 09:48:30 CEST 2015

From: Magda Szczesniak <szczesniak.magda at gmail.com>
Date: Sep 27, 2015
Subject: CFP: View, issue 12: Capitalist Realism

Deadline: Jan 15, 2016

"View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture", issue 12:

Capitalist Realism: Transformations of Eastern 
European Visual Culture in the 1980's and 1990's

Managing editor: Magda Szczesniak

In May 1989, Polish poet and writer Agnieszka 
Osiecka wrote a scathing satirical article about 
the new social class that had emerged as a result 
of the introduction of the free market in Poland. 
In her piece, Osiecka derisively dubbed this 
developing class "wydeo," a play on "wideo,"-the 
polonized version of the English word 
"video"-where Osiecka purposely replaced the "i" 
with a "y" meant to mark the group'splebeian 
character, as well as its lack of knowledge about 
the western culture it tended to embrace. 
Contrary to the intelligentsia, whose ethos was 
expressed through language and literature, wydeo 
was "a colorful and ubiquitous pack, [Š] made up 
of the first owners-and compulsive consumers-of 
VCRs," Osiecka wrote. The new class, consisting 
mainly of small business owners, was ironically 
described by Osiecka as a group of people whose 
lives revolved around images. Members of wydeo 
consumed visual representations, carefully 
studied and imitated Western popular images, 
and-being a "colorful pack"-were a picturesque 
sight themselves. In Osiecka's opinion, the low 
quality of the images the group consumed-"the 
head of the family is watching a spy movie, his 
wife-an Australian melodrama, the 
offspring-Rambo"-didn't bode well for their 
future group identity.

Osiecka's classist and iconoclastic account was 
published a couple of weeks before the first 
partially free elections in Poland. However, 
images like the ones described by the poet had 
been circulating since the mid 1980s at least. 
VCRs, satellite dishes, VHS tapes with Western 
films and TV shows, and illustrated magazines had 
found their way into Eastern European households 
thanks to the relaxation of custom and border 
laws, which allowed for both people and images to 
travel. Both in the 1980s and 1990s, images and 
visual media were not merely symptoms of change, 
but active agents in and of themselves. In the 
context of Eastern Europe, these visual agents of 
change can be defined as "capitalist realism," a 
predominantly visual style visible in vernacular 
and artistic representations, mainstream media, 
popular culture, and public spaces, and one which 
shapes, projects, naturalizes and justifies 
neoliberal practices and values wherever such 
images circulate.

In the twelfth issue of "View," we'd like to 
invite contributions devoted to the images and 
narratives of "capitalist realism." What were the 
mechanisms of their functioning, their 
circulation and assimilation in Eastern Europe 
before and after 1989? What were the differences 
between local and global "caprealist" images? 
What were the differences in the transformation 
of visual culture across the Eastern bloc? How 
were images employed to produce economic value? 
What kind of values and models of subjectivity 
were promoted and what were the mechanisms of 
representing and producing an ideal neoliberal 
subject through visual means? What tactics were 
employed by artists and other subjects in order 
to oppose the commodification of visual culture? 
Is it possible to reconstruct a history of 
countervisual practices in the transitioning 
Eastern bloc?

Deadline for submitted articles: January 15th, 2016.

We invite you to consult the topic of your 
article with the editor of the issue 
(redakcja at widok.ibl.waw.pl).

For editorial and technical requirements, go to: 

Reference / Quellennachweis:
CFP: View, issue 12: Capitalist Realism. In: 
H-ArtHist, Sep 27, 2015. 

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