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