Translocal Institute fowkes at translocal.org
Fri May 31 12:21:55 CEST 2019

The Socialist Art System Revisited

13 June, 6-8pm

of Advanced Studies, UCL

This panel discussion brings together 
contributors to the special issue of Third Text 
on Actually Existing Artworlds of Socialism and 
guest respondents to debate the legacy of the 
socialist system for contemporary art and 

Anthony Gardner, Head of the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford
Magdalena Radomska, Art History Institute, Adam Mickiewicz University, PoznaŸ
Marko Iliç, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL
Moderated by Maja and Reuben Fowkes, 
Post-socialist Art Centre, UCL / Translocal 

Research into the institutional settings and 
practicalities of artistic production during the 
socialist period is giving rise to more nuanced 
accounts that complicate the distinctions made 
between the heroism of the neo-avant-garde and 
complicity of official artists, revealing an art 
system that was more variegated, flexible and 
generative than has been widely assumed. This 
panel examines the far-reaching implications of 
the understanding that artists from across the 
stylistic and ideological spectrum were 
productively imbricated in the calculated 
opacities and unlikely rapprochements of the 
'actually existing' artworlds of socialism. 
Discussion of the specific traits of Eastern bloc 
artworlds and the key differences between art 
institutional landscapes across the Cold War 
divide opens onto the critical question as to 
what might be salvaged from the historical 
experience of art under socialism. Furthermore, 
if post-socialism is conceived not as a timeless 
category but as a specific historical period, 
then what are the prospects for the socialist 
project in the new social and political 
circumstances of unfolding global disorder? 

'Actually Existing Artworlds of Socialism,' guest 
editor Reuben Fowkes, 
Text no.153 vol 32 (2018)

For more details see also: 

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