Performance Art in the Second Public Sphere : Event-based Art in Late Socialist Europe book cover
1st Edition

Performance Art in the Second Public Sphere
Event-based Art in Late Socialist Europe

ISBN 9781138723276
Published February 8, 2018 by Routledge
264 Pages

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Book Description

Performance Art in the Second Public Sphere is the first interdisciplinary analysis of performance art in East, Central and Southeast Europe under socialist rule. By investigating the specifics of event-based art forms in these regions, each chapter explores the particular, critical roles that this work assumed under censorial circumstances.

The artistic networks of Yugoslavia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, East Germany and Czechoslovakia are discussed with a particular focus on the discourses that shaped artistic practice at the time, drawing on the methods of Performance Studies and Media Studies as well as more familiar reference points from art history and area studies.

Table of Contents



Katalin Cseh-Varga and Adam Czirak


Part I

Geopolitics and Transnationalism of Art Production

01 Beyond "East" and "West" through "The Eternal Network": Networked Artists’ Communities as Counter-publics of Cold War Europe

Roddy Hunter

02 Tactical Networking: The Yugoslav Performing and Visual Arts between East and West

Miško Šuvaković

03 Connection with the World: Internationalism and New Art Practice in Yugoslavia

Dietmar Unterkofler

04 Questioning the East: Artistic Practices and Social Context on the Edge

Ileana Pintilie


Part II

Locating the Second Public Sphere

05 Basements, Attics, Streets and Courtyards: The Reinvention of Marginal Art Spaces in Romania during Socialism

Cristian Nae

06 Performing the Proletarian Public Sphere: Gender and Labour in the Art of Tomislav Gotovac

Andrej Mirčev

07 Outside by Being Inside: Unofficial Artistic Strategies in the Former Czechoslovakia in the 1970s and 1980s

Andrea Bátorová

08 From a Local to a National to a Transnational Public Sphere: The Emergence of Solidarity in Poland from a Theatrical Perspective

Berenika Szymanski-Düll

09 Surveilling the Public Sphere: The First Hungarian Happening in Secret Agents’ Reports

Kata Krasznahorkai

10 Performance Art in Latvia as Intermedial Appropriation

Laine Kristberga

11 Escape into the Nature! The Politics of Melancholy in Czechoslovakian Performance Art

Adam Czirak


Part III

Facets of Gender in the Second Public Sphere

12 Gender, Feminism, and the Second Public Sphere in East European Performance Art

Amy Bryzgel

13 Decision as Art: Performance in the Balkans

Jasmina Tumbas

14 Communities of Practice: Performing Women in the Second Public Sphere

Beáta Hock

15 Artistic Collaborations of Performing Women in the GDR

Angelika Richter


Part IV

Post-Socialist Performance

16 Socialist Performance Replaced: Re-enactment as a Critical Strategy in Contemporary East European Art

Maja Fowkes and Reuben Fowkes


Index of works

Index of names

Subject index

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Katalin Cseh-Varga is lecturer at the Universität Wien and a postdoctoral fellow at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Germany. Her research focuses on the theory of public spheres in the former Eastern bloc, archival theory, and performative and medial spaces of the experimental art scene of the 1960s-80s.

Adam Czirak is Assistant Professor in Performance Studies at the Freie University Berlin, Germany. His research focuses on aesthetics of contemporary theatre, visual culture, and performance art in Eastern Europe. His publications include: Partizipation der Blicke (Bielefeld 2011); Melancholy and Politics (co-ed., Athens 2013).