1968-1989. Political Upheaval and Artistic Change

To what extent does political change impact the form, medium, and distribution of visual art? How do we explain the differences between artistic practices that appear very similar and yet were produced under very different political and ideological contexts? Is it possible or even desirable, after 1989, to write a European art history that brings together East and West? How useful is it to talk about the “former East” and the “former West”?

1968-1989. Political Upheaval and Artistic Change is a selection of texts and presentations from the seminar '1968-1989' organized in Warsaw, July 2008, by the Museum of Modern Art in collaboration with Claire Bishop.

The aim of the seminar was to present a comparative reflection on the artistic significance of 1968 and the transformation of 1989, as well as to attempt to describe the methods of communication in art - both within Eastern Europe and between East and West - during the times of turbulent socio-political transformations. T

Together, the participants of the seminar discussed the political and epistemological challenges of transformation. This volume includes this debate, expanding it with essays which were not presented during the seminar, but which concern the topic, as well as fragments of heated and emotional debates.

We are guided through the book by means of navigation developed by Ludovic Balland, which applied to the main issues of the seminar and publications: 1968, 1989, exhibitions and institutions, participation, internationalism and "former East" and "former West."


Claire Bishop, Branislav Jakovljević, Ana Janevski, Vit Havránek, Tomáš Pospiszyl, Luiza Nader, Gabriela Świtek, Piotr Piotrowski, Attila Tordai-S, Borut Vogelnik, Charles Esche, Kathrin Rhomberg and Tania Bruguera.

All of the texts in the volume are presented in Polish and English.


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