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Performance art in Eastern Europe since 1960

By Amy Bryzgel

Performance art in Eastern Europe since 1960

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Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-7849-9422-8
  • Pages: 384
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £18.99
  • Published Date: February 2017
  • BIC Category: Theatre studies, The arts: general issues, Performing arts, Performance art, Ceramic & glass: artworks, The arts / Performance art, PERFORMING ARTS / General, PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General, DRAMA / European / General, Art History, History, Eastern Europe, The Arts: General Issues, The arts / Theatre studies
  • Series: Rethinking Art's Histories

Description

This volume presents the first comprehensive academic study of the history and development of performance art in the former communist countries of Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe since the 1960s. Covering 21 countries and more than 250 artists, this text demonstrates the manner in which performance art in the region developed concurrently with the genre in the West, highlighting the unique contributions of Eastern European artists. The discussions are based on primary source material-interviews with the artists themselves. It offers a comparative study of the genre of performance art in countries and cities across the region, examining the manner in which artists addressed issues such as the body, gender, politics and identity, and institutional critique.

Reviews

'By highlighting an instance in which documentation functioned as a substitute for presence, Bryzgel weighs in on art-historical debates regarding the relationship between live art and photography. It is at moments like this that Performance Art inEastern Europe since 1960 most succeeds in its stated aim of 'looking not from the centre to the periphery but the reverse, to see how such an approach might not only challenge but also overturn perceptions regarding art history, artistic styles, and the canon' (p. 5).'
Michelle Maydanchik, University of Pittsburgh, Slavonic and East European Review (vol. 95, no. 4, October 2017)

'Bryzgel's text will interest especially those invested in the rapidly expanding field of Central and Eastern European art history and Cold War cultural studies. Its wide swathe of information illustrates the variety and intrigue of performance art in the Cold War East and will surely entice many curious onlookers to storm the field.' - Sara Blaylock, University of Minnesota-Duluth, CAA Reviews
'Like any good art historical study the book goes beyond shedding lighton an obscure moment in history, bearing much relevance to contemporary artistsworking in the West today. In this respect, a great strength of the book is itsintimate analysis of the operation of the strategy of 'Subversive Affirmation'in the communist era.'
Pil and Galia Kollectiv, Journal of Contemporary Central andEastern Europe

'The material provided contributes to the expanded fields of performance studies and art history by offering a rich and fascinating overview of the overlooked artistic practices in Eastern Europe. Furthermore, Bryzgel's approach should challenge the reader's perception of histories of art and performance shaped through the lens of the West.'
Sofia Vranou, Queen Mary University of London, Contemporary theatre review, Volume 28, 2018 - Issue 1

'Bryzgel's text will interest especially those invested in the rapidly expanding field of Central and Eastern European art history and Cold War cultural studies. Its wide swathe of information illustrates the variety and intrigue of performance art in the Cold War East and will surely entice many curious onlookers to storm the field.'
Sara Blaylock, University of Minnesota-Duluth, CAA Reviews

'This is a richly researched and beautifully illustrated book, which makes a major contribution to the field's ability to connect the art histories of these countries to the global history of performance art. It will be an indispensable tool for teachers looking to expand offerings in this area, which as Bryzgel observes, Anglophone art history curricula most often exclude (4).'
Adair Rounthwaite, University of Washington in Seattle, Art Journal, Volume 77, 2018 - Issue 1

'Bryzgel's consistent comparison of works from different Eastern European countries helps (re)construct a performative space on its own cultural and political terms. In addition, the many illustrations are a visual treat and help readers imagine the performances discussed. As a Romanian-born writer and director who resided and worked in Bucharest until 2000, I must agree with Bryzgel: given the linguistic, political, and economic barriers, living in Eastern Europe before and even after 1989 does not guarantee that one knows the work of artists there, nor that they know of each other's work. In this and many other ways, the informative value of Bryzgel's study is remarkable for both Western and Eastern scholarship.'
Diana Manole, Ryerson University, Theatre Survey, Volume 59, Issue 2, May 2018 , pp. 298-300

'With this recent study, she [Bryzgel] introduces much-needed perspectives from artists who were challenged by socioeconomic conditions while maintaining their artistic research, in spite of the political regimes under which they were forced to live. The new material explored in this book usefully documents and analyzes works that have led to the beginnings of performance studies in Eastern Europe.'
Cristina Modreanu, art curator and critic, New York/Bucharest, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, Volume 40, Number 2, May 20187 (PAJ 119)

'Too often, Eastern Europe is treated as the "other" and on the margins of Europe's new geopolitical, economic, and cultural fault lines, but thanks to Bryzgel, the region is now resituated as an important focal point for understanding the art practices of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries in ways that venture beyond the generalized divide between the capitalist West and socialist East.'
-Aleksandra Jovicevic, Modern Drama, vol. 61/no. 2 (Summer 2018)

'Performance Art in Eastern Europe since 1960 is an important contribution to the study of Eastern European art and will be instructive to those interested in Eastern European studies, art history, and performance art. It introduces the reader to a variety of artists, both established and fairly unknown, and paints a rich picture of the complex history of performance art and experimental culture in Eastern and Central Europe. As an introduction to performance in Eastern Europe, the text broadens art historical scholarship and opens a myriad of possible paths for further research that hopefully will be tackled by scholars in the future.'
Anja Foerschner , The Getty Research Institute

Author

Amy Bryzgel is Senior Lecturer in Film and Visual Culture at the University of Aberdeen

Contents

Introduction
1. Sources and origins
2. The body
3. Gender
4. Politics and identity
5. Institutional critique
Epilogue
Select bibliography
Index

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