Friday, September 12, 2008

Roles of the Visual in Overcoming Dictatorships

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, 9 Oct. 2008, 9-4

The conference (organised to mark the opening of the exhibition Overcoming Dictatorships, Aston Webb Building, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, 9 Oct.-9 Nov. 2008) will explore the intersections of the visual arts in mediating the political, socio-economic and cultural changes in post-dictatorial societies and the impact of such changes on cultural production. It brings together a select group of speakers whose research explores aspects of overcoming totalitarian and authoritarian systems in different disciplines but with a focus on the visual arts (and an emphasis on the period since 1989).

Dr. Sue Malvern (University of Reading) will examine works by women artists in Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia and their legacies of feminism and dissidence in post-Communist Europe, while Maja Fowkes (UCL) and Dr. Reuben Fowkes (Manchester Metropolitan University and initiators of SocialEast Forum) will explore the reluctance to deal with live political questions through the case of Hungarian artist Csaba Nemes, asking whether it reflects more the legacy of local (art) histories or the newly-adopted rules of a politically acquiescent international art system. Dr. Rose Whyman (University of Birmingham) will consider trends in counter-culture art since the 1990s in Russia and Prof. Brandon Taylor (University of Southampton) will discuss the artistic culture of the British monarchy in recent decades to locate the ‘Dictatorship of the Bourgeoisie’. The concluding panel discussion will be chaired by Prof. Cillian Ryan (University of Birmingham).

The conference will be preceded by a round-table discussion with artists participating in the Overcoming Dictatorships exhibition (8 October 2008, 18.30, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham). Chaired by the off-site curator of the Ikon Gallery Helen Legg, it will focus on up and coming contemporary art groups in post-Communist countries and draw parallels with the situation immediately after 1989, when the former underground art replaced the official

For further information about the conference

see the programme and booking form
contact Press and Marketing