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Confrontations: Sessions in East European Art History

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Situated Knowledge

By Maja Fowkes, on 29 April 2019

A guest talk by artist and researcher Darko Fritz drew the group closer to the influential New Tendencies series of exhibitions and symposia held in Zagreb from 1961. In an impassioned presentation delivered in front of the works themselves, he laid out the lifecycle of the movement from inception to crisis, the local politics around New Tendencies and its relation to other artistic formations.  He also addressed the way in which the movement was eventually subsumed into other stylistic categories, like Op Art, within an international context. Reflecting also his own  background in New Media Art, Fritz emphasised the exceptional contribution of New Tendencies to the development of Computer Art.
Another engaging talk was by curator Ivana Janković on Croatian artist Antun Motika, whose singular post-war experimental practice, involving work with organic materials and slide projections, does not easily fit into existing local art historical narratives of the period. For the participants, with their broad comparative perspective, Motika’s approach revealed unexpected points of connection with the interests of other East European artists of the post-war period in the overlaps of art, nature and science.
(MRF)

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