Venue: Kumu Art Museum auditorium (Weizenbergi 34 / Valge 1, Tallinn, Estonia)
Dates: 26-27 October 2012
Conference language: English
International conference organized by Art Museum of Estonia aims to analyse the impact of political decisions and Cold War politics on art from the end of World War II until the end of 1970’s. The conference is a part of international exhibition project 30th Council of Europe Exhibition "The Desire for Freedom. Art in Europe since 1945", curated by the German Historical Museum.
Although the main focus of the conference is Estonia and local issues, the wider interest is to analyze and compare the actual impact political decisions had on visual culture throughout the Central and Eastern Europe. Despite the fact that countries of the socialist camp differed in cultural policies, moreover – Moscow even made exceptions for certain areas within the Soviet Union, main political mechanisms and methods remained much alike.
The local cultural policy during Cold War did not only comprise of the execution of Soviet Union’s ideological guidelines, but was also impacted by the Western states’ counter-propaganda. The effect of these mechanisms was either direct, related to governmental programs (USA’s exhibitions in Moscow), or indirect (the transformative meaning of Western mass culture in Central and Eastern Europe). That was also depended on the realpolitik between nations. The focus of the conference is therefore not art history in its narrow sense, but rather the mapping of wider social and political processes that had crucial impact on visual culture.
The conference takes interest in political and psychological mechanisms that were implemented to route art (in Soviet Union) and manipulate local mentality (veiled Western propaganda) on one hand, and on the other, in spheres of visual culture, where outcomes of these manipulations manifested themselves most clearly – design, fashion, applied art, popular culture and other artistic medias that were not under any direct political control or command but nonetheless expressed the effects of the ideological battle in their development.
NB! An up-to-date programme and conference statement can be found at the Art Museum of Estonia’s home page here:
Registration for conference via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
International exhibition project 30th Council of Europe Exhibition "The Desire for Freedom. Art in Europe since 1945"is funded with support from the European Commission.
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