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Avant-Garde Art in Post-Communist Central Europe

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Chapter Summary

The article discusses recent changes in art and culture in former Eastern Europe, particularly in the context of post-communist and post-colonial studies. The point of departure is the question whether East Central Europe is still as an effective analytical tool, as it used to be before 1989. My argument is that, instead of this geographical category, a much more operative concept is now the political one, namely the post-communist – seen, however, in the global context, i.e. in the context of other changes in the world (South Africa, South America etc.), where we have observed similar processes of breaking post-authoritarian regimes, almost exactly at the same time as in Eastern Europe. In this historical context, as well as in the light of the theories of radical democracy (Chantal Mouffe, Ernesto Laclau), some particular art works (among others by David Černy, Roman Ondák, Joanna Rajkowska, Tamás Szentjóby, Krzysztof Wodiczko) are presented, in order to show how art was a part of the democratic processes in the former Eastern Europe.



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