The Peterloo Massacre was more than just a Manchester event. The attendees, on
whom Manchester industry depended, came from a large spread of the wider textile
regions. The large demonstrations that followed in the autumn of 1819,
protesting against the actions of the authorities, were pan-regional and
national. The reaction to Peterloo established the massacre as firmly part of
the radical canon of martyrdom in the story of popular protest for democracy.
This article argues for the significance of Peterloo in fostering a sense of
regional and northern identities in England. Demonstrators expressed an
alternative patriotism to the anti-radical loyalism as defined by the
authorities and other opponents of mass collective action.
The book addresses late-Soviet and post-Soviet art in Armenia in the context of turbulent social, political and cultural transformations in the late 1980s, throughout the 1990s and in early 2000s through the aesthetic figure of the ‘painterly real’ and its conceptual transformations. It explores the emergence of ‘contemporary art’ in Armenia from within and in opposition to the practices, aesthetics and institutions of Socialist Realism and National Modernism. The book presents the argument that avant-garde art best captures the historical and social contradictions of the period of the so-called ‘transition,’ especially if one considers ‘transition’ from the perspective of the former Soviet republics that have been consistently marginalized in Russian- and East European-dominated post-Socialist studies. Throughout the two decades that encompass the chronological scope of this work, contemporary art has encapsulated the difficult dilemmas of autonomy and social participation, innovation and tradition, progressive political ethos and national identification, the problematic of communication with the world outside of Armenia’s borders, dreams of subjective freedom and the imperative to find an identity in the new circumstances after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This historical study outlines the politics (liberal democracy), aesthetics (autonomous art secured by the gesture of the individual artist), and ethics (ideals of absolute freedom and radical individualism) of contemporary art in Armenia. Through the historical investigation, a theory of post-Soviet art historiography is developed, one that is based on a dialectic of rupture and continuity in relation to the Soviet past. As the first English-language study on contemporary art in Armenia, the book is of prime interest for artists, scholars, curators and critics interested in post-Soviet art and culture and in global art historiography.
to the project of hegemony, as defined by Antonio Gramsci and taken up by radical democracy.
The three interlocutors agree that universality is a contested site and always incomplete. Butler emphasises the question of exclusions, associating universality with reciprocal recognition, conditioned by customary practices. In most cases, the universal is exposed as a false universal, or what she refers to as an ‘annihilating universal’ of discontinuities and dispossession. For Butler the abstract universal of negation must become a concrete
In his analysis of the Homeric myths as well as in his interpretation of Plato,
Grote drew attention to those aspects of ancient Greece that he believed were
favourable antecedents to utilitarian political philosophy. He used Athenian
democracy to inform contemporary ideas about the civic role of English government, particularly in relation to public debates about democracy, parliamentary
representation, and the act of voting; these issues were deeply controversial on the
eve of the Second Reform Act. Frank M. Turner described his influence: ‘Grote
important role in the actualization and institutionalization of the paradigm of “contemporary art” throughout postsocialist Eastern Europe. The paradigm is certainly the product of multiple and more complex historical and institutional forces, but given its access to vast financial and intellectual resources, the SCCA has led the way. An assessment of the Soros art network's activities risks difficulty and controversy (as with judging its founder and funder). Many have congratulated these regional organizations for contributing to democracy and building “open societies
this precarious post-Troubles moment: an era doubly defined by processes of post-
conflict resolution, and strategies of societal regeneration formed under the influence of neo-liberal ideology. Such socio-economic factors of post-Troubles reality
compel us, therefore, to map contexts for the contemporary art of Northern
Ireland in relation to what has been perceived, by Chantal Mouffe and others, as
the ‘post-political’ condition of globalised liberal democracy.
An important proposition at the heart of this book is that the art of the
to me in the following terms:
With democracy comes freedom of speech and with that comes photojournalism.
What I’ve seen in developing countries is that they don’t have a tradition of storytelling. They might know about news pictures and mug-shots but it seems their culture is perhaps more orally developed. In publications in developing countries there
aren’t many examples of strong visual storytelling. Perhaps it is natural that photojournalism developed in the first world because of democracy and free speech.
Hence, we need to teach them storytelling.
The postsocialist contemporary intervenes, from the historical perspective of Eastern Europe, in a wider conversation about “contemporary art.” It departs from, and revolves around, a concrete case in which a program called “for contemporary art” was assembled on the debris of the Berlin Wall by the Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros. The Soros Centers for Contemporary Art (SCCA) was a network of twenty art centers active during the 1990s in Eastern Europe. The book argues that this program played an important role in the actualization of the paradigm of contemporary art in the former bloc. The main goal of this study, however, is not to recreate the narrative but to take this Soros-funded art infrastructure as a critical point of inquiry in order to engage with key permutations occurring in art during the transition to capitalism. The book argues that with the implementation of Western art institutional models and norms by Soros, and other players after 1989, a radical departure takes place in the art of this region: a departure from an art that (officially at least) provided symbolic empowerment to the masses, toward an art that affirms the interests, needs, desires, and “freedom” of the private individual acting within the boundaries of the bourgeois civil society and the market. The book considers the “postsocialist contemporary” in a broader context of late twentieth-century political, economic, and cultural processes of (neo) liberalization, promoting and encouraging more critical historical materialist examinations of “contemporary art” – the dominant aesthetic paradigm of late-capitalist market democracy.