Gaining importance in the 70s and in the beginning of the 80s with postmodernism and being represented by the then Yugoslav retroavantgarde (Laibach, Irwin, Sisters Scipion Nasice Theatre, Mladen StilinoviŠ, Malevich from Belgrade) and Soviet postutopianism (Ilya Kabakov, Erik Bulatov, Oleg Vasil'ev, Komar and Melamid, collective Joint Actions), new reception of the avantgarde is characterized by its rejection of the till then dominating “naïve” associations with the (interrupted) tradition of the avantgarde and by its interest in the possible totalitarian elements of the avantgarde. The relation of the avantgarde turns ambivalent and ambiguous, while, due to its seeming compatibility with totalitarian systems, its utopian representations suddenly become threatening and aporetic.
The (for now) last phase of the shift in the reception of the avantgarde, which coincides with the end of Sots-realism in Eastern Europe around the year 1990 and which has been influenced by the simultaneity and omnipresence of new digital media, is characterized by a different understanding of the notion of utopia and the loss of interest in engaging with the ambivalences, political complexities and (potentially) totalitarian dimensions of artistic avantgarde. In retroutopianism, its representatives being Marko Peljhan, Dragan «ivadinov, Vadim Fiškin, utopian thought of the avantgarde cuts apart from its evidently negative, politically-totalitarian tinge and starts to be understood as a liberating or visionary potentiality. In this kind of art projects it is possible to discern a fascination over the early utopian technological fantasies of the historical avantgarde and over the meaning they have – as a corrective – for the contemporary development.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in 1968. From 2006 on she works as an artistic director of Hartware MedienKunstVerein in Dortmund (www.hmkv.de). She studied East European Studies, Slavic Studies and Politology (PhD. in 2004) at Free University in Berlin, University in Amsterdam and Humbolt. As a curator and author, she concentrates on art and culture in the media. She is the author and organizer of numerous projects (www.projects.v2.nl).
320 pages, 170 x 240 mm, 80 bw illustrations.