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Conference: Art and PoliticsThe Imagination of Opposition in Europe

With the Slovenian Society for Aesthetics
Art and PoliticsThe Imagination of Opposition in Europe
University College Dublin
April 29 – 30, 2004

How does 'art' intersect 'politics' either when all art is politics or when politics forcibly subsumes art to its will? In the modernist tradition, art and politics are autonomous fields. In totalitarian societies, everything is politics, with all differentiation disappearing along with the limits between public and private spheres.

In post-imperial societies it is seen as evident that art was rarely independent, playing as it did its own part in the imperialist politics of cultural hegemony and giving rise to various kinds of post-imperial cultural headaches. In post-socialist societies, it becomes clear that, with everything being political, art can produce a politics of its own, making the invisible aesthetic process that makes the cultural hegemony of the socialist regime visible.

In the case of Slovenia, Neue Slowenische Kunst, as a collective project starting from 1980 on, is the most outstanding case of the art of the Eighties. It is an important starting point for analyses of how art and artists react and interact with different political hegemonies – underlying shared and differentiated experiences in both contemporary and historical Europe.

An international panel of artists, art historians, critics, academics and arts professionals will compare and contrast European experiences based upon the themes above.

Further conference and registration details are available by post or by email from the Dublin European Institute, UCD, Belfield, email dei@ucd.ie. While the programme is being finalised, panellists thus far confirmed include: Judith Devlin, Aless Erjavec, Lev Kreft, Bojana Kunst, Marina Grzinic Mauhler, Paula Murphy, Misko Suvakovic and Alexei Monroe. Registration fee €25 (professional) and €10 (concessionary – including full-time registered students)