An art historian in search of performance art in Eastern Europe

 

This website is a developing archive that I am constructing as part of the research for my book, Performance Art in Eastern Europe. It serves as a documentation of my travels to the region, to meet and interview artists, curators, art historians and critics, in order to amass the information from what is, in many ways, still an oral history.

In 2013, I published a book of case studies of performance art in Eastern Europe (Performing the East: Performance Art in Russia, Latvia and Poland since 1980, IB Tauris, 2013). The monograph focused on six artists, two each in Russia, Latvia and Poland. This site takes its name from that book, as the research both rests on its foundations, yet also uses it as a jumping off point. My next book will take a more comprehensive approach to performance art in the region, expanding the analysis to include artists from a range of countries throughout Eastern Europe, including the Baltics and the Balkans, from the former Soviet countries of Ukraine and Russia, to the Westernmost border of the East - the GDR. The research for this publication has been generously supported by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Leverhulme Trust, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

This website charts the writing of that book, including my travels, meetings with artists, and discoveries along the way. The research itself is in many ways performative. As I attempt to tell the tale of performance art in Eastern Europe, I must retrace its steps, step into the paths of the artists, and endeavor, in my own way, to perform the East.


Oleg Kulik, I Cannot Keep Silent Any More,  1994

Oleg Kulik, I Cannot Keep Silent Any More,  1994

Katarzyna Kozyra, Blood Ties, censored billboard, AMS project, 1999.

Katarzyna Kozyra, Blood Ties, censored billboard, AMS project, 1999.

Miervaldis Polis, The Miervaldis Polis Memorial Room Exhibition, 1995. 

Miervaldis Polis, The Miervaldis Polis Memorial Room Exhibition, 1995.