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The Postcolonial 21st Century: Central Europe and Beyond - A seminar with David Chioni Moore and Vít Havránek

free school for art theory and practice

Date of the seminar: October 14-15, 2011

Please send your applications to office@tranzitinfo.hu until October 10, 2011.

Preparatory reading seminar on October 6th, 2011 at 5 p.m., at Labor, Képíró utca 6.

The fall seminar of the Free School for Art Theory and Practice is based on the dialogue of cultural theorist and university professor David Chioni Moore (Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA) and curator/ theorist Vít Havránek, director of tranzit. cz (Prague, Czech Republic).

The massive transformations in Central Europe over the past 25 years are typically termed post-communist or post-Soviet. This two-day seminar asks whether these transformations, and Central Europe’s present and future, can also be termed post-colonial.

The seminar will be based on a dialogue between two leading figures in the application of postcolonial perspectives and theories across geographic regions and cultural fields. David Chioni Moore will focus on historical, literary, and comparative-geographic questions. Vít Havránek will represent art-historical, contemporary-art, and curatorial aspects of this question. Together, and in dialogue with the participant, they will focus on if, and how, the postcolonial perspective can be applied to post-Soviet states, especially in Central Europe, especially in the arts. We will examine theories, readings, concrete historical and current issues, case studies, and specific artists

Our aim is to test postcolonial theory for historical and current subjects, historical facts, and artistic practices in a region that has undergone vast changes in politics, culture, and national conception in recent years.


David Moore has published widely on these and other topics in journals including Genre, PMLA, Research in African Literatures, Novel,Transition, Safundi, The Cambridge History of American Poetry, Callaloo, Diaspora, the Slavic and East European Journal, Resources for American Literary Study, the Journal of Anthropological Research, Accounting Organizations & Society, and other venues. He frequently reviews new African literature for the African Book Publishing Record, and has lectured at Harvard, Yale, Maryland, UCLA, SOAS, Hawaii, Wesleyan, Cambridge, Notre Dame, and other venues. Notably, his 2001 article on the postcolonial and the post-Soviet has been multiply translated and republished. Dr. Moore was editor of Martin Bernal's Black Athena Writes Back, and is currently completing an edition of the African American poet Langston Hughes's 1930s writings on Soviet Central Asia.

Personally, David Chioni Moore has traveled, studied, lived and worked in sixty-five nations worldwide; he teaches diversely on postcolonial theory, globalization, literature, and African diasporic texts; and is an endurance athlete in the disciplines of triathlon, trail running, mountain biking, nordic skiing, and related sports.


Vít Havránek is a theoretician and organizer based in Prague. Since 2002 he has been working as a director of the initiative for contemporary art tranzit.cz. Since 2007 co-founder of tranzitdisplay,resource center for contemporary art, lecturing Contemporary art at the AAAD, Prague. He was a member of tranzit.org, one of the three curatorial teams of Manifesta 8, Murcia (2010).

Havránek has curated and co-curated exhibitions amongst which are: Manifesta 8, The European Biennial for Contemporary Art, Murcia,Cartagena, Spain;Monument to Transformation, 2007-2010, Centro Monthermoso Vitoria,Spain; City Gallery Prague, CR; tranzit workshops, Bratislava, Slovakia, Le Plateau, Paris and other locations; tranzit -Auditorium, Stage, Backstage, Frankfurter Kunstverein, 2006, I, series of exhibitions in three acts, Secession, Vienna, Austria; Futura,Prague, tranzit workshops Bratislava, 2006; Definitions of Everyday Prague Biennale 2; 2005; Lanterna Magika, Espace Electra Paris, France 2002; Jiří Kovanda, DUMB, Brno, CR, 2004; Otto Piene, City Gallery Prague, CR, 2002; action, word, movement, space, City Gallery Prague,CR, 1999 and others.

Havránek is an Associated Editor of jrp | ringier art publisher (tranzit series: Atlas to Transformation, Jiří Skála, Kateřina Šedá, Jan
Mančuška, Jiří Kovanda and others), edited and co-edited books and catalogues Autobiographies, 2006; The Need to Document, 2005; Lanterna Magika, 2002; action, word, movement, space, 1999. He has written for contemporary books, catalogues Manifesta 8, Silvana Editoriale, 2010;
Promesses du passé, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2010; Reconsidering the Documentary and Contemporary Art, Sternberg Press, CCS Bard, 2009; Voids, Centre Pompidou, Kunsthalle Bern 2009; Right About Now, Valiz, 2007; Yves Klein, Centre Pompidou, Springer Wien New York, 2007) and art magazines (Umělec, Springerin, Flash Art, Manifest Journal and others).


Friday, October, 14, 2011
10.00-12.00
introductory talks by David Chioni Moore and Vít Havránek followed by participants Q&A.

Lunch break - common buffet with food participants bring along

13.30-16.00
Discussion by participants. We ask the various people attending the seminar to speak about their own work in the context of our theme. Comments, questions, fresh points by lecturers.

Day One conclusion and preview of Day Two.

19.00
Public lectures at the Central European University

David Chioni Moore: Sarajevo, Salonica, Cairo, Kumasi, Constantinople, Castile: Retrospective Cosmopolitanism and a New York State of Mind

Vít Havránek: Some well known artistic practices of the 1960s revisited in the time of Post-Bipolar History

Saturday, October, 15, 2011
10.00-12.00
Discussion of case studies of "cultural texts," popular culture, political events, global events, etc.
proposed by the participants

12.00-13.00
Lunch break - common buffet with food participants bring along

13.00-16.00
A common discussion about applicability and meaning of concepts in the post-soviet cultural and political space, such as alterity, (attempted) autonomy, binarism, appropriation, comprador, compensatory effects of colonisation, essentialism-national identity, exile, hybridity, independence metropolis, mimicry, neo-colonialism, otherness, primitivism, race, roots, simulacrum, etc.

16.00
Departure to visit the exhibition Surveillance. Budapest and Prague through the Eyes of the State Security Services at the Open Society archive

During some drinks: Conclusion, discussion of the "future of the post."
Concluding remarks by David and Vit.


Image: Judit Fischer: To start a war to make Hungary doggy
shaped, 2009


The archive is realised in the framework of the international project, Recuperating the Invisible Past, which receives a grant from the Culture 2007 programme of the European Union.



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A public lecture with David Chioni Moore and Vít Havránek

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