LCCA call for papers: Not Yet Written Stories. Women Artists in Central and Eastern Europe

Call for Papers: Not Yet Written Stories. Women Artists in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)

Arton Foundation (Warsaw), Latvian Centre for Contemporary Arts (Riga),  SCCA-Ljubljana, Center for Contemporary Arts (Ljubljana), Office for Photography (Zagreb) invite for the conference Not Yet Written Stories. Women Artists in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) that will be held in Warsaw at the Academy of Fine Arts in the first week of September 2021. The conference depending on the situation with Covid-19 will offer also online participation.

Participants: early career humanities scholars, curators and artists are welcome to apply.

Focus: visual arts before 1989 in relation to woman artist experiences and histories in Central and Eastern Europe.

Deadline: 15 January 2021

The scholarly “sin of omission” and the exclusion of work by women from the canon of art history have resulted in the erasure of the achievements of numerous artists. Such omissions have been widespread, occurring regardless of socio-political situation. However, women artists as well as art historians, critics, curators, gallerists in culturally and economically “peripheral” countries, such as those formerly behind the Iron Curtain and former Yugoslavia, have been at risk of double exclusion on the grounds of both geography and gender. While building new states and socialistic societies after WW2, women built themselves up not only politically and culturally, but as well artistically. Nevertheless instead of anticipated advancement of women in various fields, society and its power structures continued to support the domination of the traditional patriarchal view.

To counteract that situation Arton Foundation (Warsaw), Latvian Centre for Contemporary Arts (Riga), – SCCA-Ljubljana, Center for Contemporary Arts (Ljubljana), and Office for Photography (Zagreb) in 2019 collectively started the project “Not Yet Written Stories: Women Artists Archives On-line”. The project studies women artists in Poland, Latvia, Croatia and Slovenia with the aims to raise bigger awareness of recant historical events in Central and Eastern Europe as well in that way stimulating new possibilities of history reading. The project maps not only regional contexts and collaborations, but also aims to reconsider common points of history writing processes while investigating gender in social, political, cultural, and artistic context within Central and Eastern Europe. Taking the project initiative as the starting point, partners are organizing a conference Not Yet Written Stories. Women Artists in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

The conference aims to provide a space for researchers, scholars and artists to network on topics of mutual interest, and through the event discuss the suggested topics, among others:

1. How do we locate and treat “lost” women artists? What social and historical reasons have shaped domination over women in CEE? How can we define the reasons of women artists’ marginalization?

2. How gender roles were conceptualized in Central and Eastern Europe and what discourses related to gender circulated in socialist states? Emancipated during WWII, marginalized in the post-war period: how patriarchal society treated women despite declarative gender equality (proclaimed by state), and how does this situation reflect in art circles? How can we shape the position of women artists in art history while reconsidering socialist unfulfilled equality?

3. How “socialist solidarity” has impacted history writing? How gender relations were imaged and represented in visual arts?

4. How did women artists see themselves during the Soviet period? What were the problems they were facing? What was the treatment of women studying at the art academies (huge in numbers, almost invisible outside school)? Have there been local or global formal and informal initiatives / institutions / collectives devoted to women artists in Central and Eastern Europe?

5. What was the role of women in the art field in the Soviet period – curators, gallerist and art critics? Do we remember them in our art histories today?

6. Women Artists’ practice – documentation and memorialization of their work. How can we build an alternative future by revisiting the past and reinterpreting archives? What can we learn about current political, social and feminist struggle while rethinking recent past?

7. What kind of strategies can we develop to celebrate women artist achievements? Do we need institutions devoted exclusively to women artists? If yes, what kind of?

More information is on the direct link.