Conference 2014

May 9-11, 2014  Literaturwerkstatt – Berlin: The rise of event-based art forms in Eastern Europe is mainly located in the niches of late Socialism’s official public sphere. In the art world behind the Iron Curtain the existence of an unofficial parallel culture was the basic condition for the production of performances and other neo-avant-garde actions. To understand the social, political and cultural circumstances that lead to the development of performance art, one has to think at the same time with local precision and in transnational networks.

The conference Performing Arts in the Second Public Sphere is one significant attempt to debate these ways of posing a problem through the magnifying glass of theatre studies in an interdisciplinary dialogue with international experts from different fields of academia. The wide range of presentations includes case studies from (East) Germany, Poland, Hungary, former Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Soviet Union, Romania and approaches that go beyond classical (and historical) state borders.

Download Conference flyer in pdf
Download Conference poster in pdf


Friday, May 9


3:00 PM – Welcome & Introduction by Adam Czirak (Freie University Berlin) and Katalin Cseh (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich/University of Vienna)

Piotr Piotrowski (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan): How to Approach the Second Public Sphere in Eastern Europe before 1989 

5:00 PM – Coffee break

Geopolitics of the Second Public Sphere

Chair: Micha Braun (University of Leipzig)

5:30 PM – Roddy Hunter (Middlesex University, London): Beyond ´East` and `West` through The Eternal Network towards an Art-of-Peace Biennale

6:15 PM – Miško Šuvaković (Faculty of Music, Belgrade): Assymetries of the Second Public Sphere

7:00 PM – Dinner


Saturday, May 10

10:15 AM – Introduction, Premiere of  by Katalin Cseh (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich/University of Vienna)

Gendered Strategies in Eastern European Performances

Chair: Judit Bodor (Aberystwyth University)

10:30 AM – Beáta Hock (University of Leipzig): Communities of Practice: Performing Women in the Second Public Sphere

11:15 AM – Amy Bryzgel (University of Aberdeen): Performance and Gender, East amd West, Then and Now

12:00 AM – Angelika Richter (Curator & Art Historian, Berlin): Art and Body. Women Artists from the GDR in Performance and Action

12:45 AM – Lunch

Opening up Spaces of Performance

Chair: Andrea Euringer-Bátorova (Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava)

2:00 PM – Andrej Mircev (Art Academy, Osijek): The Naked Body and the Proletarian Public Sphere

2:45 PM – Daniel Grúň (Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava): Performative Exhibitions and Artists´ Communities in the 1970s and 1980s in (Czecho)Slovakia

3:30 PM – Cofee break


Jasmina Tumbas (University of Buffalo): Decision as Art: Performance in the Balkans

5:30 PM – Dinner


Sunday, May 11

Performance as Re-Action

Chair: Sandra Frimmel (University of Zurich)

10:00 AM – Sylvia Sasse (University of Zurich): „Affirmative” Practices in Eastern European Performance Art

10:45 AM – Ileana Pintilie (West University, Timisoara): Questioning the East. Artistic Practices and Social Context on the Edge

11:30 AM – Coffee break


Klara Kemp-Welch (Courtauld Institute of Art, London): Antipolitics in Action: Experimental Art and Theory in 1970s Central Europe

1:30 PM – Lunch

2:30 PM – Artists´ Dialogue with the participation of Via Lewandowsky (University of the Arts, Berlin), Can Togay (Collegium Hungaricum Berlin), Barbara Gronau (University of the Arts, Berlin) and Kata Krasznahorkai (Collegium Hungaricum Berlin)

3:15 PM – Farewell by Katalin Cseh and Adam Czirak