The most recent publication by the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA) – the collection of essays and articles in Latvian and English – “Recuperating the Invisible Past” introduces and examines the Latvian, Baltic and Eastern European neo-avanguard art of the 1960ies – 1980ies.
The editor of the book Ieva Astahovska, an art researcher and curator, presents a survey about the events transpiring during this time period as well as the relations between art and ideology, parallels, analogies and differences in broader regional prospect.
The 284 pages of “Recuperating the Invisible Past” with 110 illustrations include 25 essays, discussions and manifestos about events and processes in Socialist and Soviet bloc countries, which, paraphrasing the British historian Tony Judt, were either easy to forget (in the West) or suppress (in the East): “Eastern European past, including the artistic past, has actually been the “invisible past”.”
Authors of the essays are both Baltic and internationally respectable scholars and artists – Piotr Piotrowski, Magdalena Radomska (PL), Viktor Misiano (RU), Mark Allen Svede (USA), Linara Dovydaityte, Dovilė Tumpytė, Alfonsas Andriuškevičius, Vytautas Landsbergis, George Maciunas (LT), Andres Kurg, Mari Laanemets , Epp Lankots, Maria-Kristiina Soomre, Kädi Talvoja, Leonhard Lapin, Vilen Künnapu, Juhan Viiding (EE), Dora Hegyi, Zsuzsa László, Tamás Szentjóby (HU), Ieva Astahovska, Stella Pelše, Iliana Veinberga, Varis Rudzītis (LV).
“The Polish art historian Piotr Piotrowski in his encyclopedic overview of Eastern European art under communist and post-communist conditions analyses if and how its diversity in the region has been modified. Viktor Misiano through analysis of retrospective show of Russian conceptualist Ilya Kabakov offers a captivating trip along “a series of irresolvable contradictions” which accompany relations between Soviet modernization and Western culture. Whereas Magdalena Radomska introduces Hungarian neo-avant-garde artists’ plays with the “semantic minefields” of power and censorship as part of their radical artistic language, while Linara Dovydaitytė and Mark Allen Svede provide analyses of Western paradigms and theories through examples of Baltic art,” says Ieva Astahovska.
The designer of the book is Rihards Funts, a well know designer (“Rijada”). “Recuperating the Invisible Past” has been published with the support of European Commission’s Programme “Culture (2007–2013)”, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, “Alfor” and “Arctic Paper”. “Recuperating the Invisible Past” is now available in bookstores in Riga, Latvia, and may be obtained also by contacting the LCCA.
Simultaneously with the publishing of “Recuperating the Invisible Past” LCCA partner-institution “Tranzit.hu” (Budapest) has launched an online exhibition archive Parallel Chronologies - An Archive of East European Exhibitions (http://tranzit.org/exhibitionarchive/) that is to give international visibility and accessibility to East-European art events, and to enable cross-national research and comparisons. With the ongoing involvement of international experts essential data of exhibitions and event series of key importance are collected and contextualized on this website realized in the framework of the collaboration Recuperating the Invisible Past with the following partners: Ieva Astahovska (Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art), Dóra Hegyi (tranzit.hu), Mari Laanemets (Art History Institute at Tallinn Art Academy), Ewa Małgorzata Tatar (Instytut Sztuki Wyspa), Dovile Tumpytė (National Gallery of Art, Vilnius).