Art, state and ideology during the communist dictatorships in Eastern Europe
13.10.2018, Saturday, 6.p.m.
Museum of the Contemporary Art in Krakow MOCAK
This presentation deals with the role of visual arts and artists during the communist dictatorships in Eastern Europe (1945–1989) with a focus on the privileged relation between the state and artists. Artists were in different time frameworks forced, encouraged and rewarded with important financial retributions in order to create according to the official ideology. At the same time, the responses of artists differed, some complied and helped consolidate a state aesthetic based on Socialist Realism, while others resisted the call, and others mimicked support. An important tool in the establishment of this state aesthetic was played by the creative professional unions which were established in the late 1940s and early 1950s and which articulated and coordinated the public commissions for monuments, paintings or mosaics in the public space. The analysis of communist dictatorships will also become a starting point for reflection on the radicalizing tendencies of contemporary social reality.
Caterina Preda is a researcher, PhD in Political Science, Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Bucharest. Caterina Preda investigates the relation between art and politics in dictatorships and post-dictatorships settings with a focus on Chile and Romania. Her most recent publication is the book Art and Politics under Modern Dictatorships A Comparison of Chile and Romania (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).