Dirty Rotten Cuffs
Where you work, whom you work with, what you look at while you work are challenging choices when they come with an 816-pound application fee. Art entry for non-EU artists into the UK depends on established portfolios, acclaim and professionalism, rather than promise, practice, early pursuits. Berlin with its low cost of living hosts a thriving artist community. Is it more stimulating to fight for a right to produce in a particular place or to fight from within the community toward the modulation of its intent, production and movement? Bildatlas (www.bildatlas-ddr-kunst.de) reappraises the ability of artists bolstered by the DDR where the decades of socialist output had been entirely discounted. Modulating from within with irony, over-zealousness and hubris, German socialist artists reemerge not as political representatives but “cuffed” participants working as satirists or verists. In Bucharest, the National Museum of Contemporary Art (http://www.mnac.ro/) inaugurated its existence in 2002 exhibiting what Bildatlas archived – the entire catalogue of available communist art in the Museum’s new wing within the House of the People, the communist party’s prize architectural dominant. Withholding exit or entry from and into a country or art community can yield an interesting reactionary genre, or, almost 25 years after the collapse of communism in Europe, it could render a city’s art community obsolete. In the meanwhile communities are in progress, as should be the definitiveness with which institutions announce their mottoes.
* Photo: Iosif Kiraly