Seminar „Likeness in Difference“ in EKA and Kumu

EKA aula A101, Kumu auditoorium

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Seminar Likeness in Difference. Perspectives on Baltic Regional Art History 

Location: Estonian Academy of Arts, Kumu Art Museum
The working language at the seminar is English.

The seminar jointly organised by Estonian Academy of Arts and the Art Museum of Estonia brings together art researchers and curators from the three Baltic countries. The art history of the Soviet period serves as the point of departure for the seminar.

The regional, comparative, and international focus on an analysis of cultural practices and the respective institutional conditions establishes a basis for presentations on both shared and individual experiences, facilitates studying their causes and backgrounds, and helps to challenge the established narratives that we construct and reproduce about our own art histories and those of others.

The meanings and self-understanding of the Baltics as a geopolitical and cultural region have changed several times throughout history. In the field of culture, the frequent interaction between the three Baltic republics in the Soviet time was replaced by narratives of national independence in the 1990s. Because of the polarised world perception of the Cold War era, the three countries sought to define themselves through these narratives as part of either Eastern Europe or the West. Therefore, their interest in one another and the sense of shared regional characteristics remained in the background for quite some time. Nevertheless, the last few years have witnessed changes in several spheres (of culture), which have served as a launch pad for a more active and productive dialogue.

The two-day seminar has been divided into six panels. Topics vary from photography and studies of the heritage of women artists to analyses of Soviet exhibition activities and experimental art practices. Presentations will also deal with real and imaginary art collectives and pose future-oriented questions about potential trans-Baltic research topics, exhibition projects and new theoretical approaches that provide the necessary framework. The aim is to explore intersections between the participants’ research interests and activities, and to prepare a foundation for future cooperation projects.

‘Likeness in DifferencePerspectives on Baltic Regional Art History’
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