Conference-Lecture "The East-European Avant-Garde and War"

Le 18/09/2023

by Tomáš Glanc, MSH Invited Professor, Zurich University, Switzerland

The example of the avant-garde shows how the current war is changing not only the present but also the past of European culture. War was never something external to the avant-garde. After all, the word avant-garde itself was taken from military terminology: it was a conception of aesthetics as an expression of struggle, confrontation and intervention, artistic defiance and specific forms of iconoclasm. Moreover, avant-garde aesthetics and avant-garde theories, ideologies, and philosophies anticipated or paralleled the revolutionary transformations of European and Russian society before, during, and in the aftermath of the First World War. In art, the question was already then being asked about the connection between the reversals in the means of expression and the reversals in the empirical world, in scientific development and in political history. The avant-garde not only reflected but in a way participated in the war. It has guided and reflected on the demise of great centuries-old monarchies, the relationship between the local and the global, the creation of cultural networks, as well as particular explosions on the battlefields, destruction and death – as well as the transforming structure of society and visions of the future, which it transferred into its system of coordinates.

The Modernitas Centre will present a lecture by one of its visiting professors, Tomáš Glanc from the Zurich University who will discuss the avant-garde's perspective of the phenomenon of war and how this topic influenced the entire avant-garde movement.

Prof. Dr. Tomáš Glanc, native of Prague, is a professor at Zurich University, Switzerland. Topics of his research include modern slavic literature, Eastern European and especially Russian culture, samizdat and unofficial media, performance in Eastern Europe, Russian and Czech modernism, Slavic ideology, and contemporary Russian art and literature. He has written or prepared for publication several books and numerous articles as well as journalistic essays. He has also worked on a number of radio and television programmes, podcasts, etc. He has organized numerous conferences and exhibitions, including Poetry & Performance: The Eastern European Perspective (with Sabine Hänsgen, different versions in 8 European countries). He curated many exhibitions of several contemporary Russian artists for the Centre for Contemporary Art in Ostrava, and collaborated on two large-scale exhibitions at the DOX art centre in Prague. In the past he has also been a visiting professor at Humboldt University, Berlin; visiting professor at Basel University; senior fellow at Bremen University; director of the Czech Cultural Center in Moscow; and director of the Institute of Slavic and East European Studies, Charles University, Prague.

Monday 18th September 2023 from 2.30pm to 4.30pm

Salle de réception
Bâtiment DE1 - Niveau 3 - Salle R.3.105
Avenue Antoine Depage 1
1000 Bruxelles

This event will be taken in place in English

Free entrance

Contact: Petra James

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