Ostalgia New Museum New York City, USA July 14 – September 25
From July 14 to September 25, the New Museum gallery in New York will exhibit art from Europe's most complicated period of the 20th century. Throughout the gallery's four rooms, and like a lyric poem – slightly contemplative and sorrowful, the exhibit tells of a time when the availability of and opportunities offered by Western culture created confusion in the works being created by the artist's of the time.
“Ostalgia” isn't a lecture on the art history of the former Eastern Block for the aesthetes of the New Continent. Instead, the exhibit reveals the connecting similarities and atmosphere of perception in regions of the unified Europe, while also pointing out the sharp differences and cultural peculiarities in art during the half-century of the concrete wall that divided Europe. The exhibition “Ostalgia” reflects expressions of an emotional state, not world events occurring during this political era.
The exposition features 56 artists from twenty countries of the former Union of Socialistic Republics in Eastern and Western Europe. The title of the exhibition comes from the German term Ostalgie, which in one word combines the reflections, yearnings and nostalgia for the times before the fall of the communist block in the 1990's. Beginning from the Baltic States to the Balkan region, from Central Europe to Central Asia, nations went through radical political changes in their state systems, also causing changes in the people as an entity – at its most cellular level. National constitutions were rewritten and the world map gained new features and renewed contours. The fall of censorship opened up an international bridge between the differences of European cultures; imported goods and all of the new wealth created dizzying confusion, both among artists and in society at large.
The works included in the composition of the visual archive “Ostalgia” give a deeply personal and retrospective account, reflecting the creative spirituality of the society, in a sense – the incarcerated, of the communistic dictated regimes of the post-soviet republics. “Ostalgia” especially accents the creative work of the artists who were witnesses of the time – banished insurgents and illusionists, forced to work within the realms of the robust, officially sanctioned world of art. The exposition includes works by Western European artists who depict both the reality and the myths of the post-soviet East, and vice-versa.