Networks, Horizons, Centres and Hierarchies : On the Challenges of Writing on Modernism in Central Europe

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Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Umění
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords Modernism; Central Europe; Art History; transnational art history; hierarchies
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Description This article examines some of the recent attempts to rethink writing about modernism, as part of a project of redrawing the map of modern art. Such attempts have often resulted in striking formulations, drawing on metaphors of entanglement, horizontality and transnational analysis. Yet the article asks: How conceptually coherent are they, and how effective are they as the basis for counter-narratives? Moreover, when concrete case studies from the history of modernism in Bohemia, Czechoslovakia and Hungary are considered, how convincing are they? The article suggests not only that such models may misrepresent historical situations, but that also, if existing hierarchies are to be broken down, then it is necessary to address the pragmatic factors that lie behind them, rather than focusing on new theoretical models of interpretation alone.
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