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About the Network

The Nordic Network of Avant-Garde Studies is supported by Nordforsk 2004-2009. In November 2008 The Nordic Network of Avant-Garde Studies was elected as a ”Nordic Research Gem”, an exceptionally succesful research network, by NordForsk. The Nordic Network of Avant-Garde Studies aims to support and coordinate small and dispersed national centres of research, help promote the exchange of knowledge about differences and similarities among the avant-garde currents and research in the Nordic countries, and make Nordic avant-garde research visible in a European and international context. The Nordic Network of Avant-Garde Studies has a yearly conference. Within the Network an editorial group is preparing a four-volume Cultural History of the Nordic Avant-Gardes and an electronic archive of documents from the Nordic avant-gardes. The Nordic network is an extension of the Danish research network ”The Return and Actuality of the Avant-Gardes” supported by the Danish Research Council 2001-2004. The Nordic Network of Avant-Garde Studies has initiated a European Network of Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies, EAM, which had its first conference in Ghent, Belgium, in May 2008. The second EAM conference will take place in Poznan, Poland, in 2010.

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Design © Anja Skoglund 2006 / Torsten Andreasen 2009

Historizing the Avant-Garde – Conference

Historizing the Avant-GardeThe conference Historizing the Avant-Garde in Copenhagen on November 20-22 2009 marks the completion of the five years of research activity in the Nordic Network for Avant-Garde Studies sponsored by the Nordic Council for Research (NordForsk). It will also be the occasion for the publication of the first of four volumes on The Cultural History of the Nordic Avant-Garde, edited by members of the research network. Volume 1 covers the period 1900-1925, the three following volumes (1925-50, 1950-75 and 1975-today) will appear during the next three years.

The concluding conference of the research network will focus on historiographical questions: What are the adequate ways of writing the history of the avant-garde? From the vantage point of the 21st century we can map the cultural geography of the avant-garde movements and traditions of the 20th century. Historical connections severed by war and iron curtain can be reconstructed. And changing global and postcolonial developments throw new light on the question of centres and peripheries, as well as on the relation between nationalism and international exchange. Intensified archival work, republication of historical documents and much recent research present new perspectives on the concepts of the historical avant-garde and the neo-avant-garde. To what extent are these concepts still useful to-day? And what is the significance of the rediscovery and appropriation of figures, concepts and strategies of the historical avant-garde after World War 2? In what ways has the relation between the avant-garde and the art institution changed? And do concrete institutions, for instance within a welfare state, support or subsume avant-garde art? Does avant-garde art still have a critical role to play? Which groups and individual artists should be included as part of the avant-garde? In what ways have the small avant-garde groups contributed to the cultural renewal in the Nordic countries during the 20th century? Do the heterogenous groups and movements of the 20th century form a coherent current which may be termed the avant-garde? And is there an avant-garde to-day? What would be the marks of such an avant-garde? And what is the relation between avant-garde and technology? The Cultural History of the Nordic Avant-Garde is written from the perspective of the avant-garde movements as networks of heterogenous groups, persons and isms – what are the merits and disadvantages of this approach?

News and Topics

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Metzler Dictionary of Avant-Garde

Hubert van den Berg/Walter Fähnders (Editors)

This dictionary covers the European avant-garde throughout the twentieth century. It offers a panorama of both the early avant-garde movements in the 1910s and 1920s as well as more recent developments since the Second World War, from futurism to postmodernism. It portrays the transnational formations and currents which changed the cultural landscape profoundly in literature, the visual arts, architecture, design, fashion, music, film, photography and other media. Entries cover single movements, topics and concepts like abstract art, Bauhaus, chance, collage, concrete poetry, Dada, experimental music, happening, manifesto, New Objectivity, performance, Pop-art, readymade, Situationist International, Suprematism, typography, Viennese Actionism, Zaum' and Zero. The international presence of the avant-garde is mapped in entries on single countries in Europe as well as in other continents.

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Avant-Garde Critical Studies

Avant-Garde Critical Studies 14:
Der Blick vom Wolkenkratzer.

“… eine differenzierte, abwechslungsreiche Darstellung der Avantgarde, unbedingt lesenswert…”
Magazin, no 10.
“… ein gelungener und facettenreicher … Beitrag zur Avantgardeforschung und ihrer Theoriebildung.”
Zeitschrift für Germanistik XII – 2/2002

Avant-Garde Critical Studies 22:
Surréalisme et politique – Politique du Surréalisme.

Les avant-gardes inventent dès leur début au XXe siècle des politiques et une forme spécifique du politique, et le surréalisme va le plus loin dans l'interpénétration des domaines politiques et artistiques. A la différence des autres mouvements d'avant-garde historiques, le modèle du surréalisme est encore un défi pour nombre d'écrivains et d'artistes d'aujourd'hui, et ne serait-ce qu'en tant que mort-vivant. Voulant reconduire l'art dans la vie, donc aussi dans la politique et le politique, le surréalisme envisage une transformation de la société mais se révèle finalement résistant contre tous les totalitarismes.
Les contributions de ce volume analysent selon quelle politique "artistique" le surréalisme peut établir et pratiquer cette position "politique", unique dans l'art et la littérature du XXe siècle. Ils abordent ce sujet de perspectives théoriques et médiatiques et des points de vue de la littérature, de l’art, de l’histoire et de la communication. Les essais s'occupent aussi bien de sujets, d'oeuvres et d'auteurs représentatifs du surréalisme historique que du surréalisme d'après-guerre et de sa réception d'aujourd'hui. Ils posent ainsi la question de la nécessité et des possibilités d'un nouvel engagement politique de l'art et de la littérature contemporains.

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Stein, Marinetti og publikum

Tirsdag d. 24. november kl. 19.30 inviterer Gertrude Stein Selskabet til en aften med oplæg og diskussion om Gertrude Steins forhold til futurismen og avantgardens aktivering af publikum.

Den danske digter Martin Glaz Serup vil fortælle om Steins forhold til futuristerne med udgangspunkt i Marinettis Futuristiske manifest fra 1909 og Steins parodi på dette i teksten Marry Nettie fra 1917. Den svenske teaterforsker Carl Åkerlund taler om iscenesættelsen af Steins skuespil med særligt henblik på publikumsrelationen. Carl Åkerlund tager afsæt i Unga Klaras forestilling Jag är jag för att min lilla hund kännar igen mig fra 2007.

Arrangementet finder sted på KUA, nærmere bestemt Institut for Kunst og Kulturvidenskabs Café: Karen Blixensvej 1, Bygning 21, stuen.

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A history of the odd ones out

The enormous impact of the Nordic avant-garde currents on mainsteam culture and daily life would have remained unnoticed. The work of many ground-breaking artists would not have been preserved anywhere and their tales left untold. That is if a Nordic network had not had the new and experimental idea of recording the history of the region’s avant-garde.

Nordforsk interview with Marianne Ping Huang and Tania Ørum

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World New Music Magazine 2009 – Swedish (hi)stories

In connection to the festival Listen to the World! ISCM World New Music Days, ISCM is releasing a new issue of World New Music Magazine, this year with Swedish theme. In a 160 pages issue, one can read about Swedish minimalism during five decades, electro acoustic music from analogue to laptop, debates on regional music. The Sound Art scene is investigated, women composers’ and sound artists’ position is discussed, the Swedish historiographic writings on new music is problematised. Read about the present state of orchestral music, independent record labels, text-sound/audio art, radio art, "string theories", improvisation struggling with isolationist past. Extra focus on Gothenburg and the Swedish – Danish region Öresund. World Music Days in rear-view mirror and ideas about the future. Voices from USA, Vietnam, Germany and Finland present their thoughts on contemporary Swedish music, and much more.

World New Music Magazine can be ordered from Nutida Musik: andreas.engstrom@nutidamusik.se 10 € + pp.

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Tania Ørum - De eksperimenterende tressere

- kunst i en opbrudstid

Tressernes kunst er i livlig dialog med samtiden. Gennem den mest eksperimenterende del af kunsten får man et billede af de voldsomme skift, der indtraf i perioden, og som grundlæggende ændrede den traditionelle hierarkiske samfundsorden, de herskende smagsnormer, hverdagslivet og de personlige relationer. Det er den eksperimenterende tilgang til verden - lysten til at krydse grænserne mellem kunstarter og mellem kunst, liv og politik - der har givet tresserne deres særlige stråleglans.

De eksperimenterende tressere er den første samlede fremstilling af perioden, som går på tværs af kunstarterne og trækker forbindelsen til samtidsfænomener som massemedier, kulturkamp, tegneserier og ungdomsoprør.

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Verbale Pupiller

October 22-25, 2009

Verbale Pupiller was held the first time in the fall of 2007. This year the second round will take place on 22-25 October 2009 in the Aarhus Art Building. The event features a poetry festival, a publishing fair, as well as an art exhibition, and this year Verbale Pupiller presents 30 poets, 30 artists, and 30 small presses from all over Scandinavia. The event comprises a variety of readings, performances, an art exhibition, a seminar, a book fair, concerts, and much more.

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Poetry Today

Seminar, October 20-21, 2009

A Seminar on Critical Approaches to and New Tendencies within the Study of Poetry. A collaboration between The Nordic Department, The Department of Language, Literature and Culture, The Department of Aesthetic Studies, The Doctoral School in Arts and Aesthetics and Verbale Puppiller.


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The World is Yours

5 September 2009 - 10 January 2010

Listen, feel, smell, and engage in a dialogue with international contemporary art. This season's impressive presentation of contemporary art at Louisiana features twenty-four acclaimed artists from all over the world.

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