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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
– Programme

Historiography of the Avant-Gardes

November 18-22, 2009

Department of Arts and Cultural Studies - University of Copenhagen and Nordic Network of Avant-Garde Studies

Wednesday Nov. 18

Download Wednesday's & Thursday's programme in pdf

Students’ Conference
14.00 - 15.10 Post-Production and Circulation Abstracts
15.30 - 17.00 The Art of Noise after Futurism Abstracts

Thursday Nov. 19

Students’ Conference
  9.00 - 11.30 Does it Work? Abstracts
12.30 - 13.40 The Creation of Constructive, Alternative Realities Abstracts
14.00 - 14.50 The Manifesto: Text and Praxis Abstracts
15.15 - 16.45 Avantgardistic demands to Politics, Political demans to the Avant-Garde Abstracts
20.00 – 22.00 Registration and reception

Friday Nov. 20

Download Friday's programme in pdf

  9.00 Registration
10.00 Opening Address
Room 21.0.54
10.30 Keynote:
Room 21.0.54
Vojtech Lahoda (Charles University) - Affinity, Emulation or Adaption? “Cubism Remake” on the Eastern Orbit Abstract
Moderator: Hubert Van den Berg
12.00 Lunch
13.30 Paper Sessions
  Avant-Garde Historiographies
Room 27.0.17

(Update: Unfortunately, Mikkel Bruun Zangenberg is unable to participate)

  • David Cottington: “Like mushrooms overnight: a conjunctural analysis of the emergence of the avant-garde” Abstract
  • Konstantin Dudakov-Kashuro: “Revising the aporias of the avant-garde” Abstract
Moderator: Per Bäckström
  Reconstructing European Avant-Garde Traditions
Room 23.2.47
  • Lidia Głuchowska: “The Historiography of the Yiddish Avant-Garde in Poland” Abstract
  • Irina Cărăbaş: "How To Write One’s Own History. The Romanian Avant-Garde Between Anachronism and Revolution” Abstract
Moderator: Jesper Olsson
  Cases in Early Nordic Avant-Garde
Room 24.0.11
  • Andrea Kollnitz: “International Influences - Danger or Liberation? Internationalism and Nationalism in Early 20th century Art-criticism” Abstract
  • Irmeli Hautamäki: “The Gender of the Avant-garde – How to write a history of a woman avant-garde artist, Ellen Thesleff as a case?” Abstract
  • Stefan Nygaard: “The journal Euterpe and the Politics of the avant-garde in Finland at the turn of the 20th Century” Abstract
Moderator: Marianne Ping Huang
15.00 Coffee
15.30 – 17.00 Keynote:
Room 21.0.54
Wolfgang Asholt (Osnabrück University) - Theory-Death or Challenge for Art and Literature. What Remains of the Project of the (Historical) Avant-Garde? Abstract
Moderator: Per Stounbjerg
19.00 Conference excursion - Louisiana The World is Yours

Saturday Nov. 21

Download Saturday's programme in pdf

10.00 Keynote:
Room 21.0.54
Malte Hagener (Lüneburg University) - Routes of Exchange, Imaginary Geographies Mapping the Networks of the Film Avant-Garde, 1919-39 Abstract
Moderator: Tania Ørum
11.30 Paper Sessions
  Historizing Collective Processes in Postwar Avant-Garde
Room 21.0.19
  • Annika Öhrner: “Historizing a neo-avantgarde in transit, Barbro Östlihn and New York” Abstract
  • Maibritt Pedersen: “Self-organisation and collective historiography” Abstract
  • Laura Luise Schultz: “Re-enactments in the archive – the ”living history” of the avant-garde Abstract
Moderator: Marianne Ping Huang
  Avantgarde music in radio and television in Denmark 1950-90
Room 21.0.54
  • Agneta Mei Hytten Abstract
• Jørgen Lekfeldt Abstract
• Jens Rossel Abstract
Moderator: Torben Jelsbak
  Cases in Nordic Postwar Avant-Garde
Room 21.0.49
  • Thomas Hvid Kromann: Arena Sub-Pub and the alternative presses around 1970
  • Andreas Engström: ”Swedish minimalism during five decades: institutionalized avant-garde, underground, everywhere...” Abstract
  • Elisabeth Friis: Reproductive parataxis Abstract
Moderator: Magnus Thorø Clausen
  Cases in Contemporary Nordic Avant-Garde
Room 21.1.47

(Update: Unfortunately, Marianne Ølholm is unable to participate)

  • Mathias Kokholm: “Networking Little Mags and Small Presses” Abstract
  • Per Bäckström: ”Norwegian Avant-Garde – A Contradiction in Terms? How to write a history of the denied” Abstract
Moderator: Tania Ørum
13.00 Lunch
14.00 Key Panel: Cultural and Institutional Geographies of the Avant-Gardes
Room 21.0.54
  • Rikard Schönström: ”Locating the Avant-Garde” Abstract
  • Nils Olsson: “The Swedish 1960s as a radical scene?” Abstract
  • Kim Simonsen: “Avant-Gardes of the Faeroe Islands” Abstract
Moderator: Tania Ørum
15.30 Coffee
16.00 - 17.30 Key Panel: Avant-Gardes, Technology and Media
Room 21.0.54

(Update: Unfortunately, Richard Murphy is unable to participate. We are, however, very pleased to announce the participation of Jonas Ingvarsson)

  • Jonas Ingvarsson. "Cutting up Beach Boys: SMiLE and the Tape/Body Splice"
  • Jesper Olsson: “Collaborators in Art and Technology: The Case of Billy Klüver” Abstract
  • Ulrik Ekman: ”A Situative Urban Media Art Event: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Under ScanAbstract
Moderator: Marianne Ping Huang
19.00 Conference Dinner at Bastionen + Løven

Sunday Nov. 22

Download Sunday's programme in pdf

10.00 Key Panel: Historizing Early Nordic Avant-Gardes
Room 21.0.54

(Update: Unfortunately, Benedikt Hjartarsson is unable to participate)

  • Hubert van den Berg: ”Nordic avant-garde between historical configuration and historiographic construct"
  • Per Stounbjeg: “Rebels and Renegades - Strindberg, Artaud and the Avant-garde”
  • Torben Jelsbak: Avant-Garde Activism: “The Case of the New Student Society in Copenhagen (1922-24)” Abstract
  • Dorthe Aagesen: “History writing and curatorial practices” Abstract
Moderators: Marianne Ping Huang & Tania Ørum
12.30 Closing address
Room 21.0.54
13.00 Lunch

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »