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Local Contexts / International Networks – Avant-Garde Magazines in Central Europe (1910–1935)

Local Contexts / International Networks – Avant-Garde Magazines in Central Europe (1910–1935)

2015. szeptember 17-19.

International conference       |       Kassák  Museum  Budapest       |       17–19 September 2015

The subject of the conference is the ‘Central European avant-garde magazine’, arguably the most important medium of communication for progressive literature and visual arts in the region during and after WWI. Given the multifaceted nature of the phenomenon, the analysis will take an interdisciplinary perspective and employ several different approaches. The avant-garde magazine will be examined as a discursive space of avant-garde communication, as a Gesamtkunstwerk, and as a historical document. As the recent conjuncture in scholarship positions the art of the region in the international context, our aim is to draw more attention to the interrelationships between the local contexts and international networks of Central European avant-gardes.

How did the different cultural and historical characteristics affect the ‘local’ avant-gardes of Central Europe? How are the avant-garde magazines of Central Europe related to each other? Accordingly, how could ‘Central European avant-gardes’ be described from the perspectives of Kraków, Warsaw, Prague, Bratislava or Budapest? Through detailed case studies, the conference will emphasize the complex and problematic nature of Central European avant-garde magazines regarding the questions of national/local and international/cosmopolitan. The conference includes monographic, thematic and problem-oriented lectures on current research on local avant-garde magazines published during WWI and in the interwar period.








Thursday, 17 September 2015.






Plenary I.


Edit Sasvári, Kassák Museum

The Kassák Museum in Central and East European perspective


Eszter Balázs, Kodolányi János University of Applied Arts

‘Artist and Public Intellectual, Artist or Public Intellectual’ – Polemics of the Hungarian Avant-Garde on New Art, 1915–1918






Session I.


Oliver Botar, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg

Moholy-Nagy: Art as Information / Information as Art


Jindrich Toman, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Moholy Nagy’s idea of a Synthetic Journal


Sonia de Puineuf, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, Brest

“Syntetische Zeitschrift” – Study cases Nová Bratislava and Nový Svet






Session II.


Lucie Česálková, Masaryk University, Brno

Artuš Černík between national and media contexts


Vendula Hnídková, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague

Styles of Styl – Platform for Czech modern architecture


Przemysław Strożek, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw

Chaplin goes viral – Avant-garde publications and the images of popular culture



Dinner at the Petőfi Literary Museum




Friday, 18 September 2015.



Plenary II.


Gábor Dobó – Klára Rudas – Merse Pál Szeredi, Kassák Museum

Curators’ introduction to the exhibition ‘Signal to the World – War ∩ Avant-Garde ∩ Kassák


Merse Pál Szeredi, Kassák Museum

The politics of artistic utopia – Lajos Kassák and MA in Vienna (1920–1925)


Gábor Dobó, Kassák Museum

“Extraterrestrials in Budapest” – Self-description of Kassák’s avant-garde magazine Dokumentum (1926–1927)






Session III.


Kinga Siewior, Jagiellonian University, Kraków

From aesthetics to anthropology – The concept of East in Zenit magazine


Jakub Kornhauser, Jagiellonian University, Kraków

From repulsion to attraction – A long story of surrealism in Romanian avant-garde magazines


Dušan Barok, Monoskop, Bratislava

Body of Thought – Artists’ texts and their contribution to theory






Session IV.


Klára Prešnajderová, Slovak Design Museum, Bratislava

Two magazines with two different concepts – Slovenská Grafia and Nová Bratislava


Michał Burdziński, University of Warsaw, Warsaw

How much did our graphic arts fly aloft? On defining the spirit of avant-garde pretensions in an impecunious world


Hanna Marciniak, Charles University, Prague

The D Programme and the Czech avant-garde in the 1940s






Session V.


Markéta Theinhardt, Université Paris-Sorbonne, Paris

L’Art et les Artistes: Revue mensuelle d’art ancien et moderne (1905–1939) – Central European art between modernism and conservatism


Vojtěch Lahoda, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague

Global Art History “avant la lettre” – The Case of Umělecký měsíčník (1911–1914)


Lenka Bydžovská, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague

On the extreme left? The Devětsil monthly ReD in international networks (1927–1931)







Saturday, 19 September 2015.



Session VI.


Piotr Rypson, National Museum in Warsaw

Tadeusz Peiper’s strategy for Zwrotnica magazine


Michalina Kmiecik, Jagiellonian University, Kraków

The aftermath of Zwrotnica? Kraków avant-garde and its magazines in the 1930s


Michał Wenderski, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań

Between Poland and the Low Countries – Mutual relations and cultural exchange between constructivist magazines and avant-garde formations







On the research of Central-European avant-garde magazines








The conference is accompanied by the temporary exhibition entitled ‘Signal to the World – War ∩ Avant-Garde ∩ Kassák dedicated to the first avant-garde magazine of Lajos Kassák, A Tett [The Act] published between 1915 and 1916. The exhibition marks the centenary of Kassák’s ‘debut’. The Kassák Museum is the only thematic showroom of the historical avant-garde in Hungary. Its objectives in this regard are to reach a broader audience and to establish the museum as a regional focus point for research into the avant-garde and modernism.




The conference is organized by Gábor Dobó and Merse Pál Szeredi (Kassák Museum). Cooperating partners are the Charles University, the Jagiellonian University, the Adam Mickiewicz University, the University of Warsaw, the Masaryk University, the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Slovak Academy of Sciences, the National Museum in Warsaw, the Slovak Design Museum and






Due to the limited seating capacity of the conference venue in the Kassák Museum we would like to ask everyone who is interested in participating to register by 11 September 2015 at
When you register, please state which days of the conference you would like to attend. (Facebook event RSVP does not count as registration!)

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The conference is supported by the International Visegrad Fund and Centre français de recherche en sciences sociales (CEFRES).

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