Tuesday 20 March 2007
2.30pm, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

Looking East: Contemporary Art From Eastern Europe
(Screenings: 2.30 to 3pm & 6 to 6.30pm / Panel Debate: 3 to 6 pm)

BIOGRAPHIES

Matei Bejenaru

Matei Bejenaru  is an artist and initiator of Periferic Biennial in Iasi, Romania (www.periferic.org). Established in 1997 as a performance festival, Periferic transformed into an international contemporary art biennial defined as a platform for discussions on the historical, socio-political and cultural context of Iasi. Together with a group of artists and philosophers from Iasi, Matei Bejenaru founded in 2001 the Vector Association, a contemporary art institution which supported the local emerging art scene to become locally and internationally visible. He is also member of the editorial staff of Vector – art and culture in context magazine, a publication that mainly analyses the regional artistic and cultural situation of the South East European countries, in the process of transition, and the Middle East region, subdued to the pressures of conflicts.

As an artist, he is socially engaged in analysing the way globalisation affects postcommunist countries labour force and rapidly changes mentalities and lifestyles. In 2003, for the second edition of the Tirana Biennial he installed a water post in the centre of the city offering free water distribution for Albanian inhabitants. In 2004, he initiated the cARTier project, a socio-cultural project aiming to regenerate a workers district from Iasi. In 2005, he published in Idea Magazine and later exhibited at Thyssen-Bornemisza Contemporary Art in Vienna, a Travelling Guide for Romanian illegal workers.

Tomasz Kitlinski

Tomasz Kitlinski holds his M. Phil. from the University of Paris 7 where he prepared his thesis, supervised by Julia Kristeva. His PhD. dissertation, The Stranger is in Ourselves, was published in 2001 and his book, co-authored with Pawel Leszkowicz, Love and Democracy. Reflections on the Homosexual Question in Poland in 2005. His texts on philosophy, visual arts and literature were published in Prague, Paris, New York and Warsaw; they include a contribution to Poland’s first gay and lesbian studies volume The Queer Mixture and literary texts. He co-authored an essay ‘Monica Dreyfus’ in a collection, Our Monica. Ourselves. The Clinton Affair and the National Interest, edited by Lauren Berlant and Lisa Duggan, New York University Press, 2001 (Sexual Cultures: New Directions from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies). He delivered papers and presented sound installations at conferences and performance art events. Together with Pawel Leszkowicz, he participated in Poland’s gay art campaign Let Us Be Seen. His new texts are forthcoming from Routledge and Prestel.

Paweł Leszkowicz

Art historian, curator and a lecturer specialising in contemporary art/visual culture and sexuality studies. He is a lecturer  at the Department of Art History, Adam Mickiewicz University, and the Department of Intermedia of the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland. He studied art history, gender studies and journalism at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Courtauld Institute of Art in London; and he was a Fulbright scholar at New School University in New York. He delivered presentations at Centre Georges Pompidou, Henry Moore Centre, Universities of Leeds, Manchester, New York and Vienna. He authored two books Helen Chadwick. The iconography of subjectivity (Krakow 2001) and co-authored with Tomek Kitlinski Love and Democracy. Reflections on the Homosexual Question in Poland (Kraków 2005) . He is a curator  of the exhibition of contemporary queer art Love and Democracy organised in 2005 and 2006 in Poland. He a curator of GK Collection – the first exhibition of the private art collection of Grażyna Kulczyk - the main private collector of contemporary art in Poland.

Olga Malá

Olga Malá’s professional work mainly lies within exhibition services in relation to contemporary art, and is linked with his activities at the prominent Czech cultural institution City Gallery Prague where he is working as  a curator of contemporary art.  He has been the curator of solo and group exhibitions: Czech artists of the generation of the eighties and nineties (2001), Young Flesh (2002), and Magdalena Jetelová (2001) and he introduced to the Czech viewing public the work of a number of contemporary Italian artists, including Mario Merz (l995) and Claudio Parmiggiani (l992).

He has also collaborated in international projects such as After the Wall (Moderna Museet, Stockholm (1999), Bovisa - Milano  Europa, Czech and Polish section, Milano (2001), the 3rd Minos Beach Art Symposium 93 - Art in politics in Crete, and prepared the exhibition, Three Approaches of Contemporary Czech Photography, at the Riverside Studio in London in l997.

In l997 and 1999 he was appointed Commissioner for the Pavilion of the Czech Republic at the Venice Biennale (1997: Ivan Kafka, 1999: Veronika Bromová). Together with fellow curator, Karel Srp, he established the Biennial of Young Czech Artists at the House of the Stone Bell in Prague, the first three years of which have already taken place: in 1994, 1996 and 1999 (Blue fire – Young Artists from Central Europe).

In 1998 he was chief curator of the international exhibition project: Close Echoes , Public Body – Artificial Space (British, Czech and  Austrian Art in the ´90s) which took place first  in the City Library in Prague and than in Kunsthalle Krems in Austria.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson is Head of the Modern Department and Reader in the History of Art at the   Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, where she directs research stemming fom her  new MA, Towards contemporary Art. Postmodernism and  postcommunism in Europe and beyond. She curated Pierre Klossowski and The Vicious Circle  for the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 2006, the former travelling to the Ludwig Museum Cologne and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris where it opesn in April 2007. . In 2002, she was principal curator of Paris, Capital of the Arts, 1900-1968,  which travelled to the Guggenheim, Bilbao. She was invited Professor at Paris-Sorbonne IV, from 2002-4. She has published extensively on twentieth-century European art, collaborating frequently with the Centre Pompidou and is currently preparing The Visual World of French Theory, volume 1: `Narrative Figuration’. She has edited and introduced three bilingual volumes juxtaposing French thinkers such as Lyotard, Foucault and Maurice Blanchot with the artists of their times. Special interests include women artists of the 1960s and 1970s and performance.