Accepted Paper:

Un/Worthy Presence and Authentication in Czech Art  
Maruska Svasek (Queen's University Belfast)

Paper short abstract:

This paper critically investigates the politics and poetics of authentication in Czech art before and after 1989, exploring dynamics of presence and absence in concrete cases.

Paper long abstract:

This paper critically investigates the politics and poetics of authentication in Czech art, both before and after the 1989 Velvet Revolution. It refers to current interdisciplinary work by scholars who have refused to draw strict analytical boundaries between 'socialist' and 'post-socialist' times. Insisting on the significance of memory, emotions, and imagination to the exploration of people-thing dynamics, it aims to throw light on processes of presence and absence in Czech art worlds. Analysing concrete examples of 1950s Socialist Realism, 1970s Action Art, 1990s Postmodern painting and more recent Documentarist productions, it asks what 'presence' means in each of these cases, and how it is realized and perceived. Who produces the works, how is their presence justified, and who provides financial, organizational and ideological support for their materialization? How do specific works gain or lose value and efficacy as they appear in, and disappear from, different social, political and temporal realms?

Panel P016
Art, Authenticity and Authority: Traversing the Power Struggles