Pop Effects in Eastern Europe under Communist Rule

In September 1974 Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid exhibited four works at an exhibition of nonconformist art in Moscow, which had been reluctantly permitted by the authorities. Two weeks earlier, the artists had had an artwork – a double self-portrait as Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin – destroyed in the notorious demolition of the ‘Bulldozer … Continue reading

Piłsudski’s Architect

Bem Monument, Tarnów (source: wikicommons).

This article appears in the catalogue on the life and work of the Polish architect Adolf Szyszko-Bohusz in Kraków in 2013-14 – details here. I also gave a lecture for the finissage of the show in February 2014 – you can watch it here:   Writing after the liberation of Kraków at the end of … Continue reading

Andrzej Wróblewski and the Politics of Testimony


In September 2013, I gave a lecture on the great painter, Andrzej Wróblewski, at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. You can watch it here.

Sounding the Body Electric issued as CD!


This is just a quick post to say that Sounding the Body Electric has been issued as a double-CD by Bółt Records. A copy can be ordered here. The CD includes some new material which was not in the show (but is discussed in the accompanying book) such as Rudolf Komorous’s minimalist ‘Tomb of Malevitch’, … Continue reading

Signora Ladik


This piece was published in the epiphanies section of the June 2013 issue of the The Wire ♦ The centre of Pest – Budapest’s Rive Droite – is dense and busy, packed with elegant buildings dating from the city’s heyday before the First World War. They feature in the elegant images of the Hungarian capital … Continue reading

Sounding the Body Electric. Experiments in Art and Music in Eastern Europe 1957-1984 – II

Sounding the Body Electric at Calvert 22. Phot: Steve White

A new version of the 2012 show opened at Calvert 22 in London in late June 2013. it ran until Aug 26th. Here is a gallery of installation shots – courtesy of Calvert 22. There is also some footage of me talking about the show on the Calvert site here. You can download a pdf … Continue reading

Honzík – how high the sky?


This is an extract of a talk which I will present at the ‘Afterlives of Constructivism‘ conference at Princeton University in May 2013 ♦ At the height of the period of liberalization in Czechoslovakia in the mid 1960s, architects began imagining the kind of ambitious projects for cities and buildings that went far beyond the … Continue reading

Walking With Hansen

In lieu of the full text, here is a link to a talk on Oskar Hansen’s ideas about the mobile body. It was presented at a conference at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw in June 2013.

Pop Cinema in Eastern Europe – lecture at Tate

Daisies-1 copy

This lecture was given at Tate Modern in London on 15 March 2013 as part of the Global Pop conference.

Tomaszewski’s ‘Historia’ (occasional notes on posters)


In Eastern Europe before 1989, the state held a near-monopoly on all forms of public expression. Censors wielding red pencils checked every message that went into print. Fearful of the spread of free opinion, the authorities controlled the use of even the most basic office printing equipment. In Ceausescu’s Romania all typewriters, for instance, had … Continue reading