CRAACE researchers will be taking part in online conferences in April 2021.
On 15 April, CRAACE PI Matthew Rampley will present his paper ‘The Search for Spirit and the Late Writings of Max Dvořák’ at the conference The Influence of the Vienna School of Art History II, organised on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Max Dvořák’s death by the Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague.
On the same day, on 15 April, CRAACE research fellow Julia Secklehner will participate in the conference What are our genealogies? Engaged figurations: Realism, socialist realism and soc-modernism in a global perspective organised at the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw. Her paper, ‘Social realisms, new aesthetics: Engaged photography in interwar Central Europe’ will be part of the panel ‘What are our genealogies? Engaged figurations in pre-war Central Europe‘. Interwar photography in Central Europe is frequently associated with the progressive experiments of avant-garde photographers such as László Moholy-Nagy and Jaromír Funke. Yet especially in the 1930s, modernist photography also developed a strong base of socially engaged art, which set the human figure at its centre. Negotiating between avant-garde photographic practices, local particularities, and the demands of worker photography to construct realistic depictions of proletarian life, young politically engaged photographers such as Judit Kárász, Irena Blühová, Edith Tudor-Hart and Friedl Dicker-Brandeis dedicated much of their work in the 1930s to the visualization of the region’s marginalized groups. Well-travelled, well-read and internationally connected, these photographers exemplify a turn towards socially engaged figuration in Central European modernism, in whose development women played a significant role. In light of their shared concerns to merge social engagement with modernist photography, Julia’s paper traces the genealogy of engaged figuration in interwar Central European photography in the work of photographers across the region. Exploring aspects of social documentary as well as activist photomontage as part of a transnational movement, she argues that photographers developed a specific form of engaged figuration in photography, which transformed models of creative experimentation into social statements.