Homemaking and everyday life have been central to political debates, artistic practices and for theorists in the twentieth century. For instance, Walter Benjamin considered the home at the beginning of the 20th century to be like a universe for the private citizen. To represent the home was not just à la mode; interior design as a form of self-expression was much spread across Europe and the American continent. Home interiors became metaphors for bourgeois identity, but the home was also treated as the battlefield for existential and social problems. The Swedish author Ellen Key proposed that better tastes in interior design, with simple lines and light colour schemes, would create better citizens. The Russian writer and revolutionist Alexandra Kollontay had a radically differing view than Key on family life and propagated for communal care and women’s roles outside of family structures. In the post-war period consumerism and advertising evolved around the ‘perfect’ home and private family-life. The home became once again a debated topic with political impetus.
Research on the home has contributed to discussions regarding, for instance, canon formation and power structures. In many countries in the West, the women’s movement changed how the home environment and family life were politicized in society and narrated in art in the 1960’s. In Eastern Europe and the Baltic states domestic environments have been equally potent matters but within a different political and artistic framework. Through this conference “Narrating Home in Visual Arts Through an East West Divide” we wish to explore how different fields in the visually based arts including film, design and architecture have investigated home and family life in specific Eastern and Western European cultural and political contexts.
The conference is in collaboration with Moderna Museet and is funded by the Centre for Baltic and Eastern European Studies, Södertörn University. For questions please contact [email protected] or [email protected]
The conference is organized by the Center for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) and School of Culture and Education in collaboration with Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Sam Bardaouil, PhD Art History and Curator, co-founder of Art Reoriented
Andres Kurg, Senior Researcher, Estonian Academy of Arts, Faculty of Art and Culture, Institute of Art History and Visual Culture.
Susan E. Reid, Professor of Cultural History, Loughborough University
Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback, Professor of Philosophy Södertörn University
Katarina Wadstein MacLeod
Conference is free of charge but participants need to register
24 January, Södertörn University, Flemingsberg
8.30-9.15 Registration and Coffee
9.15-9.30 Welcome and Introduction
9.30-10.30 Keynote Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback, Go, Home
Piotr Korduba, Between the public and the private. Apartments in postwar Polen.
Elisabetta Rattalino, Ugo La Pietra and the dematerialisation of ‘home’ in 1970s Italy.
Home and gender
Martina Pachmanová, The revolution of the domestic(ated) woman: On gender politics of Czech inter-war avant-garde and its impact on socialist concepts of family, home and habitation.
Yulia Gradskova, A woman and her home – from Soviet to post-Soviet housing policy.
Martina Malešič, Old Habits, New Homes Architects Ivanšek and Housing Research for a Higher Dwelling Standard.
Juliane Aleithe, Narrating Furniture after 1945: The Triad between Sweden, West and East Germany.
Nicola Foster and Fran Norton, The Visual Discourse of 'home' Through the Ideological divide between Liberalism and Communism.
Home as site for artistic practice
Candice M. Hamelin, The Home and its Shifting Role in East German Photography in the Honecker Era.
Marija Drėmaitė, Artists’ dwellings in Soviet Lithuania as an architectural expression of privileged creative classes.
Keynote Andres Kurg, Free Communication: From Soviet Future Cities to Kitchen Conversations.
25 January Moderna Museet, Skeppsholmen, Stockholm
9-30-10 Registration and coffee
Keynote Sam Bardouil, Surrealism in Egypt: Modernism and the Art and Liberty Group
Alexandra Kokoli, The StenchWench as failed hostess in capitalism’s housing crisis.
Elysee Speaks, Everyday labors: the domestic politics of the bead.
12.00-13.15 LUNCH and exhibitions
Home and politics
Burcu Dogramaci, The migratory living room. Dwelling and furnishing in a foreign land.
Rujana Rebernjak, Domesticating Self-Management: Representations of Home as Interface for Political Participation in Socialist Yugoslavia.
Sven Olov Wallenstein, Swedish Modern Architecture and the Apparatus of the Home.
14.45-15.00 SCREENING Martha Rosler Kitchen Semiotics 1975
Design and Furnishing
Flavia Frigeri, When art sold its soul to upholstery.
Irina Seits, What’s in my home? Russian constructivism, European functionalism and IKEA’s business philosophy as major contributors to the contemporary notion of home.
16.30-17.30 Keynote Susan E. Reid, Consuming Pictures and Curating the Self in the Late Soviet Home
17.30. Concluding notes.