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            1. Research
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            FORMER WEST
            2008–2016
            transnational research, education, publishing, and exhibition project
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            1. FORMER WEST is a long-term international research, education, publishing, and exhibition project (2008–2016). From within the field of contemporary art and theory it reflects upon the changes introduced to the world (and thus to the so-called West) by the political, cultural, artistic, and economic events of 1989. At the same time, it engages in rethinking the global histories of the last two decades in dialogue with post-communist and postcolonial thought, and speculates about a future that recognizes differences yet evolves through the political imperative of equality and the notion of “one world.”  

              The project takes the year 1989 as its starting point: a critical landmark in our recent history and a catalytic moment in the move away from the three-world partitioning of the Cold War and towards the “new world order.” The so-called West, blinded by the (default) victory of neoliberal capitalism on a global scale, failed to recognize the impact of the massive shifts put into motion by the events of that year, and continues to adhere to its own claims of hegemony. The term “former West,” never articulated as a counterpart to the widely used “former East,” thus does not refer to the status quo, but is rather an aspired to, imagined “farewell” to the “bloc” mentality. It is a critical, emancipatory, and aspirational proposal to rethink our global histories and to speculate upon our global futures through artistic and cultural practice.

              FORMER WEST is an extensive transnational, transdisciplinary research undertaking that includes: a series of educational activities, individual research projects, research seminars and symposia, research exhibitions, and major public events in the form of Research Congresses. The constantly evolving process of the research trajectory is registered and made publicly accessible through this online platform.

              In its culminating phase (2014–2016) the projects evolves through a series of Public Editorial Meetings held in various geographical and discursive contexts, and realized by means of a collaborative effort between the project’s densely knit web of individual and institutional partners from around the world. This process leads to a major publication, FORMER WEST: Art and the Contemporary after 1989, edited by Maria Hlavajova and Simon Sheikh (2016).

              The publication can be purchased via The MIT Press.

                  1. FORMER WEST
                  09.10.–10.10.2015
                  FORMER WEST Public Editorial Meeting
                  1. FORMER WEST
                  13.05.–14.05.2015
                  FORMER WEST Public Editorial Meeting
                  1. FORMER WEST
                  27.02.–28.02.2015
                  FORMER WEST Public Editorial Meeting
                  1. FORMER WEST
                  16.05.–17.05.2014
                  FORMER WEST public editorial meeting
                  1. FORMER WEST
                  31.08.–09.10.2013
                  exhibition curated by Maria Hlavajova
                  1. FORMER WEST
                  18.03.–24.03.2013
                  1. FORMER WEST
                  29.09.–23.12.2012
                  exhibition curated by What, How & for Whom/WHW
                  1. FORMER WEST
                  29.09.2012
                  congress
                  1. FORMER WEST
                  20.05.–15.07.2012
                  exhibition curated by Boris Groys
                  1. FORMER WEST
                  19.04.–20.04.2012
                  congress
                  1. FORMER WEST
                  05.02.–29.04.2012
                  exhibition curated by Kathrin Rhomberg
                  1. FORMER WEST
                  09.10.2011–23.11.2012
                  exhibition curated by Cosmin Costinas
                  1. FORMER WEST
                  23.01.–17.04.2011
                  exhibition by Olga Chernysheva curated by Cosmin Costinas
                  1. FORMER WEST
                  04.11.–06.11.2010
                  congress
                  1. FORMER WEST
                  12.09.–28.11.2010
                  group exhibition curated by Simon Sheikh
                  1. FORMER WEST
                  24.01.–28.03.2010
                  exhibition by Lawrence Weiner
                  1. FORMER WEST
                  05.11.–07.11.2009
                  congress
                  1. FORMER WEST
                  06.09.–09.11.2009
                  exhibition by Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor
          1. Research
          Itineraries