VYTAUTAS MAGNUS UNIVERSITY ARCHITECTURE AND CONSTRUCTION INSTITUTE Daiva Citvarien THE IDEOLOGICAL CHANGES OF LITHUANIAN ART DISCOURSE IN THE 1990s Summary of the Doctoral Dissertation Humanities, Art Studies (03H) Kaunas 2008
The right of doctoral studies was granted to Vytautas Magnus University jointly with the Architecture and Construction Institute on July 15, 2003, by the decision No. 926 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. Scientific supervisor: Asoss. prof. dr. RasutŽUKIEN Magnus University, Humanities, Arts (Vytautas Studies 03 H) Council of defense of the doctoral dissertation: Chairman: Prof. habil. dr. VytautasELDNAVKSUASA Magnus University, (Vytautas Humanities, Arts Studies 03 H) Members: Prof. habil. dr.Egidijus ALEKSANDRAVIČIUS Magnus University, (Vytautas Humanities, History 05 H) Prof. habil. dr.Algirdas GAIUTIS Pedagogical University, Humanities, (Vilnius Philosophy 01 H) Asoss. prof. dr.Jurgita STANIŠKYT Magnus University, Humanities, (Vytautas Arts Studies 03 H) Dr.Ieva PLEIKIEN(Vilnius Academy of Arts, Humanities, Arts Studies 03H) Opponents: Prof. dr. (hp)Irmina MATONYT (Institute for Social Research, Social Sciences, Sociology 05 S) Dr.Skaidra TRILUPAITYT Philosophy and Arts Research Institute, (Culture, Humanities, Arts Studies 03 H) The official defense of the dissertation will be held at 3 p.m. on November 28, 2008 at Vytautas Magnus University Art Gallery “101”, Laisvs alja 53. Address: Donelaičio 58, LT-44248, Kaunas Phone: (8-37) 323599 Summary of the doctoral dissertation was sent out on October 28, 2008. The dissertation is available at the National Martynas Mavydas Library, Library of Vytautas Magnus University and Library of Architecture and Construction Institute. The doctoral dissertation was prepared at Vytautas Magnus University in 2003-2008.
VYTAUTO DIDIOJO UNIVERSITETAS ARCHITEKTROS IR STATYBOS INSTITUTAS Daiva Citvarien IDEOLOGINIAI LIETUVOS MENO DISKURSO POKYČIAI XX a. PASKUTINIAJAME DEIMTMETYJE Daktaro disertacijos santrauka Humanitariniai mokslai, menotyra (03 H) Kaunas 2008
Doktorantros ir daktaro mokslo laipsni suteikimo teis suteikta Vytauto Didžiojo universitetui kartu su Architektros ir statybos institutu 2003 m. liepos 15 d. Lietuvos Respublikos Vyriausybs nutarimu Nr. 926 Darbo vadov: Doc. dr. RasutŽUKIEN (Vytauto Didiojo universitetas, humanitariniai mokslai, menotyra 03 H). Disertacijos gynimo taryba Pirmininkas: Prof. habil. dr.Vytautas LEVANDAUSKAS Didiojo universitetas, (Vytauto humanitariniai mokslai, menotyra 03 H) Nariai: Prof. habil. dr.Egidijus ALEKSANDRAVIČIUS (Vytauto Didiojo universitetas, humanitariniai mokslai, istorija 05 H) Prof. habil. dr.Algirdas GAIUTIS pedagoginis universitetas, (Vilniaus humanitariniai mokslai, filosofija 01 H) Doc. dr.Jurgita STANIŠKYT (Vytauto Didiojo universitetas, humanitariniai mokslai, menotyra 03 H) Dr.Ieva PLEIKIEN (Vilniaus dails akademija, humanitariniai mokslai, menotyra 03H) Oponents: Prof. dr. (hp)Irmina MATONYT (Socialini tyrim institutas, socialiniai mokslai, sociologija 05 S) Dr.Skaidra TRILUPAITYT (Kultros, filosofijos ir meno institutas, humanitariniai mokslai, menotyra 03 H) Disertacija bus ginama viešame posdyje, kuris vyks 2005 m. lapkričio 28 d. 15 val. Vytauto Didžiojo universiteto men galerijoje „101”, Laisvs alja 53. Adresas: Donelaičio 58, LT-44248, Kaunas, Tel.: (8-37) 323599 Disertacijos santrauka išsista 2008 m. spalio 28 d. Su disertacija galima susipažinti Lietuvos nacionalinje Martyno Mažvydo, Vytauto Didžiojo universiteto, Architektros ir statybos instituto bibliotekose. Disertacija parayta Vytauto Didiojo universitete 20032008 metais.
INTRODUCTION The grounding of the thesis.In the last decade of the 20th the Lithuanian art century discourse talking and writing about art, and the art itself in many cases was shaped by the ideological and value related attitudes that had gained their ground in the public space during the period of the Rebirth in 19881991. The contradictory ideological orientations, which were shaping in the postsoviet society, witnessed an active struggle of ideological discourses. The objective of this struggle was the legitimization of different content put into the conceptions of art, artist and artistic work: a new identity of artist and the conception of “true art were produced looking back to the pre-war and soviet traditions of modernist art or turning to the conception of postmodernism, or they were based on the combination of these ideological orientations. In the 1990s the value related and ideological contradictions of the dominant discourses pointed not only to the influence of different ideological orientations on the conception of art, but also to the significant changes in the artistic field: the processes of the autonomic formation of the artistic field stimulated the competition among art institutions, artists’ generations and attitudes. During the discussed period the processes of art discourse witnessed a struggle for power in the artistic field among the groups of interest and the central art institutions; later this struggle moved to the art projects, artistic production and the declarations of those, who were writing about art. Thus, the thesis questions the method of analysis of the work of art as an autonomous object, as this method stimulated the perception of artistic creation as an act independent from social, political and ideological factors. The first important step is to reconsider the role of the postsoviet cultural elite and to study the sources of its messiahnistic position and its dissociation from the social environment. Secondly, the understanding of a specific role of cultural elite in the societies of East Central Europe and Lithuania also allows rethinking the reasons why in this region there were established the characteristic conceptions of art, artist and creative production as not having anything in common with social reality. During the soviet period formed conception of art not only dissociated the artistic production from the social processes, but also contributed to the formation of the closed monologous culture. Thirdly, the interdisciplinary character of the thesis stimulates to refuse the traditional attitude to different practices of the artistic field as autonomic forms of activity and to analyze the processes of the artistic field as
an integral artistic discourse, which includes cultural, social, ideological and other contexts. Thus, the thesis links the change of conception of art during the postsoviet period with the socio-political processes and various aesthetic and psychological dimensions of dominant ideologies and broader cultural processes. The art discourse is analyzed as an integral social process of the production and reproduction of meanings. Such analysis allows connecting language with practice. The form and the meaning of discourse are studied taking into consideration the speaking subject, its power positions and institutional context. The of Lithuanian art discourse, as aideological aspect relevant and important perspective in contemporary art criticism, makes it possible not only to transcend the boundaries of aesthetic autonomy, but also to search for deep connections between art and socio-cultural environment. The object of the researchis the ideological processes of art discourse in the last decade of the 20th the formation and decline of different value related and century ideological orientations, and their correlation, which makes an influence upon the changing conception of art and artist. These processes are analyzed referring to the reviews of the exhibitions of the discussed period, the exhibitions themselves, the declarations by the artists, who actively participated on the art scene, and their works, which were shaping the public art life. Since ideological visions and value related attitudes were produced and disseminated by different discursive practices, a separate attention is devoted to various layers of the artistic field to the sociopolitical context, the works of art, the institutional exhibitions, and to the texts in cultural periodicals. The main focus of the thesis is on the most vivid, ideologically engaged attitudes and visions, thus the thesis does not discuss poorly articulated positions, e.g., feminist art practices or those texts, which did not articulated any position overtly. Since in this decade the strongest ideological confrontation is seen between the central art institutions Lithuanian Artists’ Association and Contemporary Art Centre (in certain cases Soros Contemporary Art Centre or the Ministry of Culture, which belongs to the political field, were involved into this confrontation), the thesis confines itself to the analysis of the activity of the central art institutions LAA, CAC and SCAC and to the consideration on the mentioned ideological collision, which marked all the processes in the artistic field (the policy of exhibition organization, the publications, LAA meetings, etc.). At the same time there is a self-conscious refusal of the analysis of the practices
and dispositions of other producers of the discourse (Vilnius Academy of Arts, museums, galleries, publishers of periodicals, and other discursive structures), holding the view that they deserve a separate study. The objective of the research is to make a thorough analysis of the ideological and value related changes, which took place in the Lithuanian art discourse in the 1990s, and by underlining the artistic, institutional and sociopolitical contexts to reveal the changing content of symbolic constructions and their influence on the struggles for legitimization in the artistic field. The tasks of the research: • to define the role of the postsoviet intellectual (artist) in the Lithuanian art processes during the Rebirth period and in the years of independence; • to explore the forms ofpolitics of memory, which were established in the public discourse; • to define the specificity of the concept of ideology in the postsoviet society; to analyze the ideological nature of modernist art in the postsoviet society; • to define the ideological attitudes of the main art institutions; to disclose the character and reasons of the ideological collisions of the institutions; to make a thorough analysis of the most significant exhibitions and to reveal the • ideological implications of the narratives being constructed by them; • to reveal the most important mechanisms of art legitimization, which were implanted in the cultural periodicals of this period; • to make a thorough analysis of strongly ideologically engaged discourses and the connections of ideological collisions with the politics of institutional domination. The methods of the research and methodological approaches.The thesis combines the methodological approaches of sociology of culture and New Art History with historiographic analysis of the events: the past events are reconstructed referring to the archive documents, public declarations in mass media (reviews, interviews with the artists, etc.), the texts in the catalogs of exhibitions, and the exhibitions themselves as cultural narratives. Besides, the author of the thesis made an interview with the most important agents in the artistic field. The case study is used for more detail reconstruction of historical events (the examples of the demolishing and (re)building of
monuments, e.g. the case of the re-erection of Vytautas Magnus monument); it helps to disclose both objective and subjective denominators of the changes in the discussed period. It stimulates to review the role of the postsoviet elite in the cultural field and to investigate the public space, which was influenced by different ideological orientations. Analyzing such contextual phenomena of art life as exhibitions, reviews, works of art and the declarations of their authors, a big attention is paid to the environment of the functioning of art discourse and to the sociopolitical contexts. The thesis applies the approaches of New Art History that proposes that there is no privileged space, independent from the circulation of cultural signs, which are defined by institutional power: the meaning of the work of art is being formed in its relationships with its environment, it is not given or being found; and the museums, galleries, the publishers of cultural periodicals are those “ideological state apparatuses, which not only legitimate a work of art and produce its meaning, but also illustrate the material effects of the dominating ideology. The operation of the dominating ideologies in different layers of the art discourse was analyzed considering the ideological strategies abstracted by Norman Fairclough: authorization(referring to the authority of traditions, habits, law, and individuals having certain institutional mandate), rationalization(indicating the usefulness and knowledge of institutionalized actions, which are constructed by society in order to give them cognitive legacy), moral evolution(indicating the system of values); myth poetry (legitimating through narrative).Literary critic and theorist Terry Eagleton added two more aspects to the cases of ideological legitimization:universalization and naturalizationby these authors were helpful for the analysis of the. The comments made text as a maze of meanings, perceptions and reactions, which belong to the production of ideological reality; as a product of certain signifying practices, which must be evaluated, analyzed or understood inseparably from cultural context and social conditions of production and reception. The other important element of art discourse exhibitions is analyzed as a main tool for art propagation, which leaves its trace in various cultural discourses: in contemporary art studies, journalism, academic criticism, cultural anthropology, etc. The way, which is used to talk about art, and the way it is perceived, are usually determined by the representation of institutional, social or even personal values, thus
doing the analysis of an exhibition, according to Bruce Ferguson, it is very important to raise such questions as:whois speaking? andto whom?under what circumstances? where? andwhen? The attention should be paid to the fact, that the aim of any representation is the control of meaning, for which it is important not only the content of representation, but also the means. Since an exhibition operates as a powerful rhetorical power, i.e. a cultural narrative sustaining certain identities, thus in order to analyze the conscious or unconscious character of an exhibition it is important to contextualize the exhibition itself, to investigate it in its social, ideological, and other contexts, to look for the gaps, pauses and other signs of conformism of the text (exhibition as a text). Thus, the art, art institutions, and exhibitions must be researched as a form of the consciousness industry, a strategic system of representation: the labels of works of art, the color of the walls, the cases of art censorship, light, curator strategies, brochures, catalogs all these things is a system of exhibition, which is always political and didactic, showing a clear link with institutional representation. Timothy W. Luke, who has analyzed the operation of power and politics discourses in art exhibitions, points that the meaning of the works of art is created and implemented only after the audience reads them. Texts (in this case the exhibitions and works of art) are not absolutely controlled either by their authors or curators; the content of the work of art is being defined in its reception, but the perception of that content is created in the social context of the museum, which in its turn depends upon local, national or even international context of politics. Thus, the analysis of different places of the art discourse production allows the study of the Lithuanian art processes as a field of power relationships, functioning in social space. Then, rather wide possibilities open up to apply a sociological approach. Especially useful is the conception of theartistic field, formulated by the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, which explains a field as a system of social relationships, functioning according its own inner logic, and consisting of rival institutions and individuals. Thus, the Lithuanian artistic field of the tenth decade is analyzed as an arena for struggles for the right to monopolize the implementation ofsymbolic violence (according to Bourdieu every social field consists of unnamed rules, operating as symbolic violence, which is nor recognized as violence): for the art legitimization or the
power monopoly to tell authoritatively who is allowed to name himself an artist or to tell, who is an artist, and who has authority to tell, what is an artist. According to Bourdieu every agent of the artistic field (in this case the artist, art critic, curator, art administrator) tries to impose the limits of his own field to the others depending on his own interests. The initiative of changes, however, usually belongs to the new (i.e. the young) participants, who have the smallest amount of a specific capital and are able to establish their own identity, i.e. difference, and who impose new principles of thinking and expression, and make a break with common ways of thinking. In this thesis the new agents of artistic field are named the young generation of artists of the tenth decade, the creators of contemporary art (Artras Raila, Gediminas Urbonas, Deimantas Narkevičius, Dainius Liškevičius, Gintaras Makarevičius, Evaldas Jansas, Egl Rakauskait et al.), who opposed their own creative attitudes against the worldview of the elder generation. Thus the struggle for legitimization is treated as the struggle betweenorthodoxyandheterodoxya form of the opposition between the so-called dominators, who participate in artistic field for a long time and have accumulated a large symbolic capital, and the entering young artists, being at the very beginning of the process of legitimization. The ongoing struggle between field participants allows to those, who have achieved the domination in the field, to legitimate the other field participants or to push them out. In order to achieve such domination one needs to accumulate a largesymbolic capital,characteristic to that field, and in order such power could become legitimate, it must be no longer be recognizable as such the power successfully legitimizing itself is established silently, and not openly. Thus, byhabitus (the aggregate of precognitive permanent dispositions) the dominant imperatives (moral norms and rules) are transformed into the habitual forms of social behavior and social “common meaning. It must be noted that Bourdieu’s theoretical perspective, which relates the worldview differences with class relationships, is hardly to be applied in the case of Lithuania. Besides, as Trilupaityt notes, the symbolic capital in the postsoviet art world rarely gets a form of economical capital. Still such statement is not very precise: though during the years of independence the symbolic capital did not give an evident economic profit (during the soviet period this form of capital usually had also an economic ground various social benefits), the done research shows that the institutional and ideological
struggles, which flared up during the analyzed period, in most cases were stimulated by the economic interest a striving to maintain their privileges or to recover the lost ones. On the other hand, the symbolic capital, accumulated during the soviet period, helped to the “nonconformist (or “semi-nonconformist”, according to Alfonsas Andriuškevičius) elite to establish its status and to monopolize the main places in the modified art institutions and various expert comities. The good example of this is the case of the group “24. The members of the group “24 were the professors and teachers at Vilnius Academy of Arts, the participators and laureates of Baltic painting triennials, the members of art councils, and the influential personas at Artists’ Association, who got the best exposition halls for their personal exhibitions. As Laima Laučkait notes, the majority of groups established by the elder generation, which declared the priority of artist’s individuality and the freedom of creativity for every member, were fighting for their existence in this way. Thus, Bourdieu’s scheme of artistic field, as a field of power relationships operating in social space, allows a new look at the relationships between artistic activity and social space. The scheme is very useful for the research on the “break periodthe processes of forming artistic field and changes in postsoviet society in 1990s. The sociological perspective of the thesis allows the analysis of all areas of artistic life as an integral part of social life, dialectically connected with all other elements of social life. So the thesis studies the exhibition reviews, interviews with artists, catalogue texts and exhibitions themselves as cultural narratives, sustaining certain identities. These elements of art discourse can be seen as the ways for aesthetic legitimization, disciplined disinformation, ideological restraint or mythological manipulation only by understanding their political context. The main concepts.In the thesis the termcultural eliteis used referring to Bourdieu’s conception of intellectual, which is connected with the question: who has influence in making definitions and classifications; besides the concept of intellectual itself is already a form of symbolic capital, the value and possession of which is an object of struggle. According to Bourdieu, the form of intellectual’s capital is dependent upon economical capital, thus he calls the intellectuals “the fraction overpowered by the dominating class. On the other hand, intellectuals are in a controversial position they are within the dominating class, because they enjoy their power and privileges acquired