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10 Jul 2008

Public Preparation: An international seminar on nationalism and contemporary art

Symptoms of nationalism and critique of nationalism in the practice of contemporary art


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Symptoms of nationalism and critique of nationalism in the practice of contemporary art

Date: July 11, 2008

Venue: Pärnu Artists' House, Nikolai 27, Pärnu, Estonia


An international seminar in the series of Public Preparation events concentrating on the relations of contemporary art and nationalism in different places of the world.

The summer seminar furthers the current agenda of the Public Preparation project, continuing the thinking camp Exercises on Adhocray that took place in July 2007 and dealt with self-organisation and grassroots democracy in the field of contemporary art; it also follows discussions and debates from the international seminar Translocal Express. Jubilee Edition which addressed the growing tendencies of nationalism on Eastern borders of Europe (from Helsinki to Istanbul) and its relation to contemporary art. Let's not forget, that during this year many European nation states celebrate its 90th anniversary – these celebrations provide a vivid and indicative context to inspect and rethink the idea of nation and nation state but also the role of art in these ideological constructions.

In the upcoming seminar a number of contemporary art professionals – artists, curators and art historians – will give a comprehensive insight into the art scenes and dominant mentalities in the social realities they are active in. The aim of the seminar is to get an overview about diverse cultural and artistic situations from the perspective of national values. The series of inputs could become a ground from which to continue with comparative analyses, mapping and examining of similarities and differences.

Presentations by Kendra Ballingall (Winnipeg), Remco de Blaaij (Eindhoven), Övül Durmusoglu (Istanbul/Vienna), Ronen Eidelman (Tel Aviv/Weimar), Claire Feeley (Dublin), Erden Kosova (Istanbul), Johannes Paul Rather (Berlin), Sára Stenczer (Budapest/Paris), and Tamara Zlobina (Kiev); moderated by Rael Artel (Pärnu).

Detailed programme, abstracts and bios of the speakers are published at

The seminar language is English.

For better management please register at info(at)

Organiser: Public Preparation

Rael Artel



Public Preparation is an international platform for knowledge-production and network-based communication in the field of contemporary art. Public Preparation started in 2007 as a sequence of informal encounters which constituted the publicly visible preparation process of the Biennale of Young Artists, Tallinn 2007. After the exhibition was over, Public Preparation continues as an independent project and focuses on the problematics of nationalism in contemporary society.

The seminar is kindly supported by Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Ministry of Culture, European Cultural Foundation, Manitoba Arts Council, Pärnu Town Government, and Winnipeg Arts Council.