Participants include Cuban installation and performance artist Tania Bruguera

For Immediate Release
October 19, 2016
[Digital image available upon request]
Williamstown, Massachusetts—“Art After Democracy,” a conversation convened by the Research and Academic Program at the Clark Art Institute, will be held Tuesday, November 1 at 5:30 pm. The free conversation will be held in the Michael Conforti Pavilion on the Clark’s campus.

The informal gathering centers loosely on post-1989 art to consider the place of critical politics, theory, and the “post-socialist” condition. Scheduled near the eve of the United States presidential election, the conversation is meant to provoke and critically debate contemporary political agendas.

Participants include:

Robert Bird, associate professor and chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Chicago. Bird’s main area of interest is the aesthetic practice and theory of Russian modernism. He is the author of Russian Prospero (2006), a comprehensive study of the poetry and thought of Viacheslav Ivanov. He is also the author of two books on the filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky: Andrei Rublev (2004) and Andrei Tarkovsky: Elements of Cinema (2008). His translations of Russian religious thought include On Spiritual Unity: A Slavophile Reader (1998) and Viacheslav Ivanov's Selected Essays (2001).

Tania Bruguera, Cuban installation and performance artist. Bruguera recently announced her satirical run for president of Cuba. She is the founder and director of Catédra Arte de Conducta (behavior art school), the first performance studies program in Latin America. From 2003–2010, she was an assistant professor in the Department of Visual Arts of the University of Chicago. Her work, which focuses on issues of power and control, has often been the subject of controversy; she was arrested and freed three times between December 2014 and January 2015 for having organized a public performance in La Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución.

Jodi Dean, professor of political science and the Donald R. Harter ’39 Professor of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Areas of scholarly interest include contemporary political theory, communism, theories of digital media, poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, feminist theory, political theory, and climate change. She is the author of Blog Theory (Polity, 2010) and The Communist Horizon (Verso, 2012).

Anthony Gardner, associate professor of contemporary art history and theory, Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford. Gardner’s main research areas are postcolonialism, postsocialism, and curatorial histories. Published books include Politically Unbecoming: Postsocialist Art against Democracy (MIT Press, 2015), Mega-Exhibitions: Biennials, Triennials, Documentas (with Charles Green, Wiley-Blackwell, 2016), and the anthology Neue Slowenische Kunst (with Zdenka Badovinac and Eda Čufer, MIT Press, 2015).

Christopher P. Heuer, interim director, Research and Academic Program, Clark Art Institute. Heuer, a noted European and baroque art scholar, was an assistant professor in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University from 2007–2014 and the Samuel H. Kress Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. He is a widely recognized specialist in early modern European art and architecture, with an emphasis on painting, architecture, and print culture in northern Europe. He is the author of The City Rehearsed: Object, Architecture, and Print in the Worlds of Hans Vredeman de Vries (Routledge, 2013).

David Riff, writer, artist, and curator. Riff is a member of the work group Chto Delat and was co-editor of the newspaper of the same name from 2003 to 2008. He is the contributing editor of the arts section of the online portal and teaches art history at the Rodchenko School of Photography, Moscow. He has published two monographs on late Soviet artists Vadim Sidur (2000) and Vladimir Yankilevsky (2002). More recently, he has written on post-Soviet contemporary art in publications such as documenta 12 magazines, Flash Art, Moscow Art Magazine, Rethinking Marxism, Springerin, and Third Text.

This program is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


The Clark Art Institute, located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, consisting of more than 270,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.
The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $20; free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, visit or call 413 458 2303.
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