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Cracks in the Planet: Geo-ecological Matter in East European Art

By Maja and Reuben Fowkes
In Extending the Dialogue (Ljubljana: Igor Zabel Association, 2017)

Attentiveness towards rocks, earth, mud and the surface of the planet, with their deep history and immediate materiality, as well as appreciation of the transformative perspective provided by the immensity of geological time, belonged to the shared pool of conceptual props that East European neo-avant-garde artist drew from. This became evident around the watershed year of 1968, when worries about the environmental destruction of the planet also crystallized, marking the beginning of global ecological concern which has intensified over time. If we were to analyse geological materials present in such art practice, what hidden sediments of East European art history would they reveal?