Cold War studies tend to emphasize dual narratives, mostly investigated as actions that are dictated from above by State policies or as cultural relations in an international context. Starting from my previous studies on bilateral art relations in the second half of 20th century, the project is intended as a comparative survey within a polycentric and inclusive European focus area, including the two German republics, Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union and Italy. The main study cases will be provided by multilateral art encounters and the involved locations and actors, analysed as individual and collective art practices. Unique Cold War art archives and collections at the Getty Research Institute and at the Wende Museum in Los Angeles will provide key resources. In order to assess the impact of the art practices on culture and society, I intend to investigate both their critical reception in the professional art world and their popular response through the commentaries left by exhibition visitors. A crucial question is whether the European dimension has ever been considered as a common ground - be it of political, social, artistic or speculative nature - for multilateral art practices within the divided continent. Particular attention will be paid to unmet expectations and missed connections among the interested art communities. By including current Member and Associate States and Third Countries, the research is meant to contribute to inter-European comprehension and integration, as an essential premise in order to “inform the reflection about present problems and help to find solutions for shaping Europe's future”, as stated in the Work programme 2016-2017 of Horizon 2020. The project is conceived as a multidisciplinary research which, through training and inter-sectoral mobility in Comparative Studies, History and Art History, will have a ground-breaking impact on my future career prospects in the academic and non-academic sectors as Comparative European Art Historian.
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