exhibition catalogue

Aaron Moulton

The Influencing Machine

The book by the American anthropologist, art critic and exhibition curator Aaron Moulton is devoted to the institutional framework of contemporary art in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe in the early 1990s, during their transformation after the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. The author examines the Soros Centers for Contemporary Art, a network of art institutions established by the Open Society Foundations, financed by George Soros, an American businessman and philanthropist, promotor of the idea of ​​an open society. The Centers operated in Almaty, Belgrade, Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest, Chisinau, Kiev, Ljubljana, Moscow, Odessa, Prague, Riga, Saint Petersburg, Sarajevo, Skopje, Sofia, Tallinn, Vilnius, Warsaw and Zagreb. They documented local art scenes and initiated cultural events.

The publication complements the exhibition which was presented at the Nicodim Gallery in Bucharest in 2019 and at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw in 2022.

Aaron Moulton is interested in the use of institutions and the media in societies undergoing political transformation from socialism to capitalism, and in the field of visual arts from socialist realism to creative freedom, however, limited by the requirements contained in the regulations of open calls for exhibitions. It presents the art of the 1990s in today’s context. The book invites a conversation about the global art world, the role of activism within art, and the power of institutional critique.

 

Aaron Moulton

received a curatorial degree from the Royal College of Art in London, and then served as editor of Flash Art International in Milan. He was based in Berlin, where he founded the exhibition space Feinkost. The Influencing Machine is the first survey on the Soros Centers of Contemporary Art Network.

  • Book launch: 3 December 2022, Ujazdowski Castle
  • Texts in English and Polish
  • Graphic design: Jakub Margasiński
  • Colorful illustrations, 212 pages
  • ISBN 978-83-67203-05-0
  • Published by the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art
  • Warsaw 2022
Publications