exhibition catalogue

The Influencing Machine

Aaron Moulton

Catalogue of the exhibition which was an anthropological investigation that celebrated the Soros Centers for Contemporary Art, an unprecedented network of art centers that existed in twenty Eastern European capitals throughout the 1990s.

The book by the American 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 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.

If you wish to buy this book and have it sent outside of Poland, please contact us: wydawnictwa@u-jazdowski.pl


Aaron Moulton

a curator and anthropologist based in Denmark. His research looks at the ways in which creative expression is purposed and managed by different traditional and non-traditional means ranging from New Age spiritual communities, the global art world, and propaganda initiatives.

75 zł