Culture States

2008. Apr. 4 – Apr. 25
 

Exposition of Arts and Techniques applied to Modern Life a project by Société Réaliste

societerealisteOpening: 7 pm 4th April 2008

Culture States: Exposition of Arts and Techniques applied to Modern Life takes its subtitle from the historical Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques appliquées à la Vie Moderne, held in 1937 in Paris. This project consists in designing a complete “World Fair”, based on the very principle of the 1937’s one: pavilions attributed to recognized territories and supposed to exemplify the variety of cultures. This 1937’s fair has been the most spectacular example of the relation between Culture and Nation, from the confrontation between the Nazi and the Soviet pavilions to the display of the imperialist cultural conceptions of France or UK through colonial pavilions. Seventy years after this key-moment, what is the relation between political and cultural entities in nowadays Europe? The main shift of Culture States is that, on the contrary of historical world fairs, this one does not take nation-states as a territorial unit. In this project, pavilions are dedicated to former independant countries, that appeared and disappeared during the 20th century.

Indeed, more than fifty European territories*, now embedded or divided between larger states, have been sovereign in the 20th century during periods from some days (e.g. Lajtabánság), to some years (e.g. Trieste). All these territories informs us about the constitution of territorial legitimacy through conflicts, or about the influence of power relations on cultural construction. The idea of Culture States is to take them as potential new autonomous cultural zones for the development of the EU, and also as a lens to read differently the construction of geopolitical identities, at a moment where the EU tries to shape itself as a cultural background based on states that have survived the History of Wars.

The first part of this project consists in reasearching on the cultural specificity of these territories, to build up a network of collaborators, and to shape the result of our speculations in the form of “World Fair pavilions”. Our corpus being wide, we have chaptered our project in five parts. The first one concerns Central and Southern Eastern Europe, territories such as Banat, Fiume, Užice, Baranya-Baja, Bihać, Mirdita, Kruševo, Lokot, Gumuljina, Gagauzia, etc. The next chapters will contain territories from Western to North Eastern Europe, from Caucasus to the Eastern Frontier.

This topic of disappeared countries is linked to our current representations of what is the territorial coherence of a state. What is the minimum material (cultural, political, economical) to proclaim a specific geographic zone autonomous? How transborder relations are created by a history of conflicts? Are we building up a “pavillonaire” Europe? We are currently in a very specific moment, when Europeans try to think on a supranational scale, to strenghen their political and economical union, for example by implementing new type of zones, such as Euroregions. This process of redefining territorial entities is in balance between what is juridically the EU, a union between 27 nation-states, and its cultural diversity, composed by hundreds of cultural and political minorities. This typically Modern dynamics is what our project would like to interrogate and analyse, by taking as a fieldwork the recent history of Europe. How the problematics of a « Political Europe » are based on cultural contradictions? By using recently disappeared « culture-states » as case studies and relevant territories for our pavilions, we would like to address questions such as: cross-borders issues as the European cultural paradigma; the transhistorical relevance of cultural conflicts through the 19th century, the two wars, the Cold war, the « never-ending Transition » period; the cultural history of the European geographical zone as a multi-layered principle of territorial re-qualification.

* For now, identified former independant states in 20th century Europe: former official name (dates of existence / current location) Aradayan Republic (December 1918 – March 1920 / Azerbaijan); Arbëresh State of Hora e Arbëreshëvet (June – December 1940 / Italy); Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia (September 27, 1993 – August 7, 1995 / Bosnia and Herzegovina); Azerbaijan People’s Government (November 1945 – November 1946 / Azerbaijan); Banat Republic (October 31 – November 15, 1918 / Serbia, Romania); Bavarian Soviet Republic (1919 / Germany); Belarusian Central Rada (July 3, 1941 – 1945 / Belarus); Centrocaspian Dictatorship (August 1 – November 30, 1918 / Azerbaijan); Chechen Republic (January 11, 1991 – February 2000 / Russia); Cretan State (1908 – 1913 / Greece); Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia (November 18, 1991 – January 20, 1994 / Bosnia and Herzegovina); Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic (February 12 – May 1918 / Ukraine); Duchy of Courland and Semigallia (March 3 – September 22, 1918 / Latvia); Emirate of Daghestan (1919 – January 20, 1921 / Russia); Finnish Democratic Republic (December 1, 1939 – March 12, 1940 / Russia); Free City of Danzig (January 10, 1920 – September 2, 1939 / Poland); Free Republic of Schwarzenberg (May 9 – June 24, 1945 / Germany); Free State (Anarchist Ukraine) (November 1918 – June 1919 / Ukraine); Free State of Fiume (December 30, 1920 – March 3, 1924 / Croatia); Free State of Ikaria (July 18 – November 1912 / Greece); Free State of Trieste (September 15, 1947
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– October 26, 1954 / Italy); Galician Soviet Socialist Republic (July 8 – September 21, 1920 / Poland, Ukraine); Independent State of Flanders (1917 – 1918 / Belgium); Irish Republic (April 24, 1916 – December 6, 1922 / Ireland, United Kingdom); Italian Social Republic (September 23, 1943 – April 25, 1945 / Italy), Kruševo Republic (August 1903 / Macedonia); Lajtabánság (October 4 – November 5, 1921 / Austria); Lemko Rusyn Republic of Florynka (December 5, 1918 – March 1920 / Poland); Litbel (Lithuanian-Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic) (February 27 – August 25, 1919 / Lithuania, Belarus); Lokot Republic (1941 – 1943 / Russia); Principality of Pindus and Moglena (1941 – 1945 / Greece, Macedonia); Republic of Adjaria (1921 / Georgia); Republic of Alba (October 10 – November 2, 1944 / Italy); Republic of Alsace-Lorraine (November 11 – 21, 1918 / France); Republic of Bihać (1994 – December 14, 1995 / Bosnia and Herzegovina); Republic of Carpatho-Ukraine (March 14 – March 16, 1939 / Ukraine); Republic of Central Lithuania (October 12, 1920 – March 24, 1922 / Lithuania, Belarus); Republic of Gagauzia (August 19, 1991 – April 23, 1994 / Moldova); Republic of Gumuljina (July 28 – September 16, 1913 / Greece); Republic of Mirdita (July 17 – November 20, 1921 / Albania); Republic of North Ingria (January 23 – December 5, 1920 / Russia); Republic of Serbian Krajina (December 21, 1990 – May 3, 1995 / Croatia); Republic of Užice (July 28 – December 1, 1941 / Serbia); Rhenish Republic (October 21, 1923 – November 26, 1924 / Germany); Saar (February 26, 1920 – March 1, 1935), Saar Protectorate (1947–1956 / Germany); Serb-Hungarian Baranya-Baja Republic (August 14 – August 25, 1921 / Croatia, Hungary); Soviet Republic of Naissaar (November 28, 1917 – February 26, 1918 / Estonia); State of Memelland (June 28, 1919 – January 19, 1923 / Lithuania); Tatar Republic of Idel-Ural (December 12, 1917 – December 1918 / Russia); Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic (February 24 – May 26, 1918 / Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia); United Baltic Duchy (April 12, 1918 – July 3, 1919 / Estonia, Latvia); West Ukrainian National Republic (March 19, 1918 – January 22, 1919 / Ukraine)

Exposition of Arts and Techniques applied to Modern Life
a project by Société Réaliste

societerealisteOpening: 7 pm 4th April 2008

Culture States: Exposition of Arts and Techniques applied to Modern Life takes its subtitle from the historical Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques appliquées à la Vie Moderne, held in 1937 in Paris. This project consists in designing a complete “World Fair”, based on the very principle of the 1937’s one: pavilions attributed to recognized territories and supposed to exemplify the variety of cultures. This 1937’s fair has been the most spectacular example of the relation between Culture and Nation, from the confrontation between the Nazi and the Soviet pavilions to the display of the imperialist cultural conceptions of France or UK through colonial pavilions. Seventy years after this key-moment, what is the relation between political and cultural entities in nowadays Europe? The main shift of Culture States is that, on the contrary of historical world fairs, this one does not take nation-states as a territorial unit. In this project, pavilions are dedicated to former independant countries, that appeared and disappeared during the 20th century.

Indeed, more than fifty European territories*, now embedded or divided between larger states, have been sovereign in the 20th century during periods from some days (e.g. Lajtabánság), to some years (e.g. Trieste). All these territories informs us about the constitution of territorial legitimacy through conflicts, or about the influence of power relations on cultural construction. The idea of Culture States is to take them as potential new autonomous cultural zones for the development of the EU, and also as a lens to read differently the construction of geopolitical identities, at a moment where the EU tries to shape itself as a cultural background based on states that have survived the History of Wars.

The first part of this project consists in reasearching on the cultural specificity of these territories, to build up a network of collaborators, and to shape the result of our speculations in the form of “World Fair pavilions”. Our corpus being wide, we have chaptered our project in five parts. The first one concerns Central and Southern Eastern Europe, territories such as Banat, Fiume, Užice, Baranya-Baja, Bihać, Mirdita, Kruševo, Lokot, Gumuljina, Gagauzia, etc. The next chapters will contain territories from Western to North Eastern Europe, from Caucasus to the Eastern Frontier.

This topic of disappeared countries is linked to our current representations of what is the territorial coherence of a state. What is the minimum material (cultural, political, economical) to proclaim a specific geographic zone autonomous? How transborder relations are created by a history of conflicts? Are we building up a “pavillonaire” Europe? We are currently in a very specific moment, when Europeans try to think on a supranational scale, to strenghen their political and economical union, for example by implementing new type of zones, such as Euroregions. This process of redefining territorial entities is in balance between what is juridically the EU, a union between 27 nation-states, and its cultural diversity, composed by hundreds of cultural and political minorities. This typically Modern dynamics is what our project would like to interrogate and analyse, by taking as a fieldwork the recent history of Europe. How the problematics of a « Political Europe » are based on cultural contradictions? By using recently disappeared « culture-states » as case studies and relevant territories for our pavilions, we would like to address questions such as: cross-borders issues as the European cultural paradigma; the transhistorical relevance of cultural conflicts through the 19th century, the two wars, the Cold war, the « never-ending Transition » period; the cultural history of the European geographical zone as a multi-layered principle of territorial re-qualification.

* For now, identified former independant states in 20th century Europe:
former official name (dates of existence / current location)
Aradayan Republic (December 1918 – March 1920 / Azerbaijan);
Arbëresh State of Hora e Arbëreshëvet (June – December 1940 / Italy);
Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia (September 27, 1993 – August 7, 1995 / Bosnia and Herzegovina);
Azerbaijan People’s Government (November 1945 – November 1946 / Azerbaijan);
Banat Republic (October 31 – November 15, 1918 / Serbia, Romania);
Bavarian Soviet Republic (1919 / Germany);
Belarusian Central Rada (July 3, 1941 – 1945 / Belarus);
Centrocaspian Dictatorship (August 1 – November 30, 1918 / Azerbaijan);
Chechen Republic (January 11, 1991 – February 2000 / Russia);
Cretan State (1908 – 1913 / Greece);
Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia (November 18, 1991 – January 20, 1994 / Bosnia and Herzegovina);
Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic (February 12 – May 1918 / Ukraine);
Duchy of Courland and Semigallia (March 3 – September 22, 1918 / Latvia);
Emirate of Daghestan (1919 – January 20, 1921 / Russia);
Finnish Democratic Republic (December 1, 1939 – March 12, 1940 / Russia);
Free City of Danzig (January 10, 1920 – September 2, 1939 / Poland);
Free Republic of Schwarzenberg (May 9 – June 24, 1945 / Germany);
Free State (Anarchist Ukraine) (November 1918 – June 1919 / Ukraine);
Free State of Fiume (December 30, 1920 – March 3, 1924 / Croatia);
Free State of Ikaria (July 18 – November 1912 / Greece);
Free State of Trieste (September 15, 1947 – October 26, 1954 / Italy);
Galician Soviet Socialist Republic (July 8 – September 21, 1920 / Poland, Ukraine);
Independent State of Flanders (1917 – 1918 / Belgium);
Irish Republic (April 24, 1916 – December 6, 1922 / Ireland, United Kingdom);
Italian Social Republic (September 23, 1943 – April 25, 1945 / Italy), Kruševo Republic (August 1903 / Macedonia);
Lajtabánság (October 4 – November 5, 1921 / Austria);
Lemko Rusyn Republic of Florynka (December 5, 1918 – March 1920 / Poland);
Litbel (Lithuanian-Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic) (February 27 – August 25, 1919 / Lithuania, Belarus);
Lokot Republic (1941 – 1943 / Russia);
Principality of Pindus and Moglena (1941 – 1945 / Greece, Macedonia);
Republic of Adjaria (1921 / Georgia);
Republic of Alba (October 10 – November 2, 1944 / Italy);
Republic of Alsace-Lorraine (November 11 – 21, 1918 / France);
Republic of Bihać (1994 – December 14, 1995 / Bosnia and Herzegovina);
Republic of Carpatho-Ukraine (March 14 – March 16, 1939 / Ukraine);
Republic of Central Lithuania (October 12, 1920 – March 24, 1922 / Lithuania, Belarus);
Republic of Gagauzia (August 19, 1991 – April 23, 1994 / Moldova);
Republic of Gumuljina (July 28 – September 16, 1913 / Greece);
Republic of Mirdita (July 17 – November 20, 1921 / Albania);
Republic of North Ingria (January 23 – December 5, 1920 / Russia);
Republic of Serbian Krajina (December 21, 1990 – May 3, 1995 / Croatia);
Republic of Užice (July 28 – December 1, 1941 / Serbia);
Rhenish Republic (October 21, 1923 – November 26, 1924 / Germany);
Saar (February 26, 1920 – March 1, 1935), Saar Protectorate (1947–1956 / Germany);
Serb-Hungarian Baranya-Baja Republic (August 14 – August 25, 1921 / Croatia, Hungary);
Soviet Republic of Naissaar (November 28, 1917 – February 26, 1918 / Estonia);
State of Memelland (June 28, 1919 – January 19, 1923 / Lithuania);
Tatar Republic of Idel-Ural (December 12, 1917 – December 1918 / Russia);
Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic (February 24 – May 26, 1918 / Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia);
United Baltic Duchy (April 12, 1918 – July 3, 1919 / Estonia, Latvia);
West Ukrainian National Republic (March 19, 1918 – January 22, 1919 / Ukraine)

 

 

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