Dr Amy Bryzgel’s #tbr

We caught up with Dr Amy Bryzgel, Art Historian & Senior Lecturer in the School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture at the University of Aberdeen, as she launched of her new book ‘Performance Art in Eastern Europe since 1960’ to find out what is on her #tbr reading list.

Dr Amy Bryzgel, University of Aberdeen
“I study performance art, which is visual artists creating artworks with their bodies, using live action or movement. My research is focused on the former communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe, where performance art offered artists a zone of freedom to experiment, outside of the official, ideologically charged art-forms such as painting and sculpture.”

You have a new book coming out, but before we talk about that tell us about what books are currently sitting in a pile on your desk waiting to be delved into.

Well, sitting on my desk, my #tbr list includes some new publications in my field:
Branislav Jakovljevic’s Alienation Effects: Performance and Self-Management in Yugoslavia, 1945–1991, an important new study of the development of performance art under socialism (University of Michigan Press, 2016).
Maria Oriskova’s edited volume Curating ‘Eastern Europe’ and Beyond: Art Histories through Exhibition (Peter Lang, 2013), which I never got around to reading. The anthology brings together a range of essays about how the concept of Eastern Europe is constructed or maintained through museum exhibitions.
Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius and Piotr Piotrowski’s edited volume, From Museum Critique to the Critical Museum (Ashgate, 2016), which explores a similar theme by critically interrogating the function of the museum in relation to art, culture and heritage.

What about lighter reading? What’s sitting on your nightstand waiting to be read?

On my nightstand #tbr list are the final three books in Diana Gabaldon’s 8-part Outlander series. As an ‘outlander’ myself living in Scotland (I’m American), I enjoy reading about the experiences of a 20th-century English woman in 18th-century Scotland!
Now that I’ve finished writing this book, hopefully I will have more time to read the above #tbr and more!”

You’ve got a new book out “Performance Art in Eastern Europe since 1960” which was officially launched during the University of Aberdeen’s May Festival. Tell us a bit about it.

The book is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the Arts & Humanities Research Council, involved more than two years of research that took me across an area previously behind the Iron Curtain.
This volume presents the first comprehensive academic study of the history and development of performance art in the former communist countries of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe since the 1960s and covers 21 countries and more than 250 artists.
The book seeks to demonstrate the manner in which performance art in the region developed concurrently with the genre in the West, highlighting the unique contributions of Eastern European artists to the genre. It offers a comparative study of the genre of performance art in countries and cities across the region, examining the manner in which artists addressed issues such as the body, gender, politics and identity, and institutional critique.

“Performance Art in Eastern Europe since 1960" by Dr Amy Bryzgel is available from the Manchester University Press - http://bit.ly/2pZZTFM - as well as amazon (.com or .co.uk)