D: Art



Narratives of Europe

How is Europe narrated from its Eastern half?

Subproject D. A story of Europe in contemporary art history

Some twenty years after the fall of the Berlin wall there still exist in art history a tension around the explosion into the western art scene from Eastern Europe. This project takes as its starting point the metaphor of the map as employed in curatorial projects in the post-communist period such

as East Art Map: Contemporary

Art and Eastern Europe. In the

East Art Map project, and many others with east and art in their titles, the dichotomy between centre and periphery is crucial.

The map seems a useful metaphor to bring attention to artistic production from a geographical, cultural, linguistic and politically diverse area neglected by default in art history writing. It is also a metaphor that keeps coming back, in art, surveys and critical and art historical texts: To be or not to be on the map calls for the necessity of redrawing the map of art. Maps and globes are fruitful for challenging precisely a dichotomy between in and out, east and west, or indeed official and unofficial art.

This project brings together representations of the map as a critical discourse with theories of narrative for understanding the formation of a story of Europe in art history.

This website contains images from online open sources. Should you justifiably wish to claim copyright for any one of them, please contact the project team

Project book

out now!


Europe Faces Europe: Narratives from Its Eastern Half (ed. by project leader Johan Fornäs) was published by Intellect Press in spring 2017.


For more information,

please contact

Johan Fornäs

johan.fornäs (at) sh.se

Narratives of Europe:

research project hosted by Södertörn University and funded by Östersjöstiftelsen