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Re-cognizing the post-Soviet condition: the documentary turn in contemporary art in the Baltic States

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Harry WeeksORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Taylor and Francis, 2010.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Contemporary art in the Baltic States has recently undergone a ‘documentary turn’, part of a global tendency towards the use of documentary aesthetics and formal structures in art. In the Baltic context, this has been the result of a desire amongst artists to both recognize and re-cognize the post-Soviet condition, a subject that was consciously avoided by most artists in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania during the 1990s. Re-cognition has involved an attempt to de-flatten and humanize the post-Soviet condition, which, although a valid framework for the theoretical discussion of Eastern Europe, has a number of shortcomings. This re-cognitive tendency has derived from a shift from ‘hot’ to ‘cold’ memory, the product of distance and detachment from the Soviet past and the rise of a new generation of artists, who were not active participants in the Soviet Baltic Republics. Artists have utilized documentary, as well as ethnographic and pedagogical strategies in order to achieve this re-cognition.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Weeks H

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Studies in Eastern European Cinema

Year: 2010

Volume: 1

Issue: 1

Pages: 57-70

Print publication date: 01/01/2010

Online publication date: 03/01/2014

Acceptance date: 01/10/2009

Date deposited: 11/10/2019

ISSN (print): 2040-350X

ISSN (electronic): 2040-3518

Publisher: Taylor and Francis


DOI: 10.1386/seec.1.1.57/1


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