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Aleksei Borisionok “The Former West and the New East. On the Representational Regimes of Post-Soviet Art”

7th Garage International Conference: Post-What? Neo-How? Contemporary Configurations of the Former Soviet Space
22 November 2019


This paper, which originates from the essay “The Former West and the New East” (2017), co-written by Aleksei Borisionok and the artist and researcher Olya Sosnovskaya, will focus on new geopolitical compositions developed, among other things, in order to describe the art and culture of postsocialist countries after the fall of the Soviet Union.

The notion of “Eastern Europe,” and especially its post-Soviet contexts, will be examined as a specific political and regional entity that relates more to a set of signifiers than to a particular spatial location. Eastern Europe is an “idea” that has its own history, tradition of construction, imagery, and vocabulary. This paper will critique the exoticization and self-exoticization of Eastern European identity and the concept of the post-Soviet, as well as analyzing various representational regimes in artistic practices and projects in the countries of the former Soviet Union within the context of “the Former West” and “the New East.”



Alexey Borisenok (b. 1962, Minsk) is a curator and researcher. In 2015, he graduated in Visual and Cultural Studies from the European Humanities University in Vilnius and in 2017 received a Master’s degree in Curating Art from Stockholm University. He is a co-founder of the research platform KALEKTAR, which is focused on Belarusian contemporary art (2015), and the collective, self-organized platform Work More! Rest More! (2016). His writings have been published in Moscow Art Magazine, springerin, Artaktivist, Prastory, Hjärnstorm and other journals. He lives and works in Minsk and Vienna.

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