Queer art practices in Eastern Europe

Rebeka Põldsam

The article analyses three case studies from contemporary Eastern European art 2007- 2011. First, the article seeks to define and map the different circulating meanings of the concept ‘queer’ in order to open the theoretical backgrounds of the case studies. The first case study is Anna-Stina Treumund’s and Jaanus Samma’s „Queer sticker book“ (2011) that is a Western-style grassroots activist fanzine as well as a location-specific user-friendly product for Estonian queers and equality activists. The second case study is the work of Polish curator Pawel Leszkowicz that is in its rhetoric primarily opposed to the extreme conservative movements in Poland. He creates homoerotic exhibitions dedicated to sexuality that attempt to understand Polish society within EU equality directives and ideals. The final case of the article is Serbian queer immigrant artist Ana Honer who works in Austria and whose deeply theory-driven lecture-performances provocatively explore the power relations between Self and Other, East and West. The article as a whole seeks to interpret the ethical ambitions of queer art practices and means for achieving them. Sometimes more wide-ranging, sometimes more modest, the practices aim to change the present situation.