Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Reclaiming Public Life, Building Public Spheres: Contemporary Art, Exhibitions and Institutions in post-1989 Europe

Galliera, Izabel Anca (2013) Reclaiming Public Life, Building Public Spheres: Contemporary Art, Exhibitions and Institutions in post-1989 Europe. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

This is the latest version of this item.

[img] PDF
Primary Text
Restricted to University of Pittsburgh users only until 30 June 2018.

Download (1MB) | Request a Copy


This Ph.D. dissertation traces the emergence and development of an important current of socially engaged art in Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of communism. It examines various participatory, collaborative and dialogic projects in public spaces by contemporary artists, working in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. These works often directly engaged marginalized communities, such as the homeless, members of immigrant groups and the Roma. In various ways, these artworks revived leftist traditions in a local context where, as political ideologies and economic orders, socialism had become equated with authoritarianism and democracy with neoliberalism. Occurring at specific moments in time throughout the post-communist period, most often with the presence of both financial and institutional support from the USA and EU nations, specific contemporary art practices sought to reclaim public life and build inclusive public spheres as democratic forms within emerging civil societies. Relying on sociological theories of social and political capital, and on theories of civil societies in political science, my goal has been to identify the potentially transformative roles that socially engaged art forms played in the post-communist transition. Concerned with current socio-political issues and foregrounding spaces of participation and collaboration, such art practices implicitly proposed new modes for art’s communication with the viewer, explored notions of public space as the locus of constantly negotiated public spheres, and provoked discussions of viable forms of democracy.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Galliera, Izabel Ancaaig9@pitt.eduAIG9
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSmith, Terencetes2@pitt.eduTES2
Committee MemberMcCloskey, Barbarabmcc@pitt.eduBMCC
Committee MemberSavage, Kirkksa@pitt.eduKSA
Committee MemberKester,
Date: 30 June 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 4 April 2013
Approval Date: 30 June 2013
Submission Date: 7 April 2013
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 340
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History of Art and Architecture
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: socially engaged art, social capital, political capital, public sphere, civil society, participatory art
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2013 19:32
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:11

Available Versions of this Item

  • Reclaiming Public Life, Building Public Spheres: Contemporary Art, Exhibitions and Institutions in post-1989 Europe. (deposited 30 Jun 2013 19:32) [Currently Displayed]


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item