Works and Words + Afterthoughts, 1979–2023
Online discussion

Works and Words + Afterthoughts, 1979–2023
Online discussion

de Appel's YouTube channel:

13 September, 18:00

Contributors: researcher and curator Zsuzsa László who has done extensive research on the Works and Words exhibition and art historian Marga van Mechelen, author of the book De Appel. Performances, Installations, Video, Projects, 1975–1983.

Welcome by de Appel artistic director Lara Khaldi

Hosted by curator Eszter Szakács

Most of the archival materials from the 1960s-1980s presented in the exhibition Dóra Maurer–SUMUS–We Are Together come from de Appel's archive. Dóra Maurer and Tibor Gáyor contributed to the exhibition catalogues and publications on display in various ways: sometimes as participating artists, other times also as background organisers or as co-initiators. These important publications are in de Appel's archive due to the collection and research of de Appel prior to the 1979 Works and Words "international art manifestation", in which Dóra Maurer was one of the participating artists.

The ten-day Works and Words manifestation presented artists, art historians and critics from Czechoslovakia, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, and former Yugoslavia. An important objective of the endeavour was to stimulate contact between the artists. In 2018, the project Footnotes #3 Works and Words at de Appel revisited the 1979 manifestation, which also occasioned the reprinting of the original catalogue.

The event centres around Works and Words, to discuss its paradoxes, difficulties as well as the significance this project holds today, especially in East of Europe. The online discussion also wishes to begin to reassess the "East–West" Cold War geopolitical dynamics and its consequences for today.

Participant's biographies 

Zsuzsa László is a researcher and curator at the Central European Research Institute for Art History (KEMKI), Budapest. She is a member of the editorial team of ARTMargins Online, tranzit/hu’s board, and the Hungarian section of AICA. Her forthcoming dissertation discusses the emergence and critique of the concept of East European Art through exhibitions. Recent projects and publications she has co-curated, co-authored, and co-edited explore transnational exhibition histories, artist archives, progressive pedagogies, cultural transfers, and decentralized understanding of conceptualism and neo-avant-gardes in Cold War Eastern Europe, including Resonances: Regional and Transregional Cultural Transfer in the Art of the 1970s (2021‒23), What Will Be Already Exists: Temporalities of Cold War Archives in East-Central Europe and Beyond (2021), 1971: Parallel Nonsynchronism (2018/22), Creativity Exercises (2014/15/16/20), Sitting Together (2016), and Parallel Chronologies (2009–23).

Marga van Mechelen studied art history and philosophy of language at the Universities of Nijmegen and Groningen. During her studies she taught briefly methodology and philosophy of art at the Catholic University of Nijmegen. From 1978 to 1980 she was a lecturer in art history at the teacher training programme of the Stichting Lerarenopleiding in Utrecht, after which she was appointed to a research position at the University van Amsterdam with special study commissioned art theoretical developments from the year 1970. She specialized early on in the field of conceptual, performance and installation art. In addition, she did historiographical and semiotic research. She published several publications on theoretical concepts of the French psycho-semiotician Julia Kristeva. These investigations resulted in 1993 in her dissertation Form and Signifying Process. Art History, Semiotics, Semanalysis. In 2006 she published a comprehensive monograph on the legendary history of the De Appel Foundation. (De Appel. Performances, Installations, Video, Projects, 1975-1983). Other books followed as the first monograph (2011) about the founder of the NUL group, Henk Peeters and Art at Large. Through Performance and Installation Art (2013). In 2015 she curated Zero squaredfor the Textile Museum in Tilburg. Her latest book with Sanneke Huisman as co-writer and editor was published in 2019 and is entitled: A Critical History of Media Art. Platforms, Policies, Technologies. She was a member of the board of AICA Nederland, the Visual Arts and Design committee of the Council for Culture, the Visual Arts and Design committee of the Prince Bernard Culture Fund and advisor of NWO (Dutch Research Council) and the Mondrian Fund. She is a.o. a member of ASCA (Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis), ASCH (Amsterdam School of Historical Studies) and the Executive Committee of the International Association for Semiotic Studies (IASS/AISS).