Maja and Reuben Fowkes are curators, art historians and co-directors of the Translocal Institute for Contemporary Art, a centre for transnational research into East European art and ecology based in Budapest that operates across the disciplinary boundaries of art history, contemporary art and ecological thought. Their work has focused on the theory and aesthetics of East European art from the art production of the socialist era to contemporary artistic practices, while their interests within the field of art and ecology have entailed investigation of environmental art history under socialism, visual cultures of the Anthropocene, the position of art within the environmental humanities, and the intersections of contemporary art with plants, animals, rewilding, the biosphere and beyond-human anthropology.
A central preoccupation of their work has been to investigate the overlaps between the fields of East European art and of art and ecology.
Maja Fowkes is the author of The Green Bloc: Neo-avant-garde Art and Ecology under Socialism (2015), a book that grew out of her PhD thesis at University College London. Their continuing work on the environmental art history of Eastern Europe has resulted in conference papers, such as on 'Planetary Awareness under State Socialism: the Environmental Art History of Eastern Europe,' given at the AAH conference in London in 2014, and publications, including a book chapter entitled ‘Cracks in the Planet: Geo-ecological Matter in East European Art’, for a book of essays by recipients of the Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory (2016).
Their curatorial engagement with art and ecology has involved initiating a number of complex projects involving exhibitions, conferences, university courses, excursions and publications.
The Symposium on Sustainability and Contemporary Art that they organised at Central European University Budapest in 2006 marked the beginning of a collaboration that resulted in a series of annual symposia, as well as exhibitions and artist projects. Their Danube River School project between 2013 and 2015 brought together artists, writers, environmental historians and anthropologists for a series of symposiums, exhibitions and excursions into wilderness and resulted in the publication River Ecologies: Contemporary Art and Environmental Humanities on the Danube (2015). They have also since reflected in some detail on the issues raised by the project in an article entitled ‘The Primeval Cosmic River and its Ecological Realities’ in the new journal GeoHumanities. At Translocal Institute they have run a reading group on ‘Art in the Age of the Anthropocene’ through the Experimental Reading Room project (2014-16), which also involved a series of guest lectures by prominent speakers who reflected on the implications of the Anthropocene for their professional practice. At Central European University Budapest they are co-founders of the Environmental Humanities Initiative and teach a new course on the ‘Visual Cultures of the Anthropocene’. They have also lectured widely on art and ecology, including at Modern Art Oxford, Aarhus Kunstbygning, De Appel Art Centre, PAV Turino, Bratislava Art Academy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Museum Sztuki Lodz.
A major focus of their work is on researching East European art since 1945 and contemporary East European art.
Their publications on East European art include two edited special issues of the journal Third Text, the first on 'Socialist Eastern Europe' (2009) and a second forthcoming issue on ‘Actually Existing Artworlds under Socialism’ (2017). Journal articles have dealt with questions such the ‘Neo-Marxist Affinities of the East European Neo-avant-garde’ and 'Art and Animals under Socialism,' and they have also published shorter pieces on topics such as ‘From Post-Communism to Post-Transition: Art in Eastern Europe,’ in The Art Book (February 2009) and an article on ‘Identity Crisis: The Return of East European' in Art Monthly (April 2013). Reuben’s interest, dating back to his PhD research, in public monuments of the socialist era have resulted in texts on the legacy of socialist realism, including 'You Only Live Twice: the Strange Afterlife of Socialist Realist Sculpture'. Maja Fowkes wrote an essay for the exhibition catalogue Facing the Future: Art in Europe 1945-68 on ‘Performative practices in East European art in the 1960s' (2016), while their text ‘Eastern Europe Can Be Yours! Alternative Art of the Eighties,’ will be published in the Afterall Exhibition Histories series book on Apt-Art in 2017. They also occasionally contribute texts for artist catalogues, including those of Balint Szombathy (2012), Csaba Nemes (2015), Urban Fauna Lab (2015), Tamás Kaszás (2016), Natalia LL (2016) and Rudolf Sikora (2016). They have lectured widely on East European art, including at: College Art Association annual conference, Washington 2016, MoMA New York within the framework of the C-MAP programme (2016), KUMU Art Museum Tallinn (2015), CSW Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw (2015), Former West conference, BAK Utrecht (2014), AICA 46th International Congress, Kosice and Bratislava (2013) and the Clark Institute conference on 'Art History on the Disciplinary Map in East-Central Europe' (2010).
Their engagement with East European art history has also involved curating a series of international conferences.
From 2006 to 2010 they organised the SocialEast Forum on the Art and Visual Culture of Eastern Europe to examine how a revised understanding of the achievements and circumstances of East European art impact on global interpretations of art history. This involved holding twice-yearly SocialEast Seminars at the Ludwig Museum Budapest, Manchester Art Gallery, Jagiellonian University Kraków, Mimara Museum Zagreb and Courtauld Institute London. In May 2016 they co-organised the international conference ‘Contested Spheres: Actually Existing Artworlds under Socialism’ at the Kassák Museum Budapest.
As well as writing and research in the fields of East European art history and art and ecology, they have also curated numerous thematic group exhibitions of contemporary art.
Their curated exhibitions include Revolution is not a Garden Party, which dealt with the legacy of the 1956 Revolution for contemporary art and was held at Trafo Gallery Budapest, Norwich Gallery and Galerija Miroslav Kraljevic in Zagreb in 2006-7. The second part of their revolution trilogy is Revolution I Love You: 1968 in Art, Politics and Philosophy, which was shown at the Centre for Contemporary Art Thessaloniki in summer 2008, as well as Trafo Gallery Budapest and International Project Space Birmingham. Revolutionary Decadence: Foreign Artists in Budapest since 1989 completed the trilogy and was shown at Kiscell Museum Budapest in November 2009. All three of these exhibitions also resulted in exhibition publications.
In 2010-11 they curated the exhibition Loophole to Happiness to explore the freedom-enhancing loopholes that exist on the margins of social systems from East European communism to global capitalism, taking the inventive strategies of worker resistance under socialism as the starting point for contemporary attempts to imagine exceptions and find escape routes from today’s neo-liberal capitalist order. This show was held at Trafo Gallery Budapest, Museum Sztuki Lodz, Futura Centre for Contemporary Art Prague and AMT Project Bratislava, and also resulted in a samizdat-style publication.
Their exhibition Like a Bird: Avian Ecologies in Contemporary Art examined complex questions around the changing human relationship to the natural world, the channelling of environmental awareness and its political dimensions and was shown at Trafo Gallery Budapest and tranzit.ro in Bucharest in 2014. The group show #underthestars at Knoll Gallery Vienna in 2014 was realised as part of Curated_By_Vienna and investigated ecological alternatives to the tragic figure of the immaterial worker who spends too much time in bed, replying to emails, creating social media clips, interacting virtually, but not going anywhere. In 2014 and 2015 they curated the solo museum exhibitions of Csaba Nemes at Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka and MOCAK, Krakow. Their most recent exhibition, ‘Walking without Footprints’ was held at tranzit.sk, Bratislava in 2015-6, and addres sed walking as a strategy to rethink our relationship to the natural environment
Curated exhibitions (selected)
Walking without Footprints
11 December 2015 - 27 February 2016
Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan, Fokus Grupa. Oto Hudec, Michal Kindernay, Cecylia Malik and Davor Sanvincenti
Csaba Nemes: When Politics Enters Daily Life
16 October 2015 - 27 March 2016
Museum of Contemporary Art Krakow (MOCAK)
Curated by: Maja and Reuben Fowkes
October - November 2014
Artists: Tibor Horváth, Oto Hudec, Renata Poljak, Davor Sanvincenti
Csaba Nemes - Don’t Try to Make it Logical! Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka June – July 2014
Artist: Csaba Nemes
Like a Bird: Avian Encounters in the Age of Ecology
Trafó Gallery Budapest
December 2013 - January 2014
April - May 2014
Greta Alfaro, Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan, Tamás Kaszás / Anikó Loránt (Ex Artists Collective, Szabolcs Kisspál, London Fieldworks, James Prosek and Andrea Roe
Loophole to Happiness
Trafó Gallery Budapest, Muzeum Sztuki Lodz, Futura Prague, AMT Bratislava
Artists: Adam Chodzko, Petra Feriancova, Siniša Labrović, Ciprian Muresan, Csaba Nemes, Nada Prlja, Janek Simon, Péter Szabó and Katarina Šević.
Revolutionary Decadence: Foreign Artists in Budapest since 1989
Museum Kiscell Budapest
Artists: Catherine Bürki, Eike, Yusuke Fukui, Sanna Härkönen, Rodolf Hervé, Dominic Hislop, Diana Kingsley, Claudia Martins, Alexander Schikowski, Katerina Sević, Allan Siegel, Alexander Tinei, Ninni Wager and David Wilkinson
1968: Revolution I Love You
CACT Thessaloniki, Trafó Gallery Budapest, IPS Birmingham 2008
Artists: Mladen Stilinović, Tamás St.Auby, Zofia Kulik, Stefanos Tsivopoulos, Oliver Ressler, Fia-Stina Sandlund, Miklós Erhardt, Heath Bunting, Marko Lulić, Tamás Kaszás, Jean-Baptiste Ganne, Nancy Davenport, Csaba Nemes, Zanny Begg
1956: Revolution is not a Garden Party
Trafó Gallery Budapest, Norwich Gallery and G-MK Zagreb 2006-07
Artists: Michael Blum, Nick Crowe, Igor Grubić, Sanja Iveković, Gergely László / Péter Rákosi, Nils Norman and Adrian Paci.
Venues: Institute of Contemporary Art, Dunaujvaros, Gallery of Extended Media, Zagreb, Ecology Pavilion, London, 2004
Participating artists: Balázs Beöthy, Ivan Bura, Péter Császar, János Fodor, Andrea Huszár,Tibor Iski Kocsis, Csaba Nemes, Ana Opalić, Matko Vekić
Venues: Trafo Gallery, Budapest, Museum of Brod / Galerija Balen, Slavonski Brod, 2002
Participating artists: Viktor Daldon, Slaven Tolj, Sandra Sterle, Ivan Šeremet, Denis Kraskovic, Ivana Franke, Luko Piplica, Alem Korkut
Edited books and special issues
Articles and book chapters
Awards and honours
Lectures and presentations
Dr. Maja Fowkes
University College London, UK
PhD in Art History (2012)
Thesis title: Central European Neo-avant-garde Art and Ecology under Socialism
Supervisor: Dr. T.J. Demos
Zagreb University, Croatia
Degree in Art History (BA + MA) (1999)
Dr. Reuben Fowkes
Essex University, UK
PhD in Art History and Theory (2002)
Thesis title: Monumental Sculpture in Post-War Eastern Europe, 1945-1968’
Supervisor: Professor Dawn Ades
University of London, UK
MA in Slavonic and East European Studies (1996)
Oxford University, UK
BA in Modern History (1993)
Maja Fowkes, The Green Bloc: Neo-avant-garde Art and Ecology under Socialism (New York and Budapest: Central European University Press, 2015)
Edited books and special issues
Third Text Special Issue on Contested Spheres: Actually Existing Artworlds under Socialism, edited by Reuben Fowkes (2017 - forthcoming)
River Ecologies: Contemporary Art and Environmental Humanities on the DanubeBudapest: Translocal Institute, 2015)
Greta Alfaro, Lise Autogena, Vlad Basalici, Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan, Ursula Biemann, Axel Braun, Peter Coates, Ian Fairlie, Fernando Garcia-Dory, Michal Hvorecky, John Jordan and Isa Fremeaux, József R. Juhász, Tamás Kaszás and Anikó Loránt, Szabolcs Kisspál, London Fieldworks, Cecylia Malik, Ilona Németh, James Prosek, Andrea Roe, Martin Schmid, Miruna Tîrcă, Vaylo
Loophole to Happiness (Translocal.org, 2011)
Contributors include: Franco Bifo Berardi, Miklós Haraszti, Tamás St.Auby, Katarina Šević, Maja and Reuben Fowkes.
Third Text Special Issue on Socialist Eastern Europe (edited by Reuben Fowkes) vol 23, no.1 (January 2009) Contributors: Reuben Fowkes, Piotr Piotrowski, Miško Suvaković, Ulrike Goeschen, Marian Mazzone, Lara Weibgen, Edit András, Hedi Turai, Gerald Raunig, Bettina Jungen and Andrzej Szczerski
Revolutionary Decadence: Foreign Artists in Budapest since 1989
(Museum Kiscell and Manchester Metropolitan University, 2009)
Contributors include: Maja and Reuben Fowkes, Keiko Sei and Nina Möntmann
Revolution I Love You: 1968 in Art Politics and Philosophy
(Trafó Gallery, CACT and Manchester Metropolitan University, 2008)
Contributors include: Rajko Grlić, Viktor Misiano, Jens Kastner, Łukasz Ronduda, G.M. Tamás and Maja and Reuben Fowkes
Revolution is not a Garden Party
(Manchester Metropolitan University, 2007)
Contributors include: Chus Martinez, Simon Sheikh, Gerald Raunig, Miklós Erhardt, Dora Hegyi, Maja and Reuben Fowkes
Europe in the Fifties: Legacies of Political Change in Art and Visual Culture
Third Text (Special Issue co-edited by Reuben Fowkes),vol 20 no. 2 (March 2006) Contributors: Nancy Jachec, Natalie Adamson, Nevenka Stanković, Susan Reid, Éva Forgács, Kasia Murawska-Muthesius, Reuben Fowkes, Piotr Piotrowski, Jennifer Way, Rasheed Araeen, Genoveva Garcia, Harriet Standeven, Natalie Aubert and Istabelle Moffat
Unframed Landscapes (Croatian Association of Contemporary Artists, 2004)
Articles and book chapters
Maja and Reuben Fowkes, 'Placing Bookmarks: The Institutionalisation and De-Institutionalisation of Hungarian Neo-Avant-Garde and Contemporary Art', Tate Papers, no.26, Autumn 2016,
Maja and Reuben Fowkes, 'Cracks in the Planet: Geo-ecological Matter in East European Art,' in Extending the Dialogue(Ljubljana: Igor Zabel Association, 2017)
Maja and Reuben Fowkes, 'The Primeval Cosmic River and its Ecological Realities: On the curatorial project Danube River School (2013-2015),' Geohumanities vol.2 no.2 (November 2016)
'Towards a Planetary History of East European Art,' in Beata Hock and Anu Allas, eds, East Central European Art from Global Perspectives: Past and Present (2017 - forthcoming)
Entries for 'Planetary', 'Rewilding' and 'Cosmopolitics' in The Posthuman Glossary, edited by Rosi Braidotti and Maria Hlavajova (London: Bloomsbury, 2017 - forthcoming)
'I Live on Earth: Cosmic Realms and the Place of Nature in the Work of Natalia LL' in Agata Jakubowska, ed, Natalia LL: Beyond Consumer Art (Warsaw: CCA Ujazdowski Castle, 2017)
'Experiments in Untamed Creativity: Anthropology as a Tool in Tamás Kaszás’ Practice' in Exercises in Autonomy, exhibition catalogue (Lodz: Muzeum Sztuki, 2016)
'Noösphere: The Cosmic Envelope of Thought,' Exhibition catalogue, Rudolf Sikora (Bratislava, 2016)
Maja Fowkes, 'Playing with Fire: Performative practices in East European art in the 1960s' in Facing the Future: Art in Europe 1945-68 (Brussels: Bozar, 2016)
'In the Pursuit of Freedom: Art and Animals under Socialism,' Acta Historiae Artium vol. 56 (2015)
'Remains of Utopia: Neo-Marxist Affinities of the East European Neo-avant-garde,'Acta Historiae Artium vol. 56 (2015)
'Csaba Nemes: On Frozen Assets and Friendship'
Csaba Nemes: When Politics Enters Daily Life (Krakow: MOCAK, 2015)
'Towards the Ecology of Love,' in Urban Fauna Lab (Moscow, 2015)
'Green Critique in a Red Environment: East European Art and Ecology under Socialism,' Art Margins Journal June 2014, Vol. 3, No. 2, pages 60-83
‘Off the Record: Performative Practices in Hungarian Neo-Avant-Garde and their Resonances in Contemporary Art,’ (Maja Fowkes) Centropa vo. 14, no. 1 (January 2014)
‘Renewing the Curatorial Refrain: Sustainable Research in Contemporary Art,’ in Curating Subjects III – Curating Research (London and Amsterdam, Open Editions and de Appel, 2014)
'Ecological Preacariousness and the Fragility of Art and Life in the East European Neo-Avant-garde,' in The Permanence of the Transient: Precariousness in Art, ed. Caroline Menezes and Camila Maroja (CSP: Cambridge, 2014)
'Art and Ecology,' in Art Monthly (Dec 2013 - Jan 2014
'Tamás Kaszás’s Art Laboratory: Anticipating Collapse, Practicing Survival' Ars Hungarica special issue on art and theory, (December 2013)
‘Hungarian Art in the Eye of the Storm,’ IDEA Journal (June 2013)
'Identity Crisis: The Return of East European' Art Monthly (April 2013)
‘The #occupy effect on contemporary art,’ Art Monthly (September 2012)
‘The Post-National in East European Art: From Socialist Internationalism to Transnational Communities' in Proceedings of the Torun Conference on the History of Art History in Central, Eastern and South East Europe (University of Torun, 2012)
‘Art and Sustainability’ in Enough for All Forever: A Handbook for Learning about Sustainability, eds Joy Morray, et. al. (Common Ground:Champaign, Illinois, 2012)
‘Signs of the City under Erasure,’
Bálint Szombathy, exh. cat. (Szentendre: MuveszetMalom, 2012)
‘New Left East: Socialism as if it Really Existed,’ Loophole to Happiness (Budapest: Translocal.org, 2011)
‘You Only Live Twice: the Strange Afterlife of Socialist Realist Sculpture,’ (Reuben Fowkes) in Matter and History (Bucharest, 2011)
‘Testing the Grounds for Contemporary Democracy,’ Power Games exh. cat. (Budapest: Ludwig Museum, 2010)
‘Reclaiming Lukács: Interventions in the Archive of a Marxist Philosopher’ IDEA
‘Abstract Elements in a Devestated Environment: Land Art of Hungarian Group Pécs Workshop,’ (Maja Fowkes) Fantom Slobode no.3 2010
‘Contemporary East European Art in the Era of Globalization: From Identity Politics to Cosmopolitan Solidarity’ Art Margins (September 2010)
‘Ecology and Ideology: In Search of an Antidote in Contemporary Art’Verge (February 2010)
‘Planetary Forecast: The Roots of Sustainability in the Radical Art of the 1970s’ Third Text 100 Special Issue Vol 23 no. 5 (Sept 2009)
‘From Post-Communism to Post-Transition: Art in Eastern Europe’ The Art Book (Jan 2009)
‘A Short History of the SocialEast Forum’ (Reuben Fowkes) in Baltic/Balkans (Museum of Contemporary Art Szczecin, 2009)
‘The Ecology of Post-Socialism and the Implications of Sustainability for Contemporary Art’ in Art & Theory Post Socialism, ed. Malcolm Miles (Intellect books, 2008)
‘Towards the Ecology of Freedom’ in Ground Up: Re-Considering Contemporary Art Practice in the Rural Context ed. Fiona Wood (ennistymonarts, 2008)
‘How Philosophers Get Curated,’ Art Monthly (February 2008)
‘A Glossary of 1968,’ Revolution I Love You (Budapest: Trafó Gallery, 2008)
‘Rational, Responsible and Free,’ Revolution is not a Garden Party
(Manchester: MMU, 2007)
‘The Hidden Depths of Hungarian Art’ in Arrivals: Art from New Europe, edited Suzanne Cotter, Andrew Nairne and Victoria Pomery (Modern Art: Oxford, 2007)
‘The Art of Making do with Enough’ in The New Art (Rachmaninoffs / Zoo Art Fair: London, 2006)
‘The Principles of Sustainability in Contemporary Art’ Praesens: Contemporary Central European Art Review 1/2006
Indie Art and the Seventies Umelec (Prague) 2006/1
‘Little Warsaw: Strategies of Removal and Deconstruction,’ Umelec: Contemporary Art and Culture (Prague) 3/2005
‘Unframed Landscapes: Nature in Contemporary Art,’ Unframed Landscapes (Zagreb: HDLU, 2004)
'Soviet War Memorials in Eastern Europe,' (Reuben Fowkes) in Figuration/Abstraction: Public Art in Europe 1945-68, edited by Charlotte Benton (Ashgate, 2004).
'Statues of Poets in Communist Hungary,' (Reuben Fowkes) in Proceedings of the Conference of the Society of Anglo-Polish Art Historians, Leeds, 8th - 10th April 2002 (Warsaw: Institute of Art, 2004).
'The New Man and Woman in Socialist Realist Sculpture,' (Reuben Fowkes) Limes (Budapest), September 2004.
‘Glocal Practices in Contemporary Croatian Art,’ Praesens: central European contemporary art review 4/2004
'Public Sculpture and Hungarian Revolution of 1956.' (Reuben Fowkes) Inferno (March 2003)
'The Role of Monumental Sculpture in the Construction of Socialist Space in Stalinist Hungary,' (Reuben Fowkes) in Socialist Spaces in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union 1947-1991, edited by Susan Reid and David Crowley (Berg, 2002)
Course on Visual Cultures of the Anthropocene
Dept of Environmental Sciences and Policy
Central European University Budapest
Course on Art and Ecology
MA in Art Theory and Curatorial Studies
Hungarian University of Fine Arts
Course on Art and Ecology
MA in Theoretical Studies
Moholy Nagy University of Applied Arts
Courses in Arts Management
International Business School Budapest
Lecturers on East European Art
MA in Contemporary Art
Sothebys Institute London
Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design (MIRIAD), UK
Research Fellow (Reuben Fowkes)2005-9
'Cracking the Canon, Wooing the Museum, Luring the Market: The Integration of the East European Neo-Avant-Garde into Global Art Structures' at the College Art Association Conference in Washington, 3-6 February 2016
'I Live on Earth: Cosmic Epistemology and the Place of Nature in the Work of Natalia LL' at the conference on Natalia LL. Beyond “Consumer Art”, CSW Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw, 20 November 2015
'Putting the Social back into the Socialist City: The Critical Urban Practice of Group TOK' at the conference on Shared Practices: The Intertwinement of the Arts in the Culture of Socialist Eastern Europe Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, 22-24 October 2015
'Towards a Planetary History of East European Art' at the Conference on East European Art seen from Global Perspective: Past and Present, Galeria Labirynt, Lublin, Poland, 24-27 October, 2014
'Planetary Awareness under State Socialism: the Environmental Art History of Eastern Europe,' Association of Art Historians (AAH) Royal College of Arts (RCA), London, 10-12 April 2014
'Going Wild: Ecological Pulses in Contemporary Art' at the Conference Renewable Energy, Renewable Culture, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, 29-30 November 2013
'Sidelined, Under-represented and Snubbed: The New Unofficial in East European Art'
AICA 46th International Congress
Kosice and Bratislava, 24-27 September 2013
‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being: the Fragility of Art and Life in the East European Neo-avant-garde,’
Association of Art Historians (AAH)
Reading, April 2013
Symposium ‘Rethinking Robert Smithson’
Academy of Fine Arts, The Hague, March 2012
‘The Challenge of the Post-National in East European Art History,’
Clark Institute conference 'Art History on the Disciplinary Map in East-Central Europe'
Brno, November 2010
‘The Possibility of the Post-National in Contemporary East European Art'
College Art Association Conference (CAA), Chicago, February 2010
‘Partisan Exhibitions at the Zero Hour of Curatorial History,’
Invisible History of Exhibitions: Parallel chronologies Symposium
Budapest, May 2009
‘Art in the Age of Global Warming’
Europe Now, Europe Next Conference
‘Sustainable Visions’ film screening
Shifiting Ground conference
Ennis, County Clare, 2006
‘From Land Art to Sustainability’
Second Congress of Croatian Art Historians, Mimara, Zagreb, 2006
‘Croatian Spring: Art in the Social Sphere,’ Symposium on ‘Open Systems Art c.1970’
Tate Modern, 2005
‘The Generalissimo’s Seventieth Birthday (21/12/49): A Turning Point in East European Cultural History’ (Reuben Fowkes) at the Conference on Stalin's Cultural Legacy, Bristol University,15-16 March 2003
‘Public Sculpture and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956’ (Reuben Fowkes)
Association of Art Historians (AAH)
Liverpool University, April 2002
‘Art and Nationalism under Socialism: the Case of Sculpture in Eastern Europe,’ (Reuben Fowkes) Conference on Language, History and Art in Nationalist Movements,
University of Madrid, 15-17th November 2000
‘Outposts of Empire: Soviet War Memorials in Eastern Europe,’ (Reuben Fowkes) Conference on Figuration/Abstraction: Public Sculpture in Europe 1945-68, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, December 1999
Review of Gulf Labour: High Culture / Hard Labor Art Monthly no. 394 (March 2016)
'Venice through Tinted Spectacles 56th Venice Biennial' exindex.hu (June 2015)
' Contemporary Uncontemporary @ Venice 2013' exindex.hu (June 2013)
'East of Eden - Photorealism: Versions of Reality,' arta revista de arte vizuale no.4-5 (2012),pp. 176-7.
‘Here Tomorrow. Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, 4 October - 3 November 2002.’ Frieze issue 72
'Budapest Box: The Hidden Scene in the 1990s: 4 July - 29 September, 2002. Ludwig Museum, Budapest.’ Umelec: Contemporary Art and Culture (Prague) 2002/3
'5 Questions with Maja and Reuben Fowkes' post.at.moma Notes on Modern & Contemporary Art from Around the Globe (16 November 2016)
'Natural, Artistic, and Political Ecologies of East-Central Europe,' (interview with Maja and Reuben Fowkes by Júlia Laki) Mezosfera (April 2016)
'Translocal Institute: Interview with Maja and Reuben Fowkes' (by Aleksandra Jach) The Anthropocene Index (December 2015)
'Politics, the Environment and Art Across a Changing Political Landscape: Interview with Maja and Reuben Fowkes' (by Janeil Engelstad) ArtMargins July 2014
'Critical theory in art historical discourse: In conversation with Maja and Reuben Fowkes' (Interview by Viktória Popovics) exindex.hu (March 2014)
'In Conversation with Maja and Reuben Fowkes,' Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture no. 10 (Summer 2009)
Member of Editorial Board of Third Text
Members of the Critical Theories Research Group of the Institute of Art History of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA)
Members of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA)
Members of the International Curator’s Association (IKT)
Members of the Association of Art Historians (AAH)
Awards and honours
Nominators for the Princess Margaret Award European Cultural Foundation Amsterdam, 2015
Nominators for the Visible Award Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto, 2015
Harold Szeemann Grant, International Curator’s Association (IKT), 2013
International Jury Member for the Čepan Prize for Young Slovak Artists, 2011-12
Research Residency for East European Scholars at Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Massachusetts and New York, 2011
Working Grant of the Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory in 2010
Lectures and Presentations
Keynote lecture on 'Deviant Democracies and Ecological Uncertainties,' at the Symposium on Mutating Ecologies in Contemporary Art MACBA, Barcelona 1 December, 2016.
'Feeling the Curve of the Earth (Art and Ecology in Post-Democratic Times)' Lecture at Cultura / Natura: Fotograf Festival 6, Prague, 17 October 2016.
'Journey around the Green Bloc,' Presentation at PAV Torino, 31 May 2016.
'The Primeval Cosmic River and its Ecological Realities,' presentation for Instituting Ecologies: Artistic and Curatorial Case Studies at de Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam, 21 May 2016.
'Walking without Footprints: A Curatorial Perspective' for Politicised Landscape exhibition at Open Society Archives, Budapest, 31 March 2016.
Presentation at Workshop on 'The Art of Connecting Worlds: Cultural Technologies and Sustainability' MIT, Boston, 25-27 February 2016.
'"For a Greener Tomorrow": Ecological Perspectives in East European Art' presentation for C-MAP curators at MoMA New York, 24 February 2016.
'The Politics of Ecology' public lecture for Open Studio Bratislava, 16 February 2016.
Presentation at Workshop on Artistic Strategies for Urban Space, Flussbad, Berlin, 29-30 January 2016.
'Political Ecology in Eastern Europe: Curatorial Perspectives,' Igor Zabel Association for Art and Theory / Skuc Gallery, Ljubljana, 15 November 2015.
Participation in Roundtable Discussion at the conference Could We Speak of Bratislava Conceptualism?, Kunsthalle Bratislava, 12 November 2015.
‘East European Art: Unearthing the Subversive Side of Ecology’
Aarhus Art Building, November 2011
'From Stockholm to Copenhagen via Rio: Art and Ecology in the Wake of the Global Summits
Muzeum Sztuki Lodz, September 2010
'Biennial Culture and Sustainability' Cornerhouse Manchester, December 2009
‘Ecological Footprint of Contemporary Art’
Modern Art Oxford, April 2009
‘Contemporary Art and the Quest for Ecological Citizenship’
Turner Contemporary, Margate, February, 2008
‘The Implications of Sustainability for Contemporary Art’
Chelsea School of Arts (Train)
Contested Spheres: Actually Existing Artworlds under Socialism
Kassák Museum Budapest, 27-28 May 2016
Susanne Altmann, Hana Buddeus, Mikolaj Czerwinski, Eva Forgacs, Daniel Grúň, Candice M. Hamelin, Marko Ilić, Raino Isto, Beata Jablonska, Yulia Karpova,Zsuzsa László, Armin Medosch, Helena Musilová, Tomáš Pospiszyl, Alina Șerban, Sonja Simonyi and Tomasz Załuski
The River Symposium on Art, Ecopower and the Liberation of Energy
Central European University Budapest
3-4 October 2014
Speakers: Axel Braun, Peter Coates, Ian Fairlie, Maja and Reuben Fowkes, Jozsef R. Juhász, Cecylia Malik, Ilona Németh, James Prosek, Martin Schmid and Nick Thorpe
The River School: Danube Currents
Symposium at Central European University Budapest, 4 October 2013
Michal Hvorecky, Cili Lohász, Alan Watt, Maja and Reuben Fowkes
Navigating Ecological Times
Study Day at Whitechapel Gallery London, 30 August 2013
Tamás Kaszás, Lise Autogena, and Fernando Garcia-Dory, and curators Maja and Reuben Fowkes
Symposium on Sustainability and Contemporary Art: Atmospheres of Protest
Central European University, Budapest (May 2012)
Speakers: Noah Fischer, Maria Byck, Matteo Pasquinelli, Wietske Maas, Emma Dowling, Gabriella Csoszó, Tomas Rafa, Tamara Steger, Maja and Reuben Fowkes
Reclaim Happiness: Opposing Systems
Tranzit Display Gallery, Prague (May 2011)
Speakers include: Franco Bifo Berardi, Tamás St.Auby, Miklos Haraszti, Fedor Blascak and Jiří Skála.
SocialEast Seminar on Networks and Sociability in East European Art
Courtauld Institute, London (October 2010)
Speakers: Miško Šuvaković, Sarah Wilson, Jasmina Tumbas, Angelika Richter, Jutta Vinzent, Dorota Monkiewicz, Maria Matuszkiewicz / Ewa Borysiewicz, Zofia Kulik, Petr Stembera, Goran Trbuljak, Anda Kļaviņa, Beata Hock and Anthony Gardner
Symposium on Sustainability and Contemporary Art: Art, Post-Fordism and Eco-Critique Central European University Budapest (March 2010)
Speakers: Stephen Wright, Igor Stokfiszewski, Branka Cvjeticanin, Ralo Mayer, Maja and Reuben Fowkes
SocialEast Seminar on Foreign Experience in Post-1989 Art
Ludwig Museum, Budapest (May 2009)
Speakers: Amy Bryzgel, Diana McCarthy, Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, Nada Prja, Oleksiy Radynski, Szabolcs KissPál, Maja and Reuben Fowkes
Symposium on Sustainability and Contemporary Art: Hard Realities and the New Materiality
Central European University Budapest (March 2009)
Speakers: Marina Grzinić, Tamás St.Auby, Tadzio Müller, Janek Simon, Sebastjan Leban, Alina Asavei, Maja and Reuben Fowkes
SocialEast Seminar on Art and Espionage
Courtauld Institute London (February 2009)
Speakers: Doina Anghel, László Beke, Mark Boswell, Paolo Cirio, Anthony Downey, Catherine Fraise, Kata Krasznahorkai, Nina Levitt, Łukasz Ronduda, Kädi Talvoja, Raluca Voinea and Franciska Zólyom.
Symposium on Sustainability and Contemporary Art: Exit or Activism?
Central European University Budapest (2008)
Speakers: Emanuel Danesch, Ivan Ladislav Galeta, Gene Ray, Oliver Ressler, Tamara Steger, Adam Sutherland, Yanina Taneva, Alan Watt, Maja and Reuben Fowkes
SocialEast Seminar on The Legacy of 1968
Jagiellonian University, Krakow (2008)
Speakers: David Crowley, Malcolm Miles, Daniel Grun, Luiza Nader, Sheila Skaff, Adriana Kiss-Davies, Francesca Franco, Maria Hussakowska, Tomasz Gryglewicz, Maja and Reuben Fowkes
SocialEast Seminar on Art and Empire
Manchester Art Gallery (2007)
Speakers:Miško Suvaković, Suzanne Cotter, Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius, Tomaš Pospiszyl, Erwin Kessler, Magdalena Radomska, Benjamin Cope, Szacsva y Pal
SocialEast Seminar on Art and Memory
Mimara Museum Zagreb (2007)
Speakers: Zdenka Badovinac, Miško Suvaković, Katarzyna Ruchel-Stockmans, Lara Weibgen, Andrzej Szczerski, Hedwig Turai, Simon Rees, Marko Lulic
SocialEast Seminar on Art and Revolution
Manchester Art Gallery (2007)
Speakers: Edit András, Michael Blum, Bettina Jungen, Klara Kemp-Welch, Dorota Monkiewicz, Marian Mazzone, Malcolm Miles, Gerald Raunig, Gáspár Miklós Tamás
SocialEast Seminar on Art and Documentary
Ludwig Museum Budapest (2007)
Speakers: Lynda Morris, Anton Lederer, Eva Forgacs and Angela Harutyunyan
Sustainability and Contemporary Art: Djeribi and Stevens
Venue: Central European University Budapest, 2007
SocialEast Seminar on Art and Ideology
Manchester Art Gallery (2006)
Speakers: Ulrike Goeschen, Piotr Piotrowski, Tamás St.Auby and Alina Serban
International symposium on Sustainability and Contemporary Art
Central European University, Budapest, (2006)
Speakers: Alexios Antypas, Heath Bunting and Kayle Brandon, Cosmin Costinaş, Jonathan Dronsfield, Miklos Erhardt, David Haley, Newton & Helen Mayer Harrison, Tamás Kaszás and Viktor Kotun, Hildegard Kurt, Kristina Leko, Edit Molnár, Csaba Nemes, Nils Norman, Marko Peljhan, Renata Poljak, Rúrí and Diane Warburton
Conference on 1956: the Legacy of Political Change for Art and Visual Culture
Co-organiser: Reuben Fowkes. Oxford Brookes University, UK (2004)