Reverse Perspective, the Politics of Space, and Contemporary Art Practice

On a Book and an Exhibition
Panels and Discussions

“Reverse perspective,” the theory of space in the medieval icon developed in Russia in the 1920s, is seen as an element of a political and philosophical project, which aims to “turn around” the Western paradigm of art and knowledge. The Russian icon becomes the alternative model to Renaissance perspectivism and the Enlightenment project of modernity. 

Three speakers revisited this theory by drawing attention to a recent book Reverse Perspective (Ghent, 2020) and an exhibition “Icons for Our Time” (Museum of Russian Icons, USA, 14 Oct. 2021 – 4 April 2022). They showed the continuing relevance of the politics of space in contemporary art practice (icon-painting and architecture) against the background of present-day calls for the decolonization of art and culture.

The speakers were Volkmar Mühleis (LUCA School of Arts, Brussels and Ghent), Wim Goes (Department of Architecture, Catholic University of Leuven) and Clemena Antonova (Eurasia in Global Dialogue, IWM Vienna).

Tomáš Glanc, Slavist and researcher at University of Zurich and Visiting Fellow at the IWM, moderated the evening event.


Joint event, organised by the “Eurasia in Global Dialogue” Programme, IWM, Vienna and the Museum of Russian Icons, USA