State security agencies in authoritarian regimes intervened in art histories on a massive scale. Their aim has been to erase artists from art history, publicly pathologizing and criminalizing them. These agencies have intruded in artistic processes, created fake news in reports on art history, and produced a new type of the “intellectual-informant”. „Intelligence is the war of the intellect.“ as a training book for agents states. Based on material from state security archives in the GDR and Hungary, the monograph analyzes the role played in this “war” by the methods and theories on art developed by the security agencies. After “Artists&Agents” edited with Sylvia Sasse, Krasznahorkai introduces her own `operative art history` as a distinct research area.
Operative Art History shows how operative art history empowers to re-claim narratives entrenched by the state-security agencies and why repressive states are still so much afraid of independent artists.