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Dream factory communism

the visual culture of the Stalin era

Author: Boris Groĭs

Publisher: Cantz

ISBN:

Category: Art

Page: 461

View: 900

The all-encompassing mass culture we know today had its beginnings in the years between the wars, with its main avenue being the reproduction and circulation of images via media such as posters and movies. The totalitarian movement of that time succeeded in making radical use of these new opportunities for the consistent transformation of culture, even to the point of instrumentalizing traditional media such as painting and sculpture. The centrally organized Soviet mass culture of the Stalin period is an excellent example of such a highly effective propaganda machine. Starting with late realistic works by Kazimir Malevich, this book presents a macrocosm of Soviet art in the Stalin era -- still little-known in the West -- as a unified aesthetic phenomenon transcending individual media. Later works of Sots Art, which view the aesthetics of a totalitarian regime more critically, provide a running visual commentary. The works by contemporary Russian artists such as Erik Bulatov, Ilya Kabakov, and Komar & Melamid mark the chasm that separates us from this art today both aesthetically and politically. Book jacket.

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