The Second Avant-Garde: Design, Objects And Material Culture In Soviet Russia, 1953-1991

Research output: Book/anthology/dissertation/reportBook

My book will explore the specific legacy of the avant-garde in design and decorative art of post-war Soviet Russia. It will be centered on the notion of socialist objects that was pivotal in the particular stream of the 1920s Russian avant-garde, known as productivism. The theorists of productivism envisioned a new role of things as agents of progressive social relations, as “comrades” rather than mere possessions. My book will identify the second historical attempt at creating a powerful alternative to capitalist commodities in the Cold War era. It will be, however, not a history of Soviet industrial design – a specific profession institutionalized in the USSR in 1962 – but, instead, a shared history of objects, hand-made as well as machine made, mass-produced as well as unique, utilitarian as well as challenging the conventional notion of utility. By exploring this shared history, I pursue a twofold aim: first, to highlight the legacy of the avant-garde beyond the celebrated non-conformist art, within the official sphere of artistic and industrial production; second, to explore the beliefs of the late Soviet artistic and technical intelligentsia and its positions vis-à-vis the state. It will be, therefore, a contribution to three fields of scholarship: studies of the Russian avant-garde, studies of material culture under state socialism, and studies of intellectuals under state socialism. In short, it will be the study of late Soviet art and politics through the prism of material culture.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherManchester University Press
StateIn preparation - 31 Jul 2018

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