Einladung zum Gastvortrag von Assoc.Prof. Dr. Angela Harutyunyan 16.05.

Im Namen von Univ.-Prof. Dr. Anna Schober-de Graaf darf ich Sie recht herzlich zu folgendem Gastvortrag einladen:

Assoc.Prof. Dr. Angela Harutyunyan (American University of Beirut):

Socialist Realism and the Communist Ideal: The Human as a Subject of History

am Mittwoch, 16. Mai 2018,
von 18-20 Uhr,
im V 1. 27 (Vorstufengebäude)

Socialist Realism is declared as the official and sole method of representation in the USSR in 1934, and is universality applied to all spheres of art – from literature and music to visual arts. Rather than a style, it acted as a general cultural principle with its demands for politically and ideologically driven representational content – ideinost’ (adhering to the idea), klassovost’ (tendentiousness) and partiinost’ (adhering to the party), all of which at times could be identical. Following the heroization of labor throughout the proceeding years of the first five-year plan (1928-32) and the constitution of the orthodox party line during high Stalinism in the 1930s, the figure of the positive hero in its contesting constitution becomes the carrier of the above representational content. It also functions as a vehicle for the representation of a specifically Soviet type of humanism that establishes the average and yet heroic human as a subject of history. Is this figure of the positive hero the embodiment of the communist ideal? How is the communist ideal articulated in Socialist Realist portraiture as well as in aesthetic theory in the 1930s?
This talk addresses the above questions and ends with an argument that the so-called unofficial art of the 1980s in the Soviet Union could be considered as a rebellion against the positive hero of the Socialist Realist canon. In the practices of many unofficial and semi-official artists the positive hero is replaced with the figure of the zombie or the walking dead, which comes to signify all that was repressed in Soviet reality. And yet, by doing so, unofficial art also sacrifices the communist ideal reduced to its identification with the Stalinist orthodoxy.

Dr. Angela Harutyunyan ist Professorin für Kunstgeschichte an der American University of Beirut. Sie publiziert zu Kunst und Öffentlichkeit, Visuelle Kultur in post-sozialistischen Ländern und Bildende Kunst im Nahen Osten.

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