Modern And Postmodern Of The World Who Dismiss Socialist Realism

1279 Words Apr 27th, 2016 6 Pages
To spend years cultivating a theory on the artistic significance of a “[mere] bugaboo used by the censorship to persecute and destroy ‘genuine art’ and its creators,” is a risky endeavour begging for criticism, but Boris Groys makes landmark progress at linking up the threads between the modern and postmodern from a Soviet perspective in The Total Art of Stalinism: Avant-Garde, Aesthetic Dictatorship, and Beyond. Sharply critiquing the Clement Greenbergs of the world who dismiss Socialist Realism as politically utilized kitsch as well as the Vladimir Papernyis who treat it as a disconnected Russian “‘lapse… into a ‘primitive state,’” he asserts a two-pronged argument. Not only was Socialist Realistic tradition a cornerstone for the Russian postmodern historical awareness which sets it far ahead of its Western counterpart, but the Soviet Union itself was a grand artistic project with Josef Stalin behind the easel. Drawing criticism that his theory vilifies the avant-garde, idealizes and whitewashes Stalin, and is aesthetically dubious, Groys admits only to one of these as he establishes a compelling artistic timeline, weaving his way through the history of the Soviet Union.
In his afterward, Groys reveals that his original question was not even necessarily an artistic one, which might somewhat explain the stark lack of artistic examples through two chapters of dense art theory. Rather, he wanted to know “What… happened to the project of building a new society, announced by…

Related Documents