The Total Art of Stalinism: Avant-Garde, Aesthetic Dictatorship, and Beyond

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Overview

From the ruins of communism, Boris Groys emerges to provoke our interest in the aesthetic goals pursued with such catastrophic consequences by its founders. Interpreting totalitarian art and literature in the context of cultural history, this brilliant essay likens totalitarian aims to the modernists' goal of producing world-transformative art. In this new edition, Groys revisits the debate that the book has stimulated since its first publication.
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The Total Art of Stalinism: Avant-Garde, Aesthetic Dictatorship, and Beyond

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Overview

From the ruins of communism, Boris Groys emerges to provoke our interest in the aesthetic goals pursued with such catastrophic consequences by its founders. Interpreting totalitarian art and literature in the context of cultural history, this brilliant essay likens totalitarian aims to the modernists' goal of producing world-transformative art. In this new edition, Groys revisits the debate that the book has stimulated since its first publication.
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Editorial Reviews

Art Bulletin
“This is not just a book, but an event ... The Total Art of Stalinism is an intellectual landmark.”
Boston Globe
“Art and the celebration of power all too often coincide, and the controversial message here is that artists, for all their insights into the human condition, can make a hash of society as completely as the most cynical of politicians.”
New Left Review
“One of the most astute commentators on the art scene today.”
From the Publisher
“This is not just a book, but an event ... The Total Art of Stalinism is an intellectual landmark.”—Art Bulletin

“Art and the celebration of power all too often coincide, and the controversial message here is that artists, for all their insights into the human condition, can make a hash of society as completely as the most cynical of politicians.”—Boston Globe

“One of the most astute commentators on the art scene today.”—New Left Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844677078
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 8/8/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 849,262
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Boris Groys is Professor of Aesthetics, Art History, and Media Theory at the Center for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe, and since 2005, the Global Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Science, NYU. He has published numerous books including The Total Art of Stalinism, Ilya Kabakov: The Man Who Flew into Space from His Apartment, Art Power, and The Communist Postscript.

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Table of Contents

Introduction The Culture of the Stalin Era in Historical Perspective 3

Chapter 1 The Russian Avant-Garde: The Leap over Progress 14

White Humanity 15

Red Agitation 19

Chapter 2 The Stalinist Art of Living 33

Judgment Day for World Culture 37

The Typology of the Nonexistent 50

The Earthly Incarnation of the Demiurge 56

Chapter 3 Postutopian Art: From Myth to Mythology 75

The Lost Horizon 81

The Avant-Garde Artist as the "Little Man" 84

Stalin's Best Pupils 89

Poet and Militiaman 95

A Cruel Talent 99

Chronicler of the Kremlin 102

Chapter 4 Designers of the Unconscious and Their Audience 113

Afterword 121

Notes 131

Introduction The Culture of the Stalin Era in Historical Perspective 3

Chapter 1 The Russian Avant-Garde: The Leap over Progress 14

White Humanity 15

Red Agitation 19

Chapter 2 The Stalinist Art of Living 33

Judgment Day for World Culture 37

The Typology of the Nonexistent 50

The Earthly Incarnation of the Demiurge 56

Chapter 3 Postutopian Art: From Myth to Mythology 75

The Lost Horizon 81

The Avant-Garde Artist as the "Little Man" 84

Stalin's Best Pupils 89

Poet and Militiaman 95

A Cruel Talent 99

Chronicler of the Kremlin 102

Chapter 4 Designers of the Unconscious and Their Audience 113

Afterword 121

Notes 131

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