Search results

You are looking at 1 - 3 of 3 items for :

  • "scepticism" x
  • Art, Architecture and Visual Culture x
Clear All
Open Access (free)
Design and material culture in Soviet Russia, 1960s–80s
Author: Yulia Karpova

The major part of this book project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 700913.

This book is about two distinct but related professional cultures in late Soviet Russia that were concerned with material objects: industrial design and decorative art. The Russian avant-garde of the 1920s is broadly recognised to have been Russia’s first truly original contribution to world culture. In contrast, Soviet design of the post-war period is often dismissed as hackwork and plagiarism that resulted in a shabby world of commodities. This book identifies the second historical attempt at creating a powerful alternative to capitalist commodities in the Cold War era. It offers a new perspective on the history of Soviet material culture by focusing on the notion of the ‘comradely object’ as an agent of progressive social relations that state-sponsored Soviet design inherited from the avant-garde. It introduces a shared history of domestic objects, handmade as well as machine-made, mass-produced as well as unique, utilitarian as well as challenging the conventional notion of utility. Situated at the intersection of intellectual history, social history and material culture studies, this book elucidates the complexities and contradictions of Soviet design that echoed international tendencies of the late twentieth century. The book is addressed to design historians, art historians, scholars of material culture, historians of Russia and the USSR, as well as museum and gallery curators, artists and designers, and the broader public interested in modern aesthetics, art and design, and/or the legacy of socialist regimes.

Open Access (free)
Yulia Karpova

introduced me to Boris Berlin, one of the leading Danish designers and a co-founder of the well-known company Komplot Design, who started his career at VNIITE before emigrating in 1983. Berlin is closely affiliated with Designmuseum Danmark: he designed the furniture for its library and regularly participates in its exhibitions, so his visit to the museum’s café was not an accident. Hearing about my research topic, he responded with scepticism, noting that there was not much good design of household objects in the USSR. This view is neither surprising nor unique. The

in Comradely objects
Yulia Karpova

’, making no sense.17 Iurii Gerchuk spoke with similar scepticism, reiterating his criticism from the previous year. Like Osmolovskii, he warned about the alienation of objects from consumption and compared the latest exhibitions of decorative art to quasi-theatrical plays. Thinking of an object as a theatre prop, an artist imagines a consumer as a mask, or even a range of different masks, and so consumption turns into a masquerade. This work cannot be serious and consistent: ‘Maybe tomorrow we’ll wish to try yet another costume.’ The rhythmic structure of these

in Comradely objects