Search results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 15 items for :

  • Western culture x
  • Art, Architecture and Visual Culture x
Clear All
Open Access (free)
Janet Wolff

than establishing definitions is to trace the ways in which single women have been regarded in Western culture, specifically Britain and America, over the past two centuries. I feel myself on some kind of mission to reclaim the word ‘spinster’ as, if not positive, at least neutral, though I think this may be doomed. Most dictionaries have a note that the term is usually derogatory. Even the lovely sounding Italian name for spinster – Zitella – has ‘pej.’ in brackets after the word in the dictionary. hH In my father’s family, there have been women who never married

in Austerity baby
Open Access (free)
Janet Wolff

in the eye. This business of meaning and symbolism turns out to be rather tricky, though I am inclined to default to my rather automatic resistance to such universal, socio-biological claims – at least until persuaded otherwise. We are on safer ground, though, in looking at the clear evidence for the changing importance of blue throughout the history of Western culture. This history is nicely summarised by Colm Tóibín, in a 2004 catalogue essay for a Dublin exhibition called ‘Blue’: ‘Blue was the banished orphan who lived to take the throne’. He bases this on his

in Austerity baby
Open Access (free)
Soviet things that talk
Yulia Karpova

historical attempt to create comradely socialist objects, instituted as a response to burgeoning Western consumer culture that was being used as a tool of soft power in the cultural Cold War.19 Methodologically, I combine the insights of new materialism and recent design histories with the theoretical framework of Soviet productivism. In addition, I engage with an idea from Russian avant-garde’s literary theory, the ‘biography of the object’, which Serguei Oushakine reads as one of the precursors to new materialist thinking.20 In his 1929 KARPOVA 9781526139870 PRINT

in Comradely objects
Yulia Karpova

and the fetishisation of objects. While this idea, shared by Kantor and his colleagues Riabushin, Rozenblium, the architect Viacheslav Loktev and others, seems to align with the planned economy and ideological dictates of the Party, it also incorporated elements of diversity and play due to the dynamic character of this future, de-artefactualised material culture, reminiscent of the then popular western New Left critique of design and urban planning.15 However, while VNIITE developed clever predictions regarding the future of de-artefactualisation, millions of

in Comradely objects
Yulia Karpova

all the official pronouncements against ‘bourgeois modernism’). To be precise, all these terms that extend from the root word ‘modern’ are highly debated and polysemantic. If we take the understanding of modernism as the critique of, or resistance to, modernity,47 then the meaning of design in socialist society appears quite ambiguous. Although Soviet design was generated by modern technology and science and influenced, through competition, by Western consumer culture, it could also offer a critical stance on Soviet modernity itself, particularly this modernity

in Comradely objects
Yulia Karpova

5 A new production culture and non-commodities After the two turns in Soviet material and visual culture – the Khrushchevera aesthetic turn and the mid-1960s anti-functionalist turn – Soviet material culture became a site of great plurality and diversity, otherwise rarely associated with the Brezhnev era. Whereas VNIITE theorists explored the possibilities of flexible and user-sensitive systemic designing, as the preceding chapter has discussed, the critics and practitioners of decorative art chose self-reflection as their foremost professional strategy. This

in Comradely objects
Yulia Karpova

aspects such as sales rates, available materials and costs in managing complex companies. Within this model, the Soviet economy appeared ‘as an enormous organism that could be optimized by way of computer networks through the channelling and management of information flows’.14 This optimisation would further the ordering of material culture. As Diana West argues in her study of Soviet cybernetics, by appropriating this Western KARPOVA 9781526139870 PRINT.indd 67 20/01/2020 11:10 68 Comradely objects interdisciplinary science, ‘Soviet designers at VNIITE aimed to

in Comradely objects
Open Access (free)
Yulia Karpova

prototypes that were never realised – as well as video-interviews with ­designers. The museum’s director, the designer Alexandra Sankova, aimed to demonstrate to a young generation that post-war Soviet visual culture was not only propaganda and to present a complex approach to design, of the kind professed at VNIITE. As she explained, ‘according to the contemporary idea of design, an object should possess at least two qualities: functionalism and consumer appeal. Is this idea compatible to the notion of “the Soviet?” Our exhibition aimed to answer this question.’9 The

in Comradely objects
Yulia Karpova

time. While encouraging the youth’s interest in Western fashion and certain elements of Western mass culture, designers and critics assumed the role of mediators in this process by publishing advice literature and shaping the spaces of socialisation, as in the spread of modern cafés heavily frequented by young people in the 1960s. Nevler, however, opined that such cafés attracted too much of designers’ attention at the expense of the interiors of student and worker dormitories. These temporary homes, Nevler believed, could be excellent showcases of modern lifestyles

in Comradely objects
Open Access (free)
Tania Anne Woloshyn

represent bodies consuming therapeutic light – soaking up its rays – and the natural surroundings and technological paraphernalia enabling such exposures. Together they offer a salient point of entry into the history and visual culture of light therapy in Britain during the early twentieth century, the subject of this book. This supplement, which collapsed medical and popular conceptions of light therapy, evinces the central role light

in Soaking up the rays