, ‘Novye formy, novye zhanry’, Dekorativnoe Iskusstvo SSSR 1 (1969),
78 Smirnov, ‘Krizis? Chego?’, 29.
79 Karateev, ‘Vsesoiuznaia vystavka dekorativnogo iskusstva’, 7.
80 However, there was evidently interaction between design reformers and human
rights activists. Two cases are well known. In 1968 Boris Shragin signed petitions
in defence of four Moscow intellectuals accused of anti-Soviet propaganda and
KARPOVA 9781526139870 PRINT.indd 116
Objects of neodecorativism
agitation, and thus lost his position at the Research Institute of
inmates were relocated to
Auschwitz. However the construction of a gas chamber and ovens
by camp-commandant Anton Kaindl in March 1943 facilitated the
means to kill larger numbers of prisoners.
The camp was liberated in April 1945 by Soviet and Polish units of the
Red Army, and for the next five years it served as a Soviet Special
Camp, soon holding twelve thousand prisoners; in all, sixty thousand
were detained over the five years before the camp was disbanded in
1950. The prisoners were mainly German officers, Nazi collaborators
and anti-Soviet activists. At least
the clear conceptualisation of artistic work
in industry proved to be a key question of the post-Stalin aesthetic regime
of arts. The philosopher (and future human rights activist) Boris Shragin
immediately responded to the Matsa–Gorpenko debate, arguing that aesthetic theory in general tends to fall behind the development of technology and material culture and could not keep up with the rapid changes
of recent decades. The result, he argued, was a paradoxical situation: his
colleagues could admire machines and practical household objects as
human beings, but they
Kochugov et al., design programme Vtormar (‘Secondary material resources’),
experimental implementation, 1984.
From objects to design programmes
the approaching perestroika shifted the recycling problem to the margins
of the state’s agenda. Ultimately, Vtormar fell into the ranks of the many
forgotten visionary projects, such as the Domestic Information Machine.
That said, the idea of recycling infrastructure that was integrated yet visually striking may be of use to today’s environmental activists in Russia.
For Soviet design professionals, the