This chapter considers the identity crisis of the 1970s–early 1980s,
experienced by decorative artists in the state-sponsored infrastructure
including factories, workshops and exhibitions. It shows the joint attempt
of artists and critics to renegotiate the position of decorative art
vis-à-vis industrial design, industrial production, craft and easel art. The
proposed solution – the creation of a vigorous interdisciplinary production
culture based on mutual respect between artists, engineers, technicians and
administrators – proved insufficient to satisfy the decorative artists’
creative and critical urges. Even factory-employed artists tended to
dissociate themselves from the state-run campaign to improve consumer
products and living standards, instead promoting anti-utilitarianism, and
focusing on consumers’ ‘spiritual needs’. I illustrate this tendency using
the case of the non-pottery ceramic group One Composition, which was active
in Leningrad from 1977 to 1986 and proposed the notion of ‘image-ceramics’
as opposed to pottery.
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In this chapter, the author, through a family history, speaks of how forced exile persists through generations. He narrates the series of events that took place after he left England and moved to United States, including the catastrophic failures of nuclear reactors. The discussion largely focuses on the incidence of cancers caused by exposure to radioactivity in England, and the impact it had on Anglo-American relations. The author also showcases the differences between English and American cultures.
In this chapter, the author discusses the cultural life in Rochester, New York, in the 1920s. The city of the 1920s is often referred to as 'Mr Eastman's town'. Economically, the first three decades of the twentieth century had been described as Rochester's golden age, and the centrality of Eastman-Kodak to the city's prosperity had important cultural consequences. The establishment by George Eastman of the Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Theatre in 1922 was the single most important event marking the 'end of provincialism'. The 'Rochester Renaissance' owed a lot to Eastman's wealth and philanthropy .
In this chapter, the author explains the internment of aliens in Britain during the Second World War. The 'internment of aliens' is a peculiar and rather hysterical measure taken by the British government after Dunkirk. The author describes his father as an alien. He is alien to Britain and to English culture. He came to Britain from Germany in February 1938, was a class C 'enemy alien' (recognised as a genuine refugee, and officially designated a 'friendly' enemy alien). The classifications were made by wartime tribunals set up in Britain in 1939.