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Soviet things that talk
Yulia Karpova

preoccupied the minds of state and Party authorities, experts of different profiles and ordinary people. However, state socialism not only provides fertile soil for ‘new materialist’ and ‘object-oriented’ design histories. It also offers a theoretical precedent: the concept of a ‘comradely object’. This idea developed within the Russian avant-garde of the 1920s and proved resilient, lasting well into the late Soviet period. Comradely objects and overlooked subjects One branch of the Russian avant-garde in the early 1920s is known as ‘productive art’ (proizvodstvennoe

in Comradely objects
A history
Hans Bertens

simply did not know one another’s example of post-modernism. And when they did, one man’s post-modernism appeared to others as only slightly varied modernism, or nostalgic and mystified returns to the sixties, or mere fringe avant garde phenomena’. 14 Only the loosest, un-theoretical and unphilosophical formulation (which still emphasized postmodernism’s superior representative qualities), such as the one offered in 1978 by Robert Kern, could capture what most of these postmodernisms had in common: ‘Modernist poetics

in Post-everything
Yulia Karpova

minimalist black porcelain vase produced in the early 1960s at Leningrad Porcelain KARPOVA 9781526139870 PRINT.indd 122 20/01/2020 11:10 From objects to design programmes 123 Factory after the design of Anna Leporskaia, a ‘veteran’ of the avant-garde (plate 10). For Riabushin and his colleagues at Department No. 8 in VNIITE, dedicated to ‘ordering the everyday environment in general’,29 designing clocks was an opportunity to express a rationalised daily routine. After being commissioned to design a new model of alarm clock for the Rostov clock factory, Department

in Comradely objects
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

object which was by that point seen as either naively utopian or cynical.1 Meanwhile, the tendency towards studio craft and easel art forms among decorative artists grew completely apart from the goals of a changing Soviet economy. The KARPOVA 9781526139870 PRINT.indd 199 20/01/2020 11:10 200 Comradely objects ­comradely object lost its relevance even more with the disintegration of the Soviet Union and remains an incomplete project. This inquiry into the post-avant-garde biography of socialist objects presents an alternative to the two narratives of Soviet design

in Comradely objects
Open Access (free)
An epilogue
Saurabh Dube

, abstract reason and religious truth, and governmental authority and popular politics. There are parallels here with modernist initiatives elsewhere. On the other hand, South Asian endeavors equally sieved such concerns through distinct expressions of modernism, at once querying the colonial connection with a (generally bourgeois) modern, articulating the national dynamic with an (often avant-garde

in Subjects of modernity
Robert Murphy

question the dominant stylistic approaches or provide stimulus for social change, with the result that there has been virtually no avant-garde film-making and no effective militant cinema in Britain’. 2 Durgnat is much less time-bound and his analysis of British cinema has proved remarkably prescient. A Mirror for England deals with topics such as national identity and the decline of empire, realism and

in British cinema of the 1950s
Open Access (free)
Stirner, anarchy, subjectivity and the art of living
John Moore

practices, poetic discourse corresponds, in its effects, in terms of the subject, to revolution in the socioeconomic order’ (in Payne, 1993: 165). Historically, commencing with the texts of Lautréamont and Mallarmé in the last third of the nineteenth century, Kristeva discerns in the work of certain avant-garde writers a shift in emphasis towards the deliberate creation of genotexts which, by actuating the revolutionary potential inherent in poetic discourse, brings about a revolution in poetic language. This kind of avant-garde text ‘may be interpreted as an affirmation

in Changing anarchism
Yulia Karpova

1920 porcelain saucer, ‘Red Baltic Fleet’, decorated with the figure of a revolutionary sailor; the 1935 post-constructivist pavilion of the Moscow metro station Red Gates by the avant-garde architect Nikolai Ladovskii; an ensemble of traditional clay toys produced by Tajik, Uzbek and Russian craftsmen in 1960–61; the 1967 memorial to the victims of Nazism on the site of the labour camp Salaspils (Latvia); a 1967 pulegoso2 glass vase made by Moscow artists; a selection of late 1920s textile patterns with industrial motifs; the interior of the Soviet Pavilion at Expo

in Comradely objects
Open Access (free)
Gill Rye and Michael Worton

’s writing of the future, was a political project. It was conceived in the tradition of the avant-garde as writing which would transgress and subvert literary conventions both through and for the expression of feminine difference or otherness.7 Ecriture féminine itself proved to be impossible to pin down; although part of Cixous’s point, this fuelled much controversy and even outright rejection as having little to do with the situation of real women.8 None the less, writing by women more generally in France in the s did gain a high profile, making the personal political

in Women’s writing in contemporary France