Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen, Jacob Wamberg (eds.): Totalitarian Art and Modernity (2010)

18 May 2016, dusan

“In spite of the steadily expanding concept of art in the Western world, art made in twentieth-century totalitarian regimes – notably Nazi Germany, fascist Italy and the communist East Bloc countries – is still to a surprising degree excluded from mainstream art history and the exhibits of art museums. In contrast to earlier art made to promote princely or ecclesiastical power, this kind of visual culture seems to somehow not fulfill the category of ‘true’ art, instead being marginalised as propaganda for politically suspect regimes.

Totalitarian Art and Modernity wants to modify this displacement, comparing totalitarian art with modernist and avant-garde movements; confronting their cultural and political embeddings; and writing forth their common generalogies. Its eleven articles include topics as varied as: the concept of totalitarianism and totalitarian art, totalitarian exhibitions, monuments and architecture, forerunners of totalitarian art in romanticism and heroic realism, and diverse receptions of totalitarian art in democratic cultures.”

With contributions by Mikkel Bolt, Sandra Esslinger, Jørn Guldberg, Paul Jaskot, Jacob Wamberg, Christina Kiaer, Anders V. Munch, Kristine Nielsen, Olaf Peters, K. Andrea Rusnock, and Marla Stone.

Publisher Aarhus University Press, Århus, 2010
Acta Jutlandica series, 9
ISBN 8779345603, 9788779345607
359 pages
via Mikkel Bolt

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (10 MB)

Degenerate Art: The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany (1991)

28 March 2016, dusan

“On July 19, 1937, the Entartete Kunst [Degenerate Art] exhibition opened in the Hofgarten arcades of Munich’s Residenz. It included 650 works of art confiscated from 32 German museums. For the National Socialists, the term “degenerate” applied to any type of art that was incompatible with their ideology or propaganda. Whole movements were labeled as such, including Expressionism, Impressionism, Dada, New Objectivity, Surrealism, Cubism, and Fauvism, among others. Many of Germany’s most talented and innovative artists suffered official defamation: for example, George Grosz, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Max Ernst, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Max Pechstein, Paul Klee, and Ernst Barlach. Avant-garde artists and museum directors who purchased or exhibited modern art had already been barred from professional activity as early as 1933. With this exhibition, the visual arts were forced into complete submission to censorship and National Socialist “coordination” [Gleichschaltung]. Initiated by Minster of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels and President of the Reich Chamber of the Visual Arts Adolf Ziegler (1892-1959), the exhibition travelled to twelve other cities from 1937 to 1941. In all, the show drew more than 3 million visitors. The exhibition sought to demonstrate the “degeneration” of artworks by placing them alongside drawings done by the mentally retarded and photographs of the physically handicapped. These comparisons aimed to highlight the “diseased,” “Jewish-Bolshevist,” and inferior character of these artworks and to warn of an impending “cultural decline.” As an exercise in contrast, the opposite – good, “healthy,” “German” art – could be seen in the “Great German Art Exhibition,” on view only a few meters away.” (Source)

This catalogue examines and documents the 1937 exhibition Entartete Kunst. Includes essays, a diagrammed catalogue of the exhibition, artist biographies, a translated facsimile of the exhibition guide, and other reference resources, accompanied by reprints of the artworks and photos of the exhibition itself.

Published in conjunction with the exhibition held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Feb. 17-May 12, 1991, and at the Art Institute of Chicago, June 22-Sept. 8, 1991.

Edited by Stephanie Barron
Publisher Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and H.N. Abrams, New York, 1991
ISBN 0810936534, 9780810936539
424 pages

Film footage from the Munich exhibition (4 min).

Exh. reviews: William Wilson (LA Times 1991), Michael Kimmelman (NYT 1991), Fred Camper (Chicago Reader 1991),
Cat. reviews: Willibald Sauerländer (NY Review of Books 1994), Werckmeister (Art Bulletin 1997), .

Publisher
WorldCat

Internet Archive (PDF, JPGs, multiple formats)
1937 exhibition brochure with English translation (at Internet Archive), Spanish translation (1980, added on 2016-12-10)

Greil Marcus: Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century (1989–) [EN, ES, TR]

12 November 2014, dusan

“Greil Marcus began work on this book out of a fascination with the Sex Pistols: that scandalous antimusical group, invented in London in 1975 and dead within two years, which sparked the emergence of the culture called punk. “I am an antichrist!” shouted singer Johnny Rotten—where in the world of pop music did that come from? Looking for an answer, with a high sense of the drama of the journey, Marcus takes us down the dark paths of counterhistory, a route of blasphemy, adventure, and surprise.

This is no mere search for cultural antecedents. Instead, what Marcus so brilliantly shows is that various kinds of angry, absolute demands—demands on society, art, and all the governing structures of everyday life—seem to be coded in phrases, images, and actions passed on invisibly, but inevitably, by people quite unaware of each other. Marcus lets us hear strange yet familiar voices: of such heretics as the Brethren of the Free Spirit in medieval Europe and the Ranters in seventeenth-century England; the dadaists in Zurich in 1916 and Berlin in 1918, wearing death masks, chanting glossolalia; one Michel Mourre, who in 1950 took over Easter Mass at Notre-Dame to proclaim the death of God; the Lettrist International and the Situationist International, small groups of Paris—based artists and writers surrounding Guy Debord, who produced blank-screen films, prophetic graffiti, and perhaps the most provocative social criticism of the 1950s and ’60s; the rioting students and workers of May ’68, scrawling cryptic slogans on city walls and bringing France to a halt; the Sex Pistols in London, recording the savage “Anarchy in the U.K.” and “God Save the Queen.”

Although the Sex Pistols shape the beginning and the end of the story, Lipstick Traces is not a book about music; it is about a common voice, discovered and transmitted in many forms. Working from scores of previously unexamined and untranslated essays, manifestos, and filmscripts, from old photographs, dada sound poetry, punk songs, collages, and classic texts from Marx to Henri Lefebvre, Marcus takes us deep behind the acknowledged events of our era, into a hidden tradition of moments that would seem imaginary except for the fact that they are real: a tradition of shared utopias, solitary refusals, impossible demands, and unexplained disappearances. Written with grace and force, humor and an insistent sense of tragedy and danger, Lipstick Traces tells a story as disruptive and compelling as the century itself.”

Publisher The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge/MA, 1989
Twentieth Anniversary Edition, 2009
ISBN 0674034805, 9780674034808
496 pages
via missionsamurai

Greil Marcus discusses the book on the radio (30 min, KCRW, 1989)
Simon Reynolds interviews Greil Marcus (Los Angeles Review of Books, 2012)

Review (Simon Reynolds, Melody Maker, 1989)
Review (Jerome McGann, London Review of Books, 1989)
Review (Jon Erickson, Discourse, 1989-90)
Review (Steve Redhead, Popular Music, 1990)
Wikipedia

Publisher
WorldCat

Lipstick Traces (English, 1989/2009, EPUB, 5 MB), EPUB
Rastros de carmín. Una historia secreta del siglo XX (Spanish, trans. Damian Alou, 1993, 13 MB)
Ruj Lekesi: Yirminci Yüzyılın Gizli Tarihi (Turkish, trans. Ayrıntı Yayınları, 1999, 29 MB)