Charles Doria (ed.): Russian Samizdat Art (1986)

14 December 2018, dusan

An early survey of Soviet unofficial art. Illustrated with photographs and documentation of artists’ works.

Essays by Szymon Bojko, John E. Bowlt, Rimma & Valery Gerlovin.
Assembled by Rimma & Valery Gerlovin
Publisher Willis Locker & Owens Pub, New York, 1986
ISBN 0930279050, 9780930279059
210 pages

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Boris Groys (ed.): Russian Cosmism (2018)

19 March 2018, dusan

“Cosmism emerged in Russia before the October Revolution and developed through the 1920s and 1930s; like Marxism and the European avant-garde, two other movements that shared this intellectual moment, Russian Cosmism rejected the contemplative for the transformative, aiming to create not merely new art or philosophy but a new world. Cosmism went the furthest in its visions of transformation, calling for the end of death, the resuscitation of the dead, and free movement in cosmic space. This volume collects crucial texts, many available in English for the first time, by the radical biopolitical utopianists of Russian Cosmism.

Cosmism was developed by the Russian philosopher Nikolai Fedorov in the late nineteenth century; he believed that humans had an ethical obligation not only to care for the sick but to cure death using science and technology; outer space was the territory of both immortal life and infinite resources. After the revolution, a new generation pursued Fedorov’s vision. Cosmist ideas inspired visual artists, poets, filmmakers, theater directors, novelists (Tolstoy and Dostoevsky read Fedorov’s writings), architects, and composers, and influenced Soviet politics and technology. In the 1930s, Stalin quashed Cosmism, jailing or executing many members of the movement. Today, when the philosophical imagination has again become entangled with scientific and technological imagination, the works of the Russian Cosmists seem newly relevant.”

With texts by Alexander Bogdanov, Alexander Chizhevsky, Nikolai Fedorov, Boris Groys, Valerian Muravyev, Alexander Svyatogor, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Anton Vidokle, and Brian Kuan Wood.

Publisher e-flux, New York, and MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2018
ISBN 9780262037433, 0262037432
ix+249 pages

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Cosmic Shift: Russian Contemporary Art Writing (2017)

17 October 2017, dusan

“In this, the first anthology of Russian contemporary art writing to be published outside Russia, many of the country’s most prominent contemporary artists, writers, philosophers, curators and historians come together to examine the region’s various movements of contemporary art, culture, and theory, from communism, cosmism and conceptualism to past and future futures.

With contributions from Barte de Baere, Boris Groys, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Anton Vidokle, Bogdan Mamonov, Pavel Pepperstein, Dmitri Prigov and Masha Sumnina amongst many others, this definitive collection reveals a compelling portrait of a vast and complex nation built on a contradicting dialectic between the material and the ideal and a culture battling its own histories and ideologies.”

Edited by Elena Zaytseva and Alex Anikina
Foreword by Bart De Baere
Publisher Zed Books, London, 2017
ISBN 9781786993243, 1786993244
xvii+516 pages

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