Blog Archives

Now Open–Views and Re-Views: Soviet Political Posters and Cartoons

soviet posterViews and Re-Views: Soviet Political Posters and Cartoons
Sept 20-Dec 4, 2011
Main Gallery
Block Museum
Northwestern University

Two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union, Views and Re-Views: Soviet Political Posters and Cartoons invites a post-Cold War assessment of Soviet graphic arts through posters, cartoons, and photomontages from the time of the Russian Civil War (1918–21) into the late Soviet period.

The exhibition includes well-known Soviet graphic works, by such artists as Viktor Deni, Dmitri Moor, El Lissitsky, and Gustav Klutsis, as well as lesser-known, but equally compelling works by the Kukryniksy (a three-artist collaborative), Alexander Zhitomirsky, and others.

The exhibition suggests that artistic merit may be found in art in the service of political belief and subject to state regulation and that there is a range of stylistic diversity within work that is too often simply (and dismissively) characterized as Socialist Realism. Viewers may also note that with the passage of time it has become possible to see that not all criticisms of the West by Soviet artists are completely spurious or inauthentic.

Views and Re-Views: Soviet Political Posters and Cartoons was organized by the David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University.

Posted in: Chicago Events, Soviet Arts Experience

Moscow, Cheryomushki at the Harris Theater

Dmitri Shostakovich
Moscow, Cheryomushki

April 14, 20, 22 ,25, 2012
Harris Theater

THE PEOPLE’S OPERA!
Chicago Opera Theater brings its own unique twist to Shostakovich’s musical satire that takes a political poke at the Soviet Union’s chronic housing shortages. Renowned Shostakovich scholar Gerard McBurney produced a musical score that captures this operetta’s lighter mood. The mix of memorable songs and spectacles creates a hilarious new production that marks the 21st Chicago premiere since Brian Dickie’s arrival in 1999.

Sung in English with English supertitles.

Posted in: Chicago Events, Soviet Arts Experience

Global Comrades–films by Aleksandr Medvedkin and Chris Marker at the UChicago Film Studies Center

Global Comrades
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 – 7:00pm
Part of the Film Series “Vision and Communism: The Films of Aleksandr Medvedkin and Chris Marker”
Film Studies Center
5811 South Ellis Ave.
Cobb Hall 306
Chicago, IL 60637

Introduction by Robert Bird, Associate Professor, Departments of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Cinema and Media Studies.

In 1967 Chris Marker happened upon Aleksandr Medvedkin’s 1935 film satire Happiness and discovered for the world a lost giant of the Soviet cinema. Further research into Medvedkin’s work led Marker to the “film-train” that Medvedkin had conducted for a time in 1933-1934, in the heady days of the rapid industrialization and collectivization. The thoughtful, inventive and humorous political films of Medvedkin and his comrades not only proved consonant to Marker’s own practice as a film-essayist, but also provided a powerful impulse for Marker’s efforts to encourage insurgent filmmaking at the grass-roots level. Featuring several films that have rarely, if ever, been shown in the United States, this screening series explores a friendship between filmmakers, exemplifying the powerful yet tenuous intimacy that becomes possible when technological media are adopted for the international struggle for social justice.

Part II of the film series documents both filmmakers’ turn to international topics, particularly the effects of Cold War politics on Africa, Vietnam and other developing countries.

For more info and to see the list of individual films that will be shown visit http://filmstudiescenter.uchicago.edu/events/2011/vision-and-communism-films-aleksandr-medvedkin-and-chris-marker-0

Posted in: CEERES Events/News, Chicago Events, Soviet Arts Experience

Film-Train Shorts by Aleksandr Medvedkin and Chris Marker at the UChicago Film Studies Center

Film-Train Shorts
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 – 7:00pm
Part of the Film Series “Vision and Communism: The Films of Aleksandr Medvedkin and Chris Marker”
Film Studies Center
5811 South Ellis Ave.
Cobb Hall 306
Chicago, IL 60637

Introduction by archivist Rimma Moiseeva, The Russian State Archive for Cinema and Photographic Documentation (Krasnogorsk, Russia), and scholar Nikolai Izvolov.

In 1967 Chris Marker happened upon Aleksandr Medvedkin’s 1935 film satire Happiness and discovered for the world a lost giant of the Soviet cinema. Further research into Medvedkin’s work led Marker to the “film-train” that Medvedkin had conducted for a time in 1933-1934, in the heady days of the rapid industrialization and collectivization. The thoughtful, inventive and humorous political films of Medvedkin and his comrades not only proved consonant to Marker’s own practice as a film-essayist, but also provided a powerful impulse for Marker’s efforts to encourage insurgent filmmaking at the grass-roots level. Featuring several films that have rarely, if ever, been shown in the United States, this screening series explores a friendship between filmmakers, exemplifying the powerful yet tenuous intimacy that becomes possible when technological media are adopted for the international struggle for social justice.

In part I of the series, Medvedkin’s earliest surviving short film Mind Your Health and a selection of short documentaries from the “film-train” will be presented, followed by one of Chris Marker’s films documenting the turmoil of 1968-1969.

For more information visit http://filmstudiescenter.uchicago.edu/events/2011/film-train-shorts.

Posted in: Chicago Events, Soviet Arts Experience

Agitation!: A Symposium, October 14


October 14 from 9am-6:30pm at the Smart Museum of Art

Join leading scholars for a daylong public symposium that examines art and political agitation.

The symposium is presented in connection with the exhibitions Vision and Communism at the Smart Museum of Art and Adventures in the Soviet Imaginary at the Special Collections Research Center at the University of Chicago Library. It is part of a series of academic programs in Chicago devoted to discussing Soviet graphic arts, including a session on October 13 at Northwestern University and one on October 15 at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The full schedule for Agitation!:A Symposium is now available online at http://smartmuseum.uchicago.edu/symposium/.

The Symposium is presented the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art, Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies, Center for International Studies, Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures, Franke Institute for the Humanities, Special Collections Research Center, and University of Chicago Presents.

Posted in: CEERES Events/News, Chicago Events, Soviet Arts Experience

Teacher Workshop: Art and Activism, Smart Museum of Art

FREE Teacher Workshop: Art and Activism
Smart Museum of Art
University of Chicago

Saturday, November 5, 9:00 a.m. – 3: 30 p.m.

This day-long workshop will serve as an introduction to the Smart Museum fall exhibitions, Vision and Communism and Process and Artistry in the Soviet Vanguard, part of The Soviet Arts Experience, a Chicago-wide series of exhibitions, performances, and other events that spotlight cultural production and propaganda in the Soviet Union pre-and post- World War II.

Join Leah Goldman, Soviet Historian and PhD student in History at the University of Chicago, for an in-depth look at art and politics in the Soviet Union from the 1920s–1980s, in relation to featured posters on view by Viktor Koretsky in Vision and Communism. Erik Houle, former teacher and current PhD student in the Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures at the University of Chicago, will lead a discussion on creative ways to integrate themes from the exhibition into interdisciplinary lessons for the classroom. Explore text, image, and activism in a hands-on poster making activity. CPDU credit available. Registration is free but space is limited. To reserve, please contact Lisa Davis via email lisadavis@uchicago.edu or call 773-834-1066.

Posted in: Resources (Funding, Study Abroad, Internships, etc.), Soviet Arts Experience, Teacher Development