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Transition in Post-Soviet Art

Collective Actions Groups before and after 1989

Octavian Esanu

Publication Year: 2013

The artistic tradition that emerged as a form of cultural resistance in the 1970s changed during the transition from socialism to capitalism. This study presents the evolution of the Moscow-based conceptual artist group called Collective Actions, as an example of the transformations that took place in Eastern European art after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Eşanu additionally introduces Moscow Conceptualism with a close examination of the group’s ten-volume publication Journeys Outside the City and the Dictionary of Moscow Conceptualism.

Published by: Central European University Press


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7

Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Figures

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pp. x-xii

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pp. xiii-xvii

Few are the reliable and well-written books that seek to tell the history of recent art in eastern europe—that is, the history of work by the artists who crossed the line in time that divided the old, communist era from the new postcommunist one. The communist past as experienced by those who lived it is largely a foreign concept to the majority of art historians in the ...

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Preface and Acknowledgment

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pp. 1-14

...in the late 1990s a Moscow-based institute for the study of culture investigated major changes that had occurred in the so-called “author’s song” (avtorskaya pesnia)1—a semi-official genre engaged in by dissident singers during the soviet period and very popular among the public. its researchers concluded that during the transition from socialism to ...

Part I

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pp. 15-35

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Chapter 1 A Bibliographic Overview

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pp. 1-48

The art and aesthetics of KD, and to some extent that of what is known as Moscow Conceptualism, are closely related to two fields, one physical and the other conceptual. The first, which KD’s members christened “Kievogorskoe Pole” due to its proximity to the village Kievy Gorky, is close enough to Moscow to make for a manageable day trip. The second ...

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Chapter 2 Mapping Moscow Conceptualism

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pp. 49-86

The Dictionary defines “Moscow Conceptualism” as a “romantic, dreaming, and psychologizing version of the international conceptual art of the 1960s and 1970s.”1 This is a rather laconic definition for a term that has served this tradition for more than three decades. The following sections of this book provide a broader elucidation of such terms. Focusing not only on ...

Part II Transition: From KD to [KD]

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pp. 87-107

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Chapter 3 KD ’s JourneysBefore 1989

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pp. 89-172

It was during the Soviet period that the KD group gradually emerged with its own mythology, methodology, and terminology. From 1976 to 1989 its members sought unique ways to investigate the nature of art—this search for method comprising the group’s main self-professed artistic program and affecting all aspects...

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Chapter 4 “During”: The Transition to Capitalism

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pp. 173-198

In 1989 KD dissolved, reuniting again only in 1995 as [KD]. During this six-year transitional period, its members dispersed, acting and exhibiting individually at home and abroad. There is less information about this time, and even if Monastyrsky occasionally mentions events or texts that took place during these six years, most of them have been assembled within the ...

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Chapter 5 [KD ]’s Journeys After 1989

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pp. 199-278

The overall impact of transitology on russian political and economic life cannot be compared with its effects in other postsocialist countries and republics of the former Ussr. This country’s former status as superpower and the suspicious attitudes of the “reformed” elites toward every foreign project or initiative, as well as the resistance to Westernization traditional ...

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Afterword From KD to [KD]: From Objectivation to Reification

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pp. 279-290

Moscow conceptualists use the metaphor of a stone thrown into the air to describe the previous one hundred years of Russian art. at the origin of the stone’s trajectory stood the Russian historical avant-garde which had forcefully propelled the stone high into the air; when it began to lose speed, reaching the vertex of the parabola, it represented the Zhdanovist ...

Appendix Dictionary of Moscow Conceptualism

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pp. 291-294

Dictionary of Moscow Conceptualism

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pp. 295-328


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pp. 329-344


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pp. 345-357

Back Cover

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pp. 377-377

E-ISBN-13: 9786155225536
Print-ISBN-13: 9786155225116

Page Count: 376
Illustrations: 10 figures and an abridged translation of the Dictionary of Moscow conceptualism
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: first

OCLC Number: 852898596
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Transition in Post-Soviet Art

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Subject Headings

  • Kollektivnye deĭstvii͡a (Group of artists).
  • Conceptual art -- Russia (Federation) -- Moscow.
  • Performance art -- Russia (Federation) -- Moscow.
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