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Sots Art Literature and Soviet Grand Style

Marina Balina, Nancy Condee, and Evgeny DobrenMarina Balinako

Publication Year: 2000

Sots art, the mock use of the Soviet ideological clichés of mass culture, originated in Soviet nonconformist art of the early 1970s. An original and provocative guide, Endquote: Sots Art Literature and Soviet Grand Style examines the conceptual aspect of sots art, sots art poetry, and sots art prose, and discusses where these still vital intellectual currents may lead.

Published by: Northwestern University Press

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Sots-Art, Conceptualism, and Russian Postmodernism: An Introduction

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pp. vii-xx

Sots-art, the mock use of the Soviet ideological clich

Part I—Sots-Art: Between Socialist Realism and Postmodernism

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Postmodernism, Communism, and Sots-Art

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pp. 3-31

IN 1991, the same year in which Soviet communism died, a reborn post-Soviet literature was immediately christened in the baptismal font of a new "ism." In the spring of 1991, a major conference on postmodernism was held at the Literary Institute in Moscow, after which this "ism" began its triumphant march across the country-everything from this movement was...

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Text as a Ready-Made Object

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pp. 32-45

AT THE BEGINNING of the 1970s, in the context of Moscow's unofficial art—which is to say, art practiced outside official Soviet cultural institutions—there arose an artistic movement that is often called either sots-art or Moscow conceptualism. Both names refer to Western artistic movements of the 1960s and 1970s: sots-art to American pop art, and...

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The Reading, Understanding, and Discursive Genres of Conceptualism

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pp. 46-57

CONCEPTUALISM1 as a system of writing and behavior arose from the particular atmosphere of irony, negativity, nonconformity, and "antiestablishment" sentiment of the 1960s. It grew and developed in an atmosphere of relativism and skepticism, of the scientific and (especially) non-scientific sophistication of the 1970s, and...

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Playing Absolute Time: Chronotypes of Sots-Art

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pp. 58-74

IN HIS BOOK Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time, Reinhart Koselleck writes: "the temporalization of experience . . . is the defining quality of the modem world. Time loses its character as a locational marker and becomes the productive medium that generates, at an accelerated rate, innovative experiential configurations. ...

Part II—Sots-Art and Poetry

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Socialist Realism, a Postscriptum: Dmitrii Prigov and the Aesthetic Limits of Sots-Art

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pp. 77-106

I immediately interrupt this paraphrase of a beloved poet, foreseeing an ironical smile: what "time"? The discussions of conceptualism and sots art have long ago died out. Conceptualism and sots-art are no longer subjects of "literary criticism." Dmitrii Prigov, like Anatolii Sofronov, is a character in the "history of literature." ...

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Lev Rubinshtein's Early Conceptualism: The Programs of Works

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pp. 107-122

SOTS-ART is, in many respects, closely related to Moscow conceptualism. Both typically operate with the symbols, cliches, and mindsets of official culture. Perhaps the main difference between them centers on the overtness with which a parodic intent is manifested, as is evident even in the labels given to the two movements. ...

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Transfiguration of Kitsch—Timur Kibirov's Sentiments: A Farewell Elegy for Soviet Civilization

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pp. 123-145

To appreciate Timur Kibirov's poetry, consider its conditions of possibility. Imagine for a moment that you are having a bad dream. You are at home but at the same time in Disneyland. You see Mickey Mouse outside your bed room window. The sun is shining. You are happy. You want to shake hands with Mickey. Mickey is waiting. He is stretching out his gloved hand. ...

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Iosif Vissarionovich Pushkin, or Sots-Art and the New Russian Poetry

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pp. 146-164

IN THE EARLY 1970s, when unofficial Soviet visual art moved from imitating Western late modernist art—to which individual artists had access mostly through smuggled coffee-table books—toward an investigative exploration of the "empire of signs" into which the Soviet subject was immersed, there sprung up the first coherent and genuinely innovative...

Part III—Sots-Art and Prose

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Vladimir Sorokin's "Theater of Cruelty"

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pp. 167-192

SOTS-ART is such a characteristic phenomenon of Russian postmodernism that it is often substituted for Russian postmodernism as a whole (this sin is committed not only by such traditionalist critics as Stanislav Rassadin, but also by such postmodernist "gurus" as Boris Groys, Mikhail Epstein, and Aleksandr Genis). ...

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The Diary of a Writer from T

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pp. 193-210

THIS EPIGRAPH quotes a passage from Popov's The Beautifulness of Life: Chapters from "A Love Affair with a Newspaper" That Shall Never Be Started nor Finished [Prekrasnost' zhizni: Glavy iz "Romana s gazetoi," kotoroyi nikogda ne budet nachat ni zakonchenl (book publication 1990). ...

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Reading Palisandria: Of Menippean Satire and Sots-Art

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pp. 211-224

SINCE ITS PUBLICA TION in 1985, Sasha Sokolov's novel Palisandria [Palisandriial] has attracted a body of admiring and perceptive critics who have addressed its ideological (Dobrenko; Groys), thematic (Johnson, Slavic and East European Journal; Boguslawski), and intertextual (Matich; Zholkovsky) aspects. ...

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Viktor Pelevin and the End of Sots-Art

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pp. 225-237

A SOVIET YOUTH, Omon Krivomazov, realizes his dream of being admitted to a military college for future pilots. On the day of his arrival at the Mares'ev Red Banner Flying School, he and his fellow first-year cadets are greeted by their trainers and are promised that they will be made into "real men" in the spirit of the legendary flyer whose name the college bears.1 ...

Notes on Contributors

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pp. 239-241


E-ISBN-13: 9780810165786
Print-ISBN-13: 9780810117679

Page Count: 241
Illustrations: 31
Publication Year: 2000

Edition: 1
Series Title: Studies in Russian Literature and Theory
Series Editor Byline: Saul Morson