Искусство: история и современность России
Автору этих строк когда-то пришлось изготовить топики и упражнения для учащихся в лицее, где приоритетным было развитие навыков художников, скульпторов и т.д. Никакого интереса к этой теме ранее замечено не было, но знакомство с фильмами британца по имени Andrew Graham Dixon все изменило. Фрагменты из его фильмов составляют 90% материала этого модуля.
Предыдущий модуль закончился темой противоречия между свободой и патриотизмом. Мы продолжим его анализом картины Джаспера Джона, на которой изображен американский флаг. Оцените картину:
The stars and stripes. He painted subtle variations on it, but always fetishizing the same familiar image. At the time most American artists were painting intellectual abstractions. Johnsen’s flags seem refreshingly new and direct. But what were they? Outpouring the patriotic fervor? A different kind of abstraction? Or something else? The Metropolitan museum in New York houses my favorite of John’s flags. Painted not in a usual red, white and blue. But simply white. And on a vast scale. When John first presented his flag pictures to the American public in the 1950s he was extremely reticent about their meanings. He said: I simply paint things the mind already knows. The implication being that the flag was almost a known subject. It was such universally recognizable symbol and what meaning it could possibly possess? These were purely formal paintings. Now what a laden nonsense! These are angry, passionate pictures. They are Johns’s way of saying, of expressing what he felt was wrong with American society in the 1950s. Contentless? Hardly. Look at what this picture is made of. It's made of collage of newsprint. A babble of muffled American voices. Muffled by this thick heavy layer of encaustic bees wax oil paint. The picture’s a metaphor. The picture’s a metaphor for John’s perception that America is a place where you're supposed to have freedom of speech. You're supposed to have freedom of behavior but actually you don't. This is a picture of America as it were buried beneath the thick, thick heavy snow of a cold and illiberal idea of patriotic duty.
Из чего состоят слои, которые нанесены на флаг? Это wax, pigment, and newspaper clippings.
Идея этой картины пришла художнику в детстве - после того, как отец свозил мальчика посмотреть на предка, который спас знамя от врага. Но не героика вдохновила художника, а любовь к свободе. Но более точно - это неприятие несвободы:
Idea had come to him in a dream, rooted in a trip he took with his father to a monument to their ancestor William Jasper, who died in the American Revolution saving a flag from enemy hands. And how could it not be seen as a commentary by the young, gay, and left-wing Johns on 1950s America in which ideals of free speech and free association were buried under layers of homophobia and McCarthyism?
Взгляните еще раз на эту картину. Опишите ее.
Особенно интересны фильмы об искусстве России. С их помощью можно понять прошлое страны и ее настоящее. Настроения и идеи позволяют даже почувствовать будущее…
Imagine a shimmering city conjured out of thin air, rising in just a few decades where once there had been a wilderness of barren marshes. A place to rival the beauties of Venice and Paris... St Petersburg. St Petersburg was founded at the start of the 18th century in imitation of the great western European cities. Russia had never seen a place like this, with its elegant classical facades. It was part of a great cultural project to end centuries of isolation. But when Russia opened its doors to Europe, it didn't just let in new ideas about art and architecture, it let in a host of other, even more dangerous ideas. Ideas that would lead to bloodshed and, eventually, revolution. For the next two centuries, art was to be a battlefield, pitting the glories of the court... against the anguish of its peasants. Showing the beauty of the landscape and the demons of the mind. From a crushing symbol of tyranny to an art that would devour Russia itself. This is the story of Russia's journey from royal excess to mass rebellion and of how art went from being a servant of the state to agent of its destruction.
Теперь вы можете четко представить, что такое ‘to shimmer’, если еще раз посмотрите самое начало сюжета и сфокусируетесь на воде Невы. Можно иметь shimmery взгляд:
В самом начале есть еще идиома – out of the thin air. Означает «из ниоткуда». Можно исчезнуть «в никуда». Примеры:
The man who conjured the 3.6 trillion industry out of the thin air.- Fuel right out of thin air. – Simply vanished into thin air.
Петр I построил Петербург, но облик города все же определила женщина:
For centuries Russia had been cut off from the culture and ideas of the West. But in St Petersburg, you see a whole nation making up for lost time. Peter the Great began the immense project of Europeanizing Russia by founding the city in 1703. But he never lived to see the imperial splendor of its architecture. Its brightly colored palaces were created in the decades after Peter’s death by his daughter. She would dress St Petersburg up in the colors of a thousand ball gowns. Her name was Tsarina Elisabeth I. Elizabeth's been rather written out of Russian history. Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, never Elizabeth the Great, but she was great in her own way, and she certainly left her mark on Russian culture. Because when we come to St Petersburg and we admire its wonderfully elegant architecture, what we're really admiring is her taste. Peter might've got St Petersburg built, but it was Elizabeth who really decided what it would look like. Elizabeth was positively bacchanalian in her pursuit of pleasure. She loved parties and masquerades and she was drawn to the grandiose European style of the baroque. In the 1740s, she employed an architect with Italian blood, Bartolomeo Rastrelli, but their buildings have a distinctly Russian feeling of excess. The Catherine Palace was Elizabeth's own Versailles, but on an even grander scale. The facade's nearly a quarter of a mile across.
Копирование западного стиля не ограничивалось архитектурой:
It's an utterly competent, completely derivative work of art. But that's the point, they didn't want originality. They wanted EXACTLY what the Europeans had. And Russia's tradition of grand, academic copycat painting would come to a wild crescendo with this picture. It's my favorite picture in the museum. It's not so bad it's good...it's so bad it's fantastic. It's Karl Bryullov's The Last Day of Pompeii. Bryullov's painting gleefully captures the destruction of the ancient Roman city, but it's really an excuse to show off his mastery of European style and subject matter. Almost everything in the picture is second-hand. It's a wonderful collage of borrowings. The dead mother with her baby in the foreground is taken from a classical source. Those figures masked with the cloak are from the Italian Raphael. If you look up at the back the man on the rearing horse, he's nicked from Delacroix, the French Romantic painter. But the picture's more than the sum of its parts and once all of these elements have been whirled around in Bryullov's magic liquidizer, the result is an extraordinarily, theatrical, mad vision of apocalypse. And what it makes me think of, more than anything else, is the great Russian genius for theater, for opera. In fact, I think it's a painting that really aspires to the condition of cinema. After all, it's painted in Cinemascope format. I think, in a way, the only thing that's missing is a little man coming up through the floor playing an organ!
Вы, видимо, успели уже отдохнуть от политики, т.е. от описания реальной жизни, смотря сюжет о картине Брюлова. Вернемся в российскую реальность и ее отображение в живописи. Inflammatory – здесь главное ключевое слово (flame – пламя).
There was a growing hunger for images of real day-to-day life. And by the middle of the 19th century, Russian art had reached a kind of tipping point. Artists were fed up with endlessly depicting the same tiny elite, or churning out huge classical melodramas. They wanted to paint what they saw as the real Russia - Russia in the here and now. The first painter really to peer beneath the surface of Russian society was Pavel Fedotov. From the 1840s, he caricatured the ruling classes. Russia had virtually no history of satirical art, so people were truly shocked by Fedotov's feckless(никчемная) young woman, his preening(прихорашивающийся) major and his penniless noble hiding a pauper's breakfast. This picture is called the Fresh Cavalier, and it's one of Fedotov's biggest hits. When he exhibited it at the 1846 exhibition, thousands of people crowded round to see this satire of a rather small-minded cavalry officer. He's been given a medal, and he's spent the whole night carousing and celebrating this honor that's been bestowed on him. He's a vain man, his hair is in curlers. He's also immoral, because he's spent the night with his mistress. Fedotov was a huge fan of Hogarth and of the European satirical tradition and you can see that in his love of incriminating details. Look at the drained champagne bottle, the broken crockery symbolizing smashed virtue, the guitar without its strings, which is a symbol of discord.....and the cat, scratching away at the silk cover of the chair. And I think the cat, in some way, is a symbol of the man himself - a privileged person who's abusing his status. Fedotov's own life ended unhappily. He was brutally jumped on by the Russian censor, who prevented him from publishing his work in the form of engravings or lithographs, reaching out directly to the wider public because it was seen as simply too inflammatory. What happened was that the artist gradually retreated in on himself. He died at the age of 37 after a long depression. In fact, he ended his days in a lunatic asylum
lunatic asylum - сумасшедший дом (лунатик – это sleepwalker)
Оказывается, в живописи есть свой язык. Обратите внимание на фразу "the guitar without its strings, which is a symbol of discord". Чтобы вы поняли, о чем речь, отвлечемся немного от России и перенесемся в канун эпохи Реформации и посмотрим на картину немецкого художника Холбейна:
All this knowledge is basically useless, just a heap of staff. The bottom shelf meanwhile is full of earthly pleasures, things we enjoy: a lute for playing music, this bag of flutes over here. Look, a book of hymns by Martin Luther. And this is where the picture gets sneaky, very sneaky. Look again at that lute. Look really carefully. See? One of the strings is broken. And traditionally a broken string is a symbol of discord. Something’s gone wrong. What’s gone wrong is Luther. It’s no accident that the Lutheran hymn book is directly below the lute with the broken string. That is a deliberate piece of the vanitas symbolism. Remember, when this picture was painted in 1533 no one was sure yet that the protestant revolution was going to succeed. How could they have known that? It hadn’t happened yet. So a lot of people would have assumed, particularly a catholic bishop and a French catholic ambassador, is that Luther revolt was just a flash in a pan.
Вы уже должны были познакомиться ранее с этим видео, но мы напомним: ‘vanitas symbolism’ – стиль, отражающий «meaninglessness of earthly life». В слове “hymn” последняя буква не произносится. Кроме того, это слово не может быть использовано в таких, например, фразах, как «гимн СССР». “Hymn” – это песня, прославляющая Бога. Для «гимна СССР» есть иное слово – “anthem”. О идиоме “flash in the pan”: высокопоставленные католики считали лютеранство чем-то преходящим и недостойным внимания. “Pan” имеет много «кухонных» значений (сковорода, кастрюля), но эти предметы не имеют отношения к этой идиоме. Найдите это слово на картинке
Подожженный порох иногда не производил выстрел, заканчиваясь лишь хлопком и вспышкой. Иногда “flash in the pan” произносят, когда хотят описать красивое начало в целом неудачной карьеры. Возвращаемся в Россию:
But the trickles of discontent in Fedotov's work were about to become a tidal wave. The great rebellion had taken more than a century to arrive but it would revolutionize the course of Russian art. In 1863, the students at St Petersburg's rather stuffy (lacking in vitality or interest) academy started lobbying to be allowed to paint purely Russian subjects. But their professors said, "No," and the subject set for that year's final exam was Odin entering the gates of Valhalla. Fourteen students left in protest. They decided to turn their back on St Petersburg and take their art to the whole of this vast country. They were to be called the Peredvizhniki - The Wanderers. The Wanderers saw themselves as more than just artists. Acutely aware of Russia's lack of democracy, they believed it was the painter's duty to explore and expose every aspect of Russian life.
Если вы знали раньше о «передвижниках», то теперь вам легко запомнить слово ‘wanderer’ и глагол ‘to wander’. Произносится не так, как ‘to wonder’!
Остановимся на творчестве И.Репина. Все очень современно. Пожалуй, только бурлаков заменили двигатели…
This is Ilya Repin's estate, and to Russians it's hallowed ground. He's not that well known outside Russia, but within Russia he's considered a giant, every bit as famous as Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy. And that's because he used painting to address the great issues of the day. In fact, during the course of his long career, there was hardly an aspect of Russian life that he didn't touch on. Repin's paintings are a panorama of Russian society. His Religious Procession in Kursk is on the scale of a great Russian novel. It's a piercing, pitiless image of a divided society, full of flawed figures of authority - the guard lashing out at the crowd, the vain priest primping his hair, the cruel father, beating his crippled son. Repin had his own wars with Tsarist authority, and the state censors. This picture, The Arrest of a Propagandist, shows a heroic revolutionary seized by the police. But Repin suppressed the image, knowing it was too inflammatory to show in public. He did plan to exhibit this even more shocking painting of a political prisoner spurning confession before his execution, but it was banned outright by the censor.
Переходим к творчеству И.Репина. Начнем с его дома, дизайн которого он сделал сам:
Repin lived in this dacha, which he designed himself in a simple, folksy style. But don't be fooled by appearances. This house, too, had an intensely political purpose. Repin's house embodies his values, and although he was rich enough to employ an army of servants, he prided himself on having none. In fact, visitors to the house were greeted by this sign... 'Don't call for the butler, we haven't got one! Please announce yourself with a tam tam! ' I think it was Repin's way of quietly banging a gong for his own democratic values. And this is his dining room. And because he didn't have any servants to wait on his guests, he devised this rather ingenious circular table, to make sure the plates got to each and every person. It was really quite revolutionary! You can see a smiling Repin on the left of the screen in this fragmentary home movie. And here he is, proudly shoveling away snow without a servant in sight. The living embodiment of the Wanderers' revolutionary ethos. I think the great thing about Repin was the breadth and the depth of his humanity. And unlike many other 19th century painters who depicted poor people, Repin didn't approach them in any patronizing or sentimental way. He'd been brought up in poverty himself, as a peasant, and I think it was that background that gave him the ability to capture the harsh realities of Russian life like no other artist.
In the 1870s, Repin created the most celebrated painting in the history of Russian art. It was to shock the nation with its unflinching depiction of peasant life. Barge-Haulers on the Volga is Repin's most famous picture. It's a great work of social protest. I'm not interested in painting light and color, he said. I want to paint content. And the content here is unadulterated human misery. 11 men hauling, with their own force, a great barge to the shore of the Volga river. They are human beings who have been reduced to the level of beasts. Now these figures draw the eye in so much that it's quite easy to miss a very important detail which is this little tugboat. And what it tells us, quite simply, is that there is another way of doing this. We've got steam power. But the fact is, that human labor is still so cheap, and our disregard for any sense of human rights is so enormous, that we're still prepared to treat people like this. Now, one of the things that's most interesting about this picture is that from the very moment it was painted, it was hugely popular, and its popularity has never diminished. It was, for example, Stalin's favorite painting. This was the picture that he held up to the artists of communist Russia as a model on which they should base their own work. And it's not hard to see why. Because to a communist this would look like a depiction of the energies and the will that would lead to revolution. And the key figure of all, and this was said at the time when the picture was painted, the key figure, who's picked up by the light, is this boy in the middle. He's the only figure looking up, looking out as if to a better life, as if to a more optimistic future. And he even looks as if he's about to take off the shackles of slave labor. This was more than just a painting. This was an incendiary work of art, a manifesto for political change. So what was the Wanderers' alternative to this brutal world of oppression and servitude?
Возвратимся на минуту в российскую современность. Никита Михалков:
«Большевики сделали вещь страшную; они стерли из памяти народа наше культурное наследие, воспоминания о всем том хорошем и светлом, что было в русском народе, включая память о крепостном праве. Восстановить историческую правду — наша задача», — сообщил режиссер, рассказывая о планах создания нового фильма. Михалков напомнил о выдающейся духовности русских крестьян, особо подчеркнув любовь русского человека к «твердой руке»: «С подачи большевиков сейчас в России думают, что крепостное право было чем-то вроде североамериканского рабства. Но это были отнюдь не отношения раба и хозяина, а сыновей и отца. Многие крестьяне не хотели никакой «свободы». Да, иногда помещик порол крестьянина; так и отец же порет свое непослушное чадо».
Оставим эти слова на совести талантливого артиста, превратившегося в прислугу власти. Не будем прибегать к помощи Муму в этой полемике. Возражение на английском языке более убедительно, однако:
Consuming caviar became the ultimate symbol of one's nobility but one that might leave a bitter aftertaste. For all its glittering social rituals, Russia was essentially a feudal society. You have to remember: aristocracy was tiny elite supported by a mountain of human misery. Their lifestyle was sustained by the existence of the serf class. Serfs were owned peasants, effectively slaves, and they made up half of the country's population. Among them, poverty was rife. They lived a hand-to-mouth existence.
Hand-to-mouth – также очень современная идиома для россиян. Причем, не только для пенсионеров. Так говорят о жизни, когда речь не идет о накоплениях, так как все, что зарабатывается, тратится на самое необходимое (прежде всего, на еду). Впрочем, это универсальная идиома:
Hand-to-mouth": having or providing only the bare essentials; with barely enough money or food to satisfy immediate needs.
Не подумайте, что ее используют только для описания жизни крепостных крестьян:
You're giving me insurance, Frank? - Medical's covered for your family. Unemployment should subsidize. - Karen and me, we're hand to mouth.
Вернемся к фильмам BBC об искусстве России:
In 1861 the famous novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote, "If there is a country in the world "which to other countries is more unknown or unexplored, enigmatic, and mysterious, that country is undoubtedly Russia." "For Europeans," he said, "Russia is one of the riddles of the Sphinx." "Perpetual motion, or the elixir of life, will be sooner discovered "than the truth about Russia." Dostoevsky really believed it was impossible for anyone from the West to fathom the mysteries of the Russian soul, but I think that there is a way to at least begin to understand Russia, its rich history and its extraordinary people, and that's through the story of its art. That story will take me across the vast Russian landscape, to encounter the rich but often neglected art of its past - from the power and mystery of the Russian icon, to the baroque splendors of St Petersburg and on to the political protest paintings of the 19th century, and the abstract art of revolution itself. And I'll chart the dizzying story of modern Russia from the tyrannical heyday of communism, to the artistic experiments of today.
Заслуживает внимания глагол ‘to fathom’ – постичь, понять суть. Когда-то в Англии fathom был единицей измерения глубины воды (примерно 1.8 м). Нужно запоминать такие, казалось бы, «экзотические» слова, да еще и взятые из фильма об искусстве России? Вы учитесь в «правильной» школе, где такие вопросы отпадают сами собой после анализа аутентичных фрагментов:
The age of science has failed to explain our Universe in rational terms. Consequently the power of magic has gradually emerged from our conscious minds to fathom the unfathomable. – As I grew up this sort of things was unheard of, unspeakable, unfathomable. – It’s hard to fathom. – These are unfathomable questions right now. – Two massive tectonic plates grinding and shifting against each other have built up energy on an unfathomable scale.
Возвращаемся на российскую почву, однако:
On the edge of Moscow's Red Square lies the State Historical Museum. Its ethnographic galleries are rarely visited but they're a treasure trove of Russia's pre-history filled with the relics of its most ancient past. I think of the great rooms of the State Historical Museum as a kind of Aladdin's cave of all the civilizations that once occupied the vast territories that are now what we think of as Russia and it begins with this boat, this wonderful boat, created approximately 9,000 years ago by an unknown tribe who floated down the River Don in southern Russia in that vessel. We know almost nothing else about them. Here we are in the second room and suddenly, we're somewhere quite different, we're in the Urals, towards Kazakhstan, and this is 3000 BC, about the same time as the peoples of ancient Egypt. This is what's happening in the Urals. They're making these extraordinary idols almost like African totems. This is a museum of the many Russias that once lay beneath the soil of this disparate land. These clay fertility goddesses with their jutting hips were dug up from the Caucasus. And this iron elk was found on the shores of the Black Sea, created by a people with roots in Greece. The sheer span of time and space in here is mind-boggling. Here is a series of death masks dug up at the absolute eastern limit of what would become the Russian Empire, and they date from about the 1st century BC, 100 years before the birth of Christ. It's extraordinary to think of those faces once alive, staring out, looking at me. And when you reflect on the immensity of Russia's territory and the diversity of its peoples, I think you become aware of just what an immense challenge it must have been for the first people who decided to turn all of this into one nation.
Для объединения народов этой территории в единую страну пришлось провести, возможно, первый эпизод глобального «импортозамещения» - ввести принудительную веру в Христа:
I'm travelling to the place where the first attempt was made to mould many peoples into one Russia. That place is Kiev, now the capital of modern-day Ukraine. There's an old proverb which says Moscow is the heart of Russia, and St Petersburg the head, but its mother is Kiev, and that's all because of one ruler and his vision. In the 10th century, the city was at the center of a vast pagan empire known as Kievan Rus, ruled by an ambitious prince called Vladimir. He wanted to unite his people under the banner of a single religion, and in the year 988 he made a momentous decision. He ordered the destruction of all the Slavic pagan idols and converted his country to Christianity. Prince Vladimir sent his emissaries far and wide in search of the one true faith capable of binding his disparate peoples together.
Disparate – сильно различающиеся (никакого отчаяния – не путайте с ‘desperate’).
Чувствуете, что последнее предложение фрагмента кажется незаконченным? Там были слова:
… but they beheld no glory in the churches of western Christianity, and, as for the Muslim world, they found its ceremonies foul-smelling and frenzied. However, when they got to Constantinople…
Так будет и дальше – заимствование западных элементов жизни на фоне постоянного желания сделать все иначе. Хорошо это или плохо – судить вам.
Inside lot 36 of an industrial estate on the outskirts of Moscow lie the fragments of one of the most spectacular pieces of 20th-century Russian art. It once stood astride the entrance to the Russian Pavilion at the 1937 World Fair Crafted by the same engineers who built Soviet warplanes 20 metres high, a worker and a woman, holding aloft the hammer and sickle. A Soviet shout of defiance, aimed at the capitalist West. Communism is healthy. Communism works. Throughout the 20th century, Russia's leaders used art like this to spread their political message. They were acutely conscious of the power of images. But during the years of Soviet rule it was also extremely dangerous to be an artist - you could be punished, even eliminated, for making the wrong kind of work. Works of art weren't judged merely as things of beauty. They were far more important than that. They were the building blocks of an entirely new kind of society.
Итак, быть художником при тоталитарном режиме опасно. Это касается не только социализма, но и национал-социализма:
The show was put together in under two weeks, but contained a massive hall of significant modern art from all over Germany. In the Deutsche historische Museum, Berlin, there's a doll's house version of some of the rooms from the exhibition. You've got an assembly of works of modern art, which are held by the Nazis to be unpatriotic. But Hitler wanted to make a public exhibition of the modernist enemy. He called this Mein Schreckenskammer - my chamber of horrors. Lots of the exhibits were accompanied by the inscriptions "guess how much money the Art museum of Linz payed for this work of art". Yes, a thousand Deutsche Marks of your money! And people were outraged, and they were amused, and they laughed along with the Nazi carnival version of modern art. But some people could see exactly, where this was leading. In 1937- that early - a Jewish intellectual, a Jewish writer called Ernst Bloch visited Entartete Kunst. He went round, he was horrified, but he understood, what this rounding up of degenerats, Jews, dissidents, what it portended. He said this is a concentration camp for people to look out.
Это был фрагмент из фильма об искусстве Германии времен Гитлера. Посмотрите еще несколько фрагментов из этого фильма, после чего мы вернемся опять на родину.
A new element in the landscape is brutally evident - the Führer Straße, the Autobahn. We think of roads is desecrating nature, but to Hitler - the political artist, every Autobahn was a vivid line drawn on a land and designed to connect the German folk to their land. This was Hitler cleverly playing to the deeply ingrained German love of nature, nazified, automotive romanticism. The idea that art can take many forms and can reach into every corner of life was deeply rooted in Germany. A master of mass persuasion, he carefully choreographed the party's rallies, even deploying the Luftwaffe's entire battery of searchlights. As playwright Berthold Brecht said - Hitler's virtuoso use of lighting was matched only by his virtuoso use of the trancheon. At home, good Nazis didn't want Bauhaus, but they did want this doll's house, lovingnly crafted by an anonymous party member. It's Hitler's Heimat in miniature. The doll's house was made for a catholic family to judge by the Madonna in the bedroom. In the living room there's the obligatory picture of the Führer and in the kitchen, something we may find even more sinister, wallpaper showing the Hitler youth in action.
1917. Lenin and the Bolsheviks seize power, as revolution erupts in Russia. It shook the world and spawned a thousand fictions. Sergei Eisenstein restaged the uprising in his epic film October. This was art spreading the word of a new, radical creed - Communism. With St Petersburg tainted by its imperial past, a new capital was chosen for the Revolutionary State - Moscow. With all of Russia drunk on change, it must really have seemed that anything were possible. And Russia's artists, so often at the margins of society, now found themselves projected to its very center as the Bolsheviks sought out an art that would be radical and forward thinking as their politics. Lenin even included artists on his list of the heroes of the Revolution. That was a rallying cry and Russians painters, sculptors and architects responded with a great outpouring of creative energy.
Идиома ‘rallying cry’ используется достаточно часто:
President Obama delivering a rallying cry to black voters during his speech Saturday night in Washington.
It was driven by a group of artists who called themselves the Constructivists. The voice of the movement was the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. But its dominant figure was his best friend, the artist Alexander Rodchenko. His early paintings still pulse with the energies of an extraordinary time. In a sense, Constructivism was built on a whole series of No-s. No to beauty, no to artistic mystery no to the idea of creativity, even. Definitely no to the idea of art you can buy and sell. And he created this very simple language of form - it almost reminds me of the diagram a convict might put on his wall to count off the days to his release, except here, Rodchenko is counting the days until the Revolution would truly come to pass, and alter the world forever. He pushes art also away from the language of representation, towards the language of mathematics. This picture could almost be a Venn diagram...or of electrical engineering. It looks like it could be a diagram of some electrical circuitry. He said, "We want to be constructors, engineers, not creators." It's anti-mystical, anti-mystery, so even when he draws a cross, you know very well that Rodchenko is not alluding to Christianity - he abhorred religion. He said, "What could be more stupid than a church?"
Разговор о религии – в следующих модулях. Пока – искусство. Равномерно переходящее в рекламу. Все взаимосвязано.
Just four years after the Revolution, Rodchenko took his most radical step. He announced the death of painting itself. The future lay in posters, pamphlets, propaganda. Agit-prop spread across Russia on special agit-trains. You can still sense their idealism, in this beautiful poster designed to encourage workers to read. Mayakovsky did the words, Rodchenko the images. And the girl was Mayakovsky's lover, Lilya Brik. This vibrant new graphic language turned the city into a carnival of colourful, sharp-edged forms. Today, just a few examples survive like this for the state shop, Mossel'prom. But I'd been told there was a place where you could still experience this lost world. A great archive, rarely visited, in the back office of Moscow's Mayakovsky Museum...
frowny face and the smiley face - Communist biscuits. I love this graphic language…You know this… Neville Brody obviously took all this for The Face - looks kind of familiar to us now, but then that was just right from nowhere, wasn’t it? This was just totally new to use words like this. And that's one of the paradoxes that Rodchenko and Mayakovsky gave to the West - the visual language of capitalism! Because they're inventing advertising - this becomes...you know… the origins of the McDonald's logo among other things lies there. So we keep going round in these revolutionary circles. Oh such simplicity of design. One rouble. I want that made into a T-shirt - what do you think? One rouble, not going to get you far in modern Russia.
Никогда не произносите слово ruble так, как дама в сюжете.
С последним сюжетом перекликается этот фрагмент из фильма об искусстве Америки (с этого фильма мы начали этот модуль).
But a new wave of artists was emerging, who seemed to reflect a more puritanical side of the American character. They shared the pop artists' cool disdain for consumer society, but took a profoundly different approach to it in their art. The minimalists didn't avert their gaze from characteristic spaces of American life but they looked at them with different eyes, like Andy Warhol with his Campbell soup tin paintings, they drew inspiration from the supermarket. And while they purged and purified it of colour, image, detail, packaging, they still retained its strategies and its forms. Theirs would be an art made from mute accumulations of objects, carefully composed, rigorously arranged, neatly stacked. The minimalists reflected the coldness of consumerism, with the formal coldness of a new, scarily empty, art. A gallery full of their work is like a supermarket where the products can't actually be consumed, only contemplated in all their blankness. Minimalism is a good name for their vision of what American life had become, a life dominated by objects without meaning, without hope of transcendence.
…these ossified images set in tile. And what we've got here are images of a kind of fantasy Russia where peasants are forever happy and smiling. They've got these smiles painted onto their face as they reap the tall corn and prepare to kill the fatted calf. These are images that are being fed to a starving people. Images of an imaginary happy land for people who are actually living lives of extreme misery and hardship. Zhdanov even said that art must be optimistic, and you can feel that sense of enforced optimism here. There's a kind of heaviness about it, too. This barrel vault, it's like a Roman imperial vault, emblazoned with, again, images of things that the people didn't actually have. Corn, plenty, abundance. Of course, Stalin himself knew that this wonderfully happy Soviet state could only ever exist in the images of a fantasy art.
One of the things you immediately notice about the picture is how reactionary its style is. I mean this painting. Take the figure of Stalin out, this could be basically a 19th-century landscape painting. I think that's part of the message of the picture. What it's saying is, it's saying to everybody, yes, there's been this huge upheaval. Yes, there's been revolution. Yes, it might seem as though society's turned on its head, but actually, don't worry. Everything's OK. Everything is as it has always been except better. Now we've got factories belching out smoke. We've got these huge collective farms being ploughed by these new combine harvesters. We've got pylons taking electricity and power to every corner of Russia. You've got to remember, these pictures were not painted for the intellectuals. These pictures were painted for the people. Every good Communist family was supposed to have a painting of Stalin on the wall of their house. And, again, to me, this is very much taking the language of old religious art and bringing it, using it for the Communist cause because Uncle Joe, standing there very much like a saint. There's a sense of votive stasis about this image of him. And he stands with the sunlight catching his face just as the sun catches the face of a Caravaggio saint. But, just one little detail, that even in paradise, you're being watched. Because...look at that car, that little tell-tale black car. That's the signature vehicle of the secret police. So, yes, everything's fine in this new Russia but just remember, you're being watched.
The most dynamic and extraordinary monument of Communist propaganda of the whole 1960s is, I think they call it, the Space Obelisk. What we've got is this great image of a rocket thrust phallically into the sky on its own plume of energy, rendered in the form of this beautiful curve of aluminium-clad metal. You've got a tremendous sense of abstract energy and of aspiration. It's as if just for a brief moment they've somehow managed to recover the energy and idealism of the very, very earliest Revolutionary Communist art, the spirit of Constructivism, all over again. Now, here at ground level, you've got this wonderful collective frieze, this kind of Parthenon frieze of Soviet space exploration. Everybody's been included. There's the wireless girl. Here you've got the heroic engineers pulling levers, pushing buttons. There's ground control talking to Major Yuri and it's all taking place under the tutelage of this Soviet deity. This ancient Slavic mythological figure of Mother Russia. Now, here at the end you've got the suited figure of Gagarin himself, the very first cosmonaut, ascending the ladder metaphorically into space. I can't help wondering why it was that space exploration should have tapped into the Soviet psyche in this way, should have produced this last great exhalation of Communist propaganda art. And I wonder if it wasn't because, really, they weren't just dreaming of exploring the great blue yonder. They were dreaming of escaping the Communist collectivist present. Despite its name, what Socialist Realism never showed was social reality - how people actually lived. For decades, millions of Russians had co-existed in cramped communal flats.
Это конец. Это надолго…
In 1991, the seemingly impossible happened. To universal astonishment, the Soviet Union simply dissolved. Exhilarated by the freedom they'd fought so hard for, Russia's artists unleashed a tsunami of work. They put two fingers up to the old world order. Igor Markin is Russia's answer to Charles Saatchi. In the past 15 years, he's snapped up pretty much every piece of post-perestroika art worth owning, and then some. And he's crammed it all into his very own museum. Like Lenin meets Giacometti. Good space, this. This is my favorite room, the best room in the museum. LOW CHIME That's good. Who made this piece? I forget! But you like it. It feels to me like a museum about Russia. In the sense that this generation of artists you are collecting, that's actually the question they are asking themselves. What happens next? What are we going to do? What's in here? This is the toilet. This is the toilet? Wow. I think that's fantastic. In the old Soviet times every office, every institution, had an official book where you could make comments and complaints. And he decided to make instead of that book, the lavatory of his museum would be the space of complaint and free self-expression. I think it's a great idea. Write something. I'll try and write something. I'm just looking for a little bit of clear space. That's my small contribution. There's a lot of mockery and free expression here, but also uncertainty. Art struggling to find an identity. Russian artists today do face a difficult choice. Communism may have gone, but it seems the old structures are still in place. And if an artist really wants to be part of the system, he's got to toe the party line. This is the work of Russia's most successful modern artist, Zurab Tsereteli. It's a 200-foot-high statue of Peter the Great. In one sense, it says Communism is over. Russia acknowledges its Tsarist past. But it hasn't exactly turned away from autocracy. There's just one man at the helm, one all-powerful leader. We arranged to meet Tsereteli at the Russian Academy of Arts, where he's president. He's a man much in favor with Russia's leadership. An entire wing of the State Academy is filled with his own work. Do you know when he's going to get here? We've been waiting for two hours. This is his family crest. This is his self-portrait. And here at last is the man himself. Andrei is good. In Georgian it would sound like "Andrik". OK. Andrik. May we look round the work? I'm fascinated by this apple. Can we go inside the apple? Wow...This is extraordinary...There is certainly quite a lot of sex going on in here. You can see in the center, avant-garde moments up here...It wasn't the first thing that struck my attention, the avant-garde aspects. TRANSLATOR: For me, the main thing is art for art's sake...I was genuinely struck dumb by the Kama Sutra sex apple. So I asked him if he could show me some portraits...There's more... It goes on through here, too. Who's this figure? This is our mayor, Mr Luzhkov. He's the mayor of Moscow? Mayor of Moscow... The broom symbolizes how he is sweeping bad things out of Moscow. How he's making life in the city better. Is Mr Tsereteli a friend of the mayor? Of course. So...Do I recognize this man? What's the title, then? Healthy spirit, healthy body. So it's not called Portrait of Putin?