ART AND POWER
There are some articles on electronic reserve on SAKAI. Go to course name, enter her
email address as the email address, and then the password is Benjamin.
Today is an introduction about various periods we will be discussing in this semester, and
then I will answer whatever questions you have.
WHAT IS TRULY EXTRAORDINARY is that during the Soviet era with draconian
government and so much military spending, SPENT SO MUCH TIME ON CULTURAL
DEVELOPMENT – even in the most critical moments of terror or war, the routine
apparatus of control over cultural measures contined to function. Indeed decisions were
taken of a minor order, who would run a literary journal were made by STALIN and by
the Central Commission of the Communist Party governed cultural life in Ukraine.
Decision on cultural matters tended to be made by leadership of the party, and in making
them they cohered to regulations by the party. Soviet government was dedicated to the
implementation of its principles: the distinction between culture and something else was
so defined, for example, of a particular architectural style for building treated as
This is a fine historian who tell MOSCOW – the architect who created the design for the
building did two completely separate designs for the building, and he showed those to
Stalin’s, and Stalin didn’t understand that there were two different designs for the
building, and because of the time, this architect was so frightened to go back to Stalin and
explain about the different designs, so the architect had to combine the completely
unrelated designs in one building – MOSCOW
Even looking at this one example, you can see how the government really controlled
everything in terms of culture at the time.
The Bolshevik leaders had assumed power that overthrew the state structures, and they
were elected by democratic process, therefore their legitimacy was based on manifesting
the principles in the belief system: the improvements of national economy and well being
of the citizens as indications of their progressions to communism. Their major pre-
occupations was how to make the values of the Soviet nations. What is peculiar about the
Soviet example is the need to create new objects – the leaders of the Soviet state
understood the power of art, and their attempt was to control and direct it in every way
possible. Even such subjects as children’s literature was under very strict control of the
govnerment. In the 20s, there was a belief that proletarian children don’t need to read
fairy tales, because it takes them away from reality, and they think that they can have
wonderful things, and there was a new time of children’s book which was known as the
PRODUCTION GOOD; they had to read about FIVE YEARS PLAN, about the
effectiveness, and fairytale was practically forbidden. I will go over it during this course,
and I will show you many examples, but this is just one of the examples of how the
government took control of everything in the cultural sphere.