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Chapter 9 - Post-Soviet Aesthetics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 March 2022

Colleen Lye
University of California, Berkeley
Christopher Nealon
Johns Hopkins University
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The collapse of the Soviet bloc left ambiguous political, intellectual, and aesthetic legacies for the new left formations that gradually emerged in its wake. Following an overview of what constitutes the new left in contemporary Russia, we turn to the reinvention of socialist aesthetics by a number of cultural producers from the mid-2000s onward. Chto Delat (What Is To Be Done?), a collective of artists and philosophers, returned to the unrealized radical potentialities of the early Soviet avant-garde and aimed to cross-pollinate and revitalize that tradition with contemporary Western Marxism. The 2011–12 protests in Russia brought forth a younger, activist generation of artists and poets including Kirill Medvedev, Roman Osminkin, Victoria Lomasko, and Galina Rymbu. Their genre experiments probe, from many angles, the possible aesthetics of a new Russian left populism.

After Marx
Literature, Theory, and Value in the Twenty-First Century
, pp. 143 - 160
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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