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Art and Production by Boris Arvatov
  

Art and Production

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Synopsis

Art and Production by Boris Arvatov

Boris Arvatov's Art and Production is a classic of the early Soviet avant-garde. Now nearing a century since its first publication, it is a crucial intervention for those seeking to understand the social dynamic of art and revolution during the period.Derived from the internal struggles of Soviet Constructivism, as it confronted the massive problems of cultural transformation after `War Communism', Arvatov's writing is a major force in the split that occurred in the revolutionary horizons of Constructivism in the early 1920s. Critical of early Constructivism's social-aesthetic process of art's transformation of daily life - epitomised in studio-based painting, photography and object making - Arvatov polemicises for the devolution of artistic skills directly into the relations of production and the factory.Whilst acknowledging the problems of a pure factory-based Productivism, Arvatov remains overwhelmingly committed to a new role and function for art outside the conventional studio and traditional gallery. Addressing issues such as artistic labour and productive labour, the artist as technician, art and multidisciplinarity and a life for art beyond `art' - finding new relevance amidst the extensive social turn of contemporary participatory art - Art and Production offers a timely and compelling manifesto.

Reviews

The appearance of an English translation of Arvatov's 1926 book Art and Production, one of the key statements of Soviet contructivism, is long overdue and will be welcomed by all those interested in the relationship between art, politics and social change. Sandwiched between John Roberts's engaging and informative introduction and Alexei Penzin's erudite and stimulating afterword, Arvatov's text reveals the profundity of early Soviet engagements with the transformations of the role of art and of the artist in conditions of revolutionary change and industrial development. The text is much more than a historical curiosity, however, for it explores some of the questions we are still grappling with, such as the relation between cultural production and mass communication, fine and applied arts and the capacity of art to act as a base for the revolutionising of social consciousness. The appearance of this text both in its original Russian, and in subsequent translations, has inspired many new engagements that have renewed consideration of the central questions of artistic production. There is little doubt that its appearance in English in the centenary year of the Russian Revolution will once again arouse considerable interest and inspire new work on the subject -- Craig Brandist, Professor of Cultural Theory and Intellectual History and Director of the Bakhtin Centre, Russian and Slavonic Studies, School of Languages and Cultures, University of Sheffield 'A passionate proclamation of the sovereign right of art to give a form not only to the artworks but also to society, state and everyday life of the people. Today's art tends to neglect this right - and that is why Arvatov's text is so relevant for our time
Boris Groys, Global Distinguished Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University

About the Author

Boris Arvatov was a leading figure and a leading theorist in the post-revolutionary Soviet avant garde - a movement that is being urgently reassessed by present day cultural theorists and academics. John Roberts is Professor of Art and Aesthetics at the University of Wolverhampton. He is the author of a number of books, including The Intangibilities of Form: Skill and Deskilling in Art After the Readymade (Verso, 2007), Philosophising the Everyday (Pluto 2006) and Revolutionary Time and the Avant-Garde (Verso, 2016). Alexei Penzin, is a Reader at Faculty of Arts of the University of Wolverhampton and Research Associate at the Institute of Philosophy in Moscow. He is a member of interdisciplinary collective Chto Delat. His book, Against the Continuum: Sleep and Subjectivity in Capitalist Modernity, is forthcoming from Bloomsbury.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th August 2017

Author

Boris Arvatov

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Publisher

Pluto Press

Format

Paperback
160 pages

Categories

Theory of art
Cultural studies

ISBN

9780745337364

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