The main focus of the paper is to delve into the question of how nostalgia for the Soviet epoch manifests itself in contemporary Russian society. In order to assess the different modalities through which this longing is represented, the contribution is based on a comparative analysis carried out on several works belonging to different media, spacing from art to literature. Ilya and Emilia Kabakov’s most famous “total” installation, "Monument to a Lost Civilization" is the first text examined in order to demonstrate its function as a modern “Russian ark”, saving the relics of Soviet material culture. In a similar vein, Sergey Volkov’s artistic reflection on Soviet society, poignantly expressed in his 1990 installation Art Warehouse, is taken into account. The final part of the contribution is devoted to Andrey Astvatsaturov’s novel Skunskamera (2010). Arguably, the pages of this book enable the reader to perceive, nearly phisically, the smells and the sounds that populated Soviet Leningrad. The interdisciplinary approach is integrated with a privileged line of research that, availing itself of the instruments provided by visual studies, explores the relationship between the “visual” component of a work of art, nostalgia, memory and material culture.

“The Presence of Absence. Longing and Nostalgia in Post-Soviet Art And Literature”

MARCHESINI, IRINA
2015

Abstract

The main focus of the paper is to delve into the question of how nostalgia for the Soviet epoch manifests itself in contemporary Russian society. In order to assess the different modalities through which this longing is represented, the contribution is based on a comparative analysis carried out on several works belonging to different media, spacing from art to literature. Ilya and Emilia Kabakov’s most famous “total” installation, "Monument to a Lost Civilization" is the first text examined in order to demonstrate its function as a modern “Russian ark”, saving the relics of Soviet material culture. In a similar vein, Sergey Volkov’s artistic reflection on Soviet society, poignantly expressed in his 1990 installation Art Warehouse, is taken into account. The final part of the contribution is devoted to Andrey Astvatsaturov’s novel Skunskamera (2010). Arguably, the pages of this book enable the reader to perceive, nearly phisically, the smells and the sounds that populated Soviet Leningrad. The interdisciplinary approach is integrated with a privileged line of research that, availing itself of the instruments provided by visual studies, explores the relationship between the “visual” component of a work of art, nostalgia, memory and material culture.
2015
Melancholic Identities, Toska and Reflective Nostalgia. Case Studies from Russian and Russian- Jewish Culture
149
165
Marchesini, Irina
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/555659
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