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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by Deutscher Kunstverlag (DKV) November 29, 2019

Beurteilen oder Verurteilen? Vom Richten über Kunst und Künstler im sowjetischen Kunstbetrieb

Sandra Frimmel


Using examples from the 1930s and the 1960s (the decades of show trials and the Khrushchev ‘thaw’), this article examines what ‘alternative jurisdictions’ – that is, courtroom-like debates outside the courtroom – existed in the Soviet Union, not only to debate, but also to make lasting determinations about what art is and who is empowered to judge it. Cultural and social restrictions – in the form of codes of conduct or an artistic “general line” (term after Sergei Eisenstein) – manifest themselves in these acts of judgement and condemnation. This raises the following questions, among others: What happens to the artist subject as a result of the various forms of ‘alternative jurisdictions’, and what is the task of the (artistic) collective? The investigation of typical Soviet quasi-judicial practices enables a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of contemporary Russian art trials, which attempt to silence artists who are critical of religion or society.

  1. Abbildungsnachweis: 1 © Irene Bachčanjan. — 2 Nadžaf-Kuli, Pečal’naja istorija [Eine traurige Geschichte], in: Krokodil 12, 1954, 5. — 3 Ausst.-Kat. Spheres of Light – Stations of Darkness 2004 (wie Anm. 28), 312. — 4 Evgenij Vedernikov, Kartina jasnaja! [Das Bild ist klar!], in: Krokodil 35, 1952, 12.

Published Online: 2019-11-29

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston