Art and Production

Art and Production

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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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 15.24mm | 199.58g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745337368
  • 9780745337364
  • 553,419

About Boris Arvatov

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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Table of contents

Introduction by John Roberts

Part I: Capitalism and Artistic Production

1. The Form of Artistic Production

2. Art and Craft

3. Art under Conditions of Commodity Capitalism

4. Artist Manufactories in time of Royal Absolutism

5. Applied Art of Machinic Capitalism

6. Technical Intelligentsia and Emergence of New Forms

7. Architecture

Part II: Easel Art 1. Genealogy of Easel Art

2. Degradation of Sculpture

3. Painting

4. Fleeing from the Easel

5. Constructivism

Part III: Art and Production in the History of the Labour Movement

1. Petty-bourgeois Utopianism

2. Art and the October Revolution

3. Productionist Art and LEF

Part IV: Art in the System of Proletarian Culture

1. Methodology

2. Technique

3. Collaboration in Art

4. Ideology of Artists

5. Art and Everyday Life

6. Shaping Capacity of Art

Afterword by Alexei Penzin
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Review quote

'The appearance of an English translation of Art and Production is welcomed by all those interested in the relationship between art, politics and social change. 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' -- 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
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