Exhibition "Advertising for Utopia"
Russian and Soviet posters at the Essen Folkwang Museum and at the red dot design museum from March 13 to April 18, 2004
The exhibition "Werbung für die Utopie – Advertising for Utopia" presents 106 of the most beautiful and impressive posters from the Russian State Library in Moscow. Among them are works from the fields of politics, culture and business, starting with art nouveau advertising and reaching to the current imagery of the post-Soviet era.
The selection is based on a long-term scientific research project about the cultural-historical development of the poster in the Soviet Union, which was realized by Klaus Waschik from the Lotman Institute in Bochum and Nina Baburina from the Russian State Library in Moscow. For this purpose, they collected and processed more than 3,500 Russian and Soviet posters.
"The poster doesn't know any autonomous moments. The poster is condensed energy, a charge that is fired into the density of the mass" – this is how the young art historian Nikolaj Tarabukin described the explosive power of this mass medium, which was especially important for the October Revolution and the time thereafter. With few words and impressive sculptural forms its goal was to promote a new and better society – or to simply inform. For example, the so-called "ROSTA-windows" were often basically created overnight during the twenties – posters through which artists like Vladimir Majakovskij elucidated the state of the nation in individual scenes and with verses.
Alongside two reconstructions of propaganda towers constructed in 1921 by the constructivist Gustav Klucis for the revolution festivities in Moscow, the original posters from the Russian State Library are on display at the Folkwang Museum. An extensive video program guides visitors through the history and thematic groups of Russian poster art.
At the red dot design museum you can find the reconstruction of the media tower by Bauhaus artist István Sebök from 1929. Here, the interactive DVD created for the research project can be viewed on three large screens. You're invited to set out on an exciting journey through the world of Russian and Soviet poster art.
Further information about the posters: www.russianposter.ru
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