Dimitri Shostakovich The Language of Repression and Defiance
<ul><li>Shostakovich is forced to compose in a style that </li></ul><ul><li>will save his life and keep him from prison or worse. </li></ul><ul><li>Instead of exploration into the new directions in </li></ul><ul><li>music, Shostakovich must revert to older styles and </li></ul><ul><li>conceal his rebellion deep within the music. </li></ul>
Amid the conflicting pressures of official requirements, the mass suffering of his fellow country men, and his personal ideals of humanitarianism and public service, Shostakovich succeeded in forging a musical language of colossal emotional power.
His work was described as … “ derivative, trashy, empty and second-hand” “ brutally hammering…and monotonous” “ coarse, primitive, vulgar” “ (His) music quacks, grunts and growls.”
Russian Avant-Garde An umbrella term to define the wave of modernist art that flourished in Russian between 1890-1930. Includes suprematism, contructivism, and futurism. Between 1917 and 1932, the avant-garde clashed with the state-sponsored direction of Socialist Realism.
Propaganda Constructivists were heavily involved with the Bolshevik public information campaign (1920). These artists took an artistic outlook aimed to encompass cognitive, material activity, and the whole of spirituality of mankind.
Suprematism An art movement focused on fundamental geometric forms, 1915-16
Constructivism An artistic and architectural movement in Russia from 1919 to 1934. Dismissed as “pure” art versus art used as an instrument for social purposes. Constructivism was replaced by Socialist Realism. Constructivists believed that art should accompany man through all parts of life, not just art for arts sake.
Vladimir Tatlin Tatlin’s Tower 1919 Proposed Monument to the Third International
Productivism Art movement founded by a group of Constructivists who believed that art should have a practical, socially useful role as a facet of industrial production.
1929. Shostakovich , Meyerhold, Mayakovsky and Rodchenko rehearsing Mayakovsky's play
Rodchenko’s work was abstract to the point of non-figurative, but during the 1930’s, the official party guidelines governing artistic practice forced him to change. Although he concentrated on sports photography and the like, Rodchenko was expelled in 1931 for “formalism.”