"for him Stalinism succeeds the avant-garde just as a guest accepts an invitation. Far from betraying the avant-garde, Stalin merely scuttled a transitional movement in order to fulfil on the grandest scale that movement’s goal of unifying art and politics. Much of the classical avant-garde, Russian and otherwise, had after all demanded, in reaction against the sterile autonomy of l’art pour l’art, ‘that art move from representing to transforming the world’: ‘Under Stalin the dream of the avant-garde was in fact fulfilled and the life of a society was organised in monolithic artistic forms.’ These forms, Groys concedes, were ‘of course not those the avant-garde itself had favoured’. Throughout he writes about Stalinist cultural policy with a hair-raising mixture of political neutrality and aesthetic appreciation."
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Just don’t think about it
Benjamin Kunkel reviews Introduction to Antiphilosophy, by Boris Groys, at the London Review of Books.