Приватизация бунта: “вторая жизнь” раннесоветского монтажа [Privatization of a riot: “Second life” of the early Soviet montage]

Илья [Ilya] Кукулин [Kukulin]


Privatization of a riot: “Second life” of the early Soviet montage.

This paper deals with montage in the broad sense of the term: it is discussed not as a principle of film editing, but as an aesthetic method based on the contrasting combination of elements; in the case of literary narrative, montage can be defined as a contrasting parataxis. Being understood in that sense, montage became an international “grand style” of the post-WWI epoch. In the Soviet Union this new method had many ideological connotations. It represented history (the historical process as such) as creative and cruel violence. Otherwise, art montage was a method of designing the utopian vision. The following development of montage in Russian culture could be defined as a change of its semantic. It was expelled from the Socialist Realism mainstream (excluding poster graphics), but survived in unofficial art of the 1940s and became postutopian. During the “Thaw” period (the late 1950s to the early 1960s) montage methods could indicate the connection of an author with the Soviet or Western European avant-garde of the 1920s. The reconsideration of those methods followed two different ways: imitation of the “resurrection of revolutionary impulses” or deconstruction of Soviet historical and social imagination – also with the tools of montage. This very intensive dialogue with the aesthetic tradition of the 1920s came to an end at the beginning of the 1970s. The authors of uncensored art and literature in that period polemicized not with the 1920s, but with the 1960s. The “living” translation of the early Soviet montage aesthetics has been settled.


montage poetry; montage prose; Soviet literature; periodization; heterogeneity

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12697/SSS.2013.41.2-3.08

SIGN SYSTEMS STUDIES. ISSN 1406-4243 (print), 1736-7409 (online). E-mail: sss@ut.ee. Postal address: Sign Systems Studies, Dept. of Semiotics, University of Tartu, Jakobi St. 2, 51014 Tartu, Estonia