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Beurteilen oder Verurteilen? Vom Richten über Kunst und Künstler im sowjetischen Kunstbetrieb

Sandra Frimmel

Published online:

29 Nov 2019



Using examples from the 1930s and the 1960s (the decades of show trials and the Khrushchev ‘thaw’), this article examines what ‘alternative jurisdictions’ – that is, courtroom-like debates outside the courtroom – existed in the Soviet Union, not only to debate, but also to make lasting determinations about what art is and who is empowered to judge it. Cultural and social restrictions – in the form of codes of conduct or an artistic “general line” (term after Sergei Eisenstein) – manifest themselves in these acts of judgement and condemnation. This raises the following questions, among others: What happens to the artist subject as a result of the various forms of ‘alternative jurisdictions’, and what is the task of the (artistic) collective? The investigation of typical Soviet quasi-judicial practices enables a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of contemporary Russian art trials, which attempt to silence artists who are critical of religion or society.

Other articles in this issue:

Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte Issues

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Volume 86 (2023)
Volume 85 (2022)
Volume 84 (2021)
Volume 83 (2020)
Volume 82 (2019)
Volume 81 (2018)
Volume 80 (2017)
Volume 79 (2016)

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