The everyday as the Soviet Gesamtkunstwerk

Tijana Vujosevic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The notion of the Gesamtkunstwerk as a modern political phenomenon – the merging of art and life and the artistic transformation of life in its totality – has been limited to public political spectacle and the theatrical enactments of state programs. In contrast, this article about the Soviet 1920s and 1930s looks at everyday life or, in Russian, byt, as the primary domain of modern aesthetico-political intervention. The successful ordering of everyday life according to the principles of communism would mean that even the most intimate aspects of citizens’ lives become part of a total work of art, which now encompasses not only the public but also the private sphere. The author traces the evolution of byt reform from the aesthetic associations between bureaucrats and artists of the 1920s to the 1930s mobilization of ordinary citizens as artists who mould their everyday environments in accordance with Stalinist politics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-68
Number of pages17
JournalThesis Eleven: critical theory and historical sociology
Volume152
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2019

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