Tuomas Nevanlinna

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7 October 2003

Avant-garde and politics

Tuomas Nevanlinna looks at the Russian avant-garde movement under Stalin and demonstrates how surprisingly alike art and politics behaved in their relentless pursuit of destroying the “old world”. Even before Stalin, the avant-garde showed how the artistic desire to modify material might well be combined with a political will to power.
Nevanlinna not only uncovers the unholy relations between art and politics but, in the second part of the article, demonstrates ways in which modern art such as the Sos Art of the 1980s and music of the notorious band Leibachaddress the dangers of over-identification with power and politics. And yet, the destiny of art and politics, he concludes, will always be decided together.

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