The Russian visual revolution

Ekaterina Degot in discussion with Dessy Gavrilova at the Vienna Humanities Festival 2017

The art of the Russian Revolution is usually represented in the West by the iconic abstract paintings of Malevich or Kandinsky, defined by their pure forms.

Art historian Ekaterina Degot, a foremost authority on the Russian avant-garde who was recently appointed artistic director of “steirischer herbst”, argues that this reading is insufficient. On 24 September 2017, in a conversation with Dessy Gavrilova (Time to Talk), she offered a new perspective on Russia’s avant-garde artists and interrogated the West’s persistent misreadings of the October Revolution. Watch the full debate:


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Cover picture: Sovjet agit-prop train with painted wagons. Released into public domain.

Vienna Humanities Festival

The Vienna Humanities Festival, organised by the IWM, Wien Museum and Time to Talk, is a series of around 40 Events (in German and English) which took place from 22 till 24 September 2017 for the second time at the Wien Museum, TU Wien, Evangelische Volksschule and Radiokulturhaus.

The topic of 2017 “Revolution!” ranged from Russia in 1917, the 1968 movement and the Fall in 1989, to the most recent upheavals in the Arab countries and in the Ukraine.

“Witnessing war to learn for peace.”

“Proletarians of all countries, who washes your socks?”

“Time to rethink growth”

“It’s elites who turn against democracy, not the people.”

“Proletarians of all countries, who washes your socks?”

The birth of culture from the spirit of revolution

“Art encircles life.”

Our family garden

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