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AGIG Workshop

Wednesday, April 11, 2012
12:00 AM
Faculty sponsor's residence

The AGIG will host its third work-in-progress workshop

Featuring the presentation by Prof. Kerstin Barndt (UM German Department) and discussion of paper by Aleksandar Boskovic (UM Slavic Department).
We will meet on Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 8pm at the Faculty sponsor's residence (details are to follow).
Since we need to order food, please RESPOND directly to aboskov@umich.edu before Sunday evening to say whether or not you plan to attend. It would be much appreciated if you could send a quick note *now*, while you are thinking about it.

Abstracts follow:

Present Futures. Projections of Space and Time in interwar Exhibition Culture
Kerstin Barndt

Exhibition culture, often overlooked, is central to the media of Weimar Modernity. In dialogue with recent research on the Weimar Republic’s “horizon of the future” (Rüdiger Graf) and drawing on exhibition reviews by Siegfried Kracauer and Walter Benjamin, I recuperate the historical semiotics of futurity inscribed into exhibitions of built spaces and interior design: the 1926 Werkbund exhibition Die Form in Stuttgart, the German Building Exhibit in Berlin 1931, the trade exhibit Sonne, Luft, und Haus für alle (Sun, Air, and House for Everyone), Berlin 1932, and the concept for a large scale international Werkbund expo, Neue Zeit (New Time).

Revolution, Production, and Representation: Yuri Rozhkov’s photo-collages for Mayakovsky’s poem “To the Workers of Kursk” (1924)
Aleksandar Boškovic

The paper focuses on the dialectical relation of the poetic and photographic images in Yuriy Rozhkov’s photo-collages for Mayakovsky’s poem “To the Workers of Kursk.” The poem addresses the historical moment subsequent to the period of spectacular revolutionary heroism, promoting workers’ inconspicuous labor being as heroic and important as the self sacrifice of the early days when they had “gone through fire and the cannon’s mouth.” Mayakovsky solemnly celebrates the worker’s labor, praising the miners of Kursk, the first in Soviet Russia to obtain iron ore. This ode to labor was conceived by the poet as a “temporary monument to the workers of Kursk,” and as a literary counterpart of Tatlin’s famous “Monument to the Third International.” A year later, a less known and essentially amateur artist, Yurii Rozhkov, made photo-collages for Mayakovsky’s poem, creating original avant-garde photo-poem in which image and text congeal within the whole. This, most likely, attracted the poet’s attention, since Mayakovsky persistently urged the artists to search for new means of expression. The importance of Rozhkov’s collages lies in their use of photography as a document, fact, and validation of the real. This emphasis on documentary aesthetics was in tune with Mayakovsky’s style and brought innovation in the visual representation. My paper aims to illuminate the relationship between poetic and visual representations of production after the October Revolution. I intend to show how the aesthetic effects of montage, simultaneity, and fragmentation translate the poetic representation of the productive labor into productive revolution of visual representation.
Paper is available upon request - please write to Aleksandar Boskovic (aboskov@umich.edu)