Friday, 6 October 2017

proletarskaya kultura

Calvert Journal contributor Samuel Goff gives us a rather tantalising preview of a collection of the bold illustrations, erotica, story-boards and caricatures of cinematic pioneer Sergei Eisenstein—probably best known for his silent films Battleship Potemkin and documentary on the 1917 October Revolution and later historical epics Ivan the Terrible and Alexander Nevsky. The experimental Soviet artistic institute that employed and supported the edifying endeavours of Eisenstein, who was also a leading influencer in the use of montage in filmmaking and editing, and his fellow creators was called Prolekult (Пролетку́льт)—a combination of the Russian for proletarian culture.
The visionary director’s graphic output was prolific, ranging from this frieze humorously depicting the start of the Trojan War to a dehumanising series called Idolatry inspired by events Eisenstein witnessed in Moscow during the terrors at the height of Stalinism, but was mostly unknown and went largely unacknowledged. The upcoming publication of a curated collection of his artworks called Eisenstein on Paper—with a foreword by Martin Scorsese—is attempting to remedy this oversight. Be sure to visit the link up top to learn more about Eisenstein’s career and legacy.