dreaming of a life after cubicles

The Art of the Soviet Montage
November 23, 2006, 9:45 am
Filed under: art, graphic design, print, retro

0lepremiermaiWe Make Money Not Art has posted a great review of a current exhibit at Paris’ Passage de Retz,A Visual Weapon: Soviet Photomontages 1917-1953. When 70% of the country can’t read, photomontages became a powerful form of propaganda… so powerful that even the Nazis took notice.

During the WWII, the photomontage becomes the main propaganda weapon inside the country but also outside of it to demoralize the enemy. Jitomirski, for example, designed thousands of propaganda leaflets during the war. So many of them were thrown to German troops that Joseph Goebbels put the name of the artist on the list of the “Ennemies of the State” with a commentary that said “Find him and hang him!”

A hell of a thing, to end up on a Nazi murder squad list just because you’re good and cutting and pasting pictures onto pieces of construction paper. Despite the fact that these photomontages were used to propagate a political system that led to tens of millions of deaths in the Twentieth Century, some of the work is truly beautiful in a way both industrial and dystopian. Maybe one will come to a coffee shop near you!

Soviet Montages 1917-1953 [We Make Money Not Art]


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