Spring 2015

Histories of Performance in 20th-Century Russia

Listed in: Art and the History of Art, as ARHA-244  |  Russian, as RUSS-244


Michelle Maydanchik (Section 01)


(Offered as ARHA 244 and RUSS 244) This course will explore the various trajectories of “performance” in Russia throughout the twentieth century. The medium of performance was central to several crucial episodes in the history of Russian visual art, including Futurism, World of Art, Moscow Conceptualism, Sots Art, and Moscow Actionism. Russian performance art developed alongside achievements in the adjacent modes of dance, theater, and music. Yet, performance was also a significant phenomenon within Russian culture more broadly. Event-based artworks often responded to the performative elements of political rituals, acts of self-fashioning, mass spectacles, underground economic transactions, speech acts, and bureaucratic operations taking place in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Class participants will employ an expanded view of performance as we attempt to reconcile the intersecting meanings of the genre as an artistic practice, a social behavior, and a political strategy. In doing so, we will put pressure on established ideas about spectatorship, presence, dematerialization, participation, identity, and spectacle as they pertain to modern art. Artistic practices will be framed by readings drawn from the fields of art history, cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, and performance studies. No acquaintance with Russian language or culture is assumed.

Spring semester. Visiting Professor Maydanchik.

RUSS 244 - L/D

Section 01
M 12:30 PM - 01:50 PM WEBS 217
W 12:30 PM - 01:50 PM WEBS 217


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2023, Spring 2024