The Communist tour MOMA

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The Communist tour MOMA" Yevgeniy Fiks applies to projects that develop the concept of critical history - its rewriting and rethinking from the individual's point of view, to build and test-parallel, non-dominant and independent narratives. Key concepts related to both the idea and the experience of communism, has recently again become the focus of research of artists and curators, it's time for another change in the past, and in the draft Fix communist past is used as a set design for the present. Not historicization of the past, but rather to update it for the present - the meaning of the project. That is why the artist draws on the tradition of criticism institutions. Since 1960-x's art institutions have become objects of interventions artists. The direction of institutional critique was against discriminatory practices of museum representation and exhibition of the repressive policy - ideologically motivated manipulation of the history of art. Loosening the official narratives of art history, museum constructed system has always been the focus of institutional critique, and the project "The Communist tour MOMA" continues this trend, addressing the hushed-up in publications and guided historical links between communism and modernism (Parker & et al, 2013).


MOMA was selected object of interest of the artist because of his historically complex relationship with communism. In the late 1940's - early 1950's, during the "witch hunt" that is on the communists in the U.S., MOMA was the victim of this anti-communist hysteria. A key figure in this company was Congressman George Dondero, who called modernism "communist subversion" undermining the traditional foundations of American society, "whose hands grow from Moscow." In his speech to Congress, he pointed to the undeniable fact of membership in the Communist Party of the largest modern art, including Picasso and Leger. The irony is that he was right. Not limited to artists, Dondero also called MOMA important link subversive anti-American chain. Before Alfred Barr, director of the museum at the time, had a difficult task: how to distance themselves from communism, but keep modernism? In order to "clean up" modernism in general and the MOMA in particular, Barr did not challenge the membership of many artists in the Communist Party, but said that the museum exhibits are not the artists and their paintings, so that the political views of the writers - they are purely personal matter. "Works of art should be judged according to the laws of art, not politics." We can say that it was one of the first manifestos of autonomous art!

Fix returns to this question: how can you separate fact Picasso's membership in the Communist Party of France, on his works created during this period? Picasso himself, in response to widespread then the view of his political naivete, said: "Oddly enough, the artist Picasso and Picasso-fighter for peace - it is one and the same person." Fix points out the impossibility of separating the political history of modernism from its aesthetic stories (ethics of politics) (Bystryn & et al, 1978).

Fix gave a ...