Constructivism: art, architecture and social change
Saturday 28 October, 13:10—13:50, Frobisher 4-6Culture Wars
In association with:
Constructivism burned brightly for just 15 years as the artistic response to the Russian Revolution. Its geometrical purity and dynamism expressed the optimism of a period when the future could be planned for the first time. Constructivist architects such as Tatlin designed experimental structures for the new society on a vast scale, while designers and artists created bold graphics and photography to reflect the political messages of the revolution.
With the end of the revolutionary period in 1932, Constructivism was snuffed out by Stalin who imposed Social Realism with a clampdown on social and artistic dissent. But perhaps it was always utopian for artists to think that they could contribute to the revolution using set squares and paint brushes.
Today many artists are self-consciously ‘political’, but what does Constructivism tell us about the relationship between art and politics? Using words and images, architect Theo Dounas will reflect on the impact of Constructivism 100 years ago, and ask what it would take to create a new revolutionary style for today.
senior lecturer, Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and the Built Environment
curator and writer on architecture, design and fashion; associate director, London School of Architecture
associate director, Institute of Ideas; co-director, Future Cities Project
- Constructivism Movement Overview and Analysis, Tracee Ng, The art story.org, 2017
- The constructivists and the Russian revolution in art and architecture, Owen Hatherley, Guardian, 4 November 2011
- Constructivism: the ism that just keeps givin, Hugh Aldersey-Williams, Creative Review, 7 August 2008
- Art and Politics: The Power of Creativity and Activism Across the Globe, Annette Blum, Huffington Post, 21 March 2017
- Is Political Art the Only Art That Matters Now?, Carl Swanson, Vulture, 20 April 2017
- How art creates social change in 5 TED Talks, Leigh Shulman, org, 3 September 2013
- No art? No social change. No innovation economy, Eric Friedenwald-Fishman, Stanford Social Innovation Review, 26 May 2011