A Monstrous Moscow. The Dinosaur in Moscow Postmodern Production

Giulia Imbriaco

Abstract


The article offers an interpretation of the dinosaur in the Moscow imagery of the late 20th century as an allegory of the state in which the Marxist-Leninist ideology found itself in those years: more and more inflated with rhetoric, while more and more devoid of contents. In V. Aksyonov's The Burn (1975-76), in the paintings of the duo Komar and Melamid (Ancestral Portraits, Bolsheviks Returning Home After a Demonstration, 1978-82), in D. Prigov's drawing Horror (1990s) and verses “For the Little George”, in V. Erofeyev's Russian Beauty (1990), and in V. Sorokin's Ice (2002), the prehistoric monster in its different inflections is the embodiment of a black humour, characterized by an ambiguity typical of both the postmodern parody described by L. Hutcheon and the grotesque realism analyzed by M. Bachtin. The artist's effort in becoming another to himself, simultaneously engaging his own culture and disengaging himself from it by way of a sharp irony, is portrayed in Prigov's Bestiary (1977-2004), where his colleagues are the more 'monstrous' the more they are 'geniuses'. The monster creates a tragicomic and destabilizing clash on different levels, thus prompting reflection about a tormented historical period and about Art's willy-nilly complicity in the rhetorical construction of the official discourses.

Keywords


Dinosaur; Postmodern Parody; Contemporary Russian Literature; Contemporary Russian Art

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/2170

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aunica-20268

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