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The Total Art of Stalinism: Avant-Garde, Aesthetic Dictatorship, and Beyond

"Artists can make a hash of society as completely as the most cynical of politicians."—Boston Globe
From the ruins of communism, Boris Groys emerges to provoke our interest in the aesthetic goals pursued with such catastrophic consequences by its founders. Interpreting totalitarian art and literature in the context of cultural history, this brilliant essay likens totalitarian aims to the modernists' goal of producing world-transformative art. In this new edition, Groys revisits the debate that the book has stimulated since its first publication.

Reviews

  • “This is not just a book, but an event ... The Total Art of Stalinism is an intellectual landmark.”
  • “Art and the celebration of power all too often coincide, and the controversial message here is that artists, for all their insights into the human condition, can make a hash of society as completely as the most cynical of politicians.”
  • “One of the most astute commentators on the art scene today.”

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Other books by Boris Groys Translated by Charles Rougle