Reality Principle, Construction of a New Life: Soviet Graphic Arts and Photography from the Reed College Art Collection

Image Gallery Exhibition File

November 5 - December 15, 2013

The Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of Soviet graphic arts and photography from the Reed College Art Collection. The work in the exhibition encompasses nearly one hundred years of Soviet history and visual culture, from 1905 to 1990.

Rooted in the iconographic traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church, Soviet state artists re-purposed the semantic codes of Russian religious art to imbue representations of their new society with a familiar but radicalized immediacy and intensity.

The “new Soviet citizen” was constructed and disseminated through endless recombinations of ideological tropes that saturated every sphere of Soviet public life. The rare photographs in the exhibition reveal the historical nuances of this social recoding, allowing for a richer reading of the posters in the collection.

Thursday, November 14, 6:00—9:00 pm, Intervention/Reception : Performance : Culinarium
Please join us for a special evening of music, performance, and towering Soviet cuisine. The Intervention/Insurrection is organized by Reed student seminar collective 388, in collaboration with Reality Principle curators Lena Lencek, Professor of Russian and Humanities, and Stephanie Snyder, Cooley Gallery Director and Curator, with Ruby Research Fellow Kate Weinreich '14. Free and open to the public.

Saturday, December 7, 1:00—5:00 pm, Reality Principle Symposium
Please join us for a one-day symposium investigating the visual, gastronomic, and social histories of the Soviet era. Refreshments provided. Free and open to the public.

Presentations by, and conversations with:

Anya von Bremzen
Author and culinary historian

Jill Bugajski
PhD Candidate, Art History, Northwestern University

James von Geldern
Professor of Russian and International Studies, Macalester College

Marat Grinberg
Associate Professor of Russian and Humanities, Reed College

Lena Lencek
Professor of Russian and Humanities, Reed College

Stephanie Snyder
Curator, Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College

The Cooley Gallery is open every week, Tuesday through Sunday, from 12:00—5:00 pm. Nestled in the Reed College Library, it is always free and open to the public.