Aug 28, 2008

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn - Krasnal Bansky in Kislovodsk

Krasnal Bansky. „ГУЛАГ Щ - 202 / Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.” 2008. Oil on canvas. 45 x 54 cm

After the death of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Krasnal Bansky goes to Kislovodsk, the city where the writer was born. He found there the people who remember times of Stalinism and were its committed activists. The artist referred to the times and role they played then and painted their socrealistic portraits. There are representatives of culture sphere on the paintings – two families who till now profess Stalin, they were supporting grand communistic ideas with passion.

Krasnal Bansky. „Painter and writer. Socrealistic portrait of the family Nadhezda and Grigorij Fedoseevi / Kislovodsk”. 2008. Oil on cardboard. 70 x 100 cm (diptych)

Krasnal Bansky. „Painter and writer. Socrealistic portrait of the family Olga and Alieksieij Prokoffievi / Kislovodsk”. 2008. Oil on cardboard. 70 x 100 cm (diptych)

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn „Russia under Avalanche (Россия в обвале,1998; political pamphlet) – fragment translated by The Krasnals:
“In 20s and 30s thousands of new Soviet intellects were strongly connected with communism and engaged In working In its machinery, mainly In propaganda. They were engaged in writing books, creating muddling songs and movies about the nation; painting huge socrealistic paintings.”

Analogy to our times:
- Great ideologist of new left tendencies - Slavoy Zizek
- Great, eager for Power Polish agitator - Sławomir Sierakowski
- Polish performer of propagandistic paintings, distinguished national artist – Wilhelm Sasnal (the director of the Polish National Gallery Zachęta Agnieszka Morawińska pronounced that this is each Polish citizen’s duty to see his exhibition)
- Great Polish left publishing house - Krytyka Polityczna

Currently in Romania over 30 % of students pronounce for the return of communistic dictatorship. In spite of they didn’t experience it by themselves, they are convinced that the education was on the higher level, life was easier and better, people had better quality of life.
Young people listen to the fantastic theories of the top philosophers like Slavoy Zizek, who produces tones of books as it was for party’s order. It’s a shame that Poland gives place and possibilities for the continuators of the so hated period.

Solzhenitsyn In 1945 was exiled and tortured on Soviet concentration camp by his kind of people, wearing just different kinds of cloths. Contemporary valets of communistic power are the same ruthless and aggressive, they just work In different field.
Nowadays agitators exactly like In past destroy contemporary intelligence, repress the talent, promote the propaganda on the big scale. But this time it’s covered by art market mechanisms and influential art institutions.

Aug 10, 2008

Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, for common people

On 9th and 10th August we could see in all Chinese media only glorious articles of big Opening Ceremony of Olympics. It would be everything perfect if we didn't experience on ourselves something else.
The croud of enthusiastic people waiting nearby the great mall, in front of big telebim was waiting for 4 hours for the opening at 8. Euphory was acompanied by Chinese national colours, flag stamps and stickers, animators were warming the atmosphere for common fun. But the screen of the telebim was black before 8 and it stayed black after. Nobody responded on people's screaming "switch on the screen!!!".
At 8.08 we could see from the distance traces of light comming from the Bird's Nest... Everybody disappoinded moved calmly towards the street do see from behind the trees small frames of fireworks.
People frustrated, but disciplined, gathered in 5 minutes all garbage and newspapers they were sitting on. After a while they left the place and moved to their houses. At least there was not so big traffic jam when the Opening Ceremony finished and the official spectators were leaving the Bird's Nest. Maybe that was the concept?

Aug 8, 2008

"Viva Beijing Olympic Games 2008!"

Art shouldn't be valued depending on propaganda it supports.

Art and media world generally stands against China – the country which organizing Olympic – symbol of peace and friendship – doesn’t respect basic human rights. The matter of ‘Tibet – China’ is treated by viewers from outside similarly like ‘Kosovo – Serbia’. It’s just comfortable to show the problem clearly, black and white.
Propaganda is the kind of incredibly strong advertisement, which uses art to its aims. Sometimes artists to make their art concepts more attractive, choose the subjects referring to this or that propaganda. But are they really creating masterpieces, because they run on proper politics?
Thinking about this question, Krasnal Bansky made the painting in the convention of Olympic propaganda, in kitsch aesthetics, pathetic and idealizing. Famous Chinese actress Zhao Wei runs with the Olympic torch. It occurs that artisticly it doesn’t stand far from works disapproving Olympics, using primitive symbols as chains, barbed wire or handcuffs. But concerning proper politics, these works are estimated as more valuable. But actually they have the same level as artworks using peace pigeons, Olympic torches or five circles.

Continuing the subject of propaganda, the times that it used its power have passed and now it can’t be as strong and influential as years ago. Besides, China passes by gigantic revolution which demands at least few dozens of years. For example western kind of legislative system was pioneered in big scale just between 70s and 80s.

Different kinds of propaganda function in politics and art, but art value actually doesn’t depend on the fact what kind of propaganda supports. Just compare the pictures attached.