Join us at this year’s Jordan Center Distinguished Lecture! We will hear from NYU Global and Distinguished Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies Boris Groys, who will speak about “The Cold War Between the Medium and the Message: Western Abstract Art vs. Socialist Realism.”
It is well known that the Cold War was represented in the context of art by the conflict between Modernist, or, more precisely, abstract and figurative, realist – or, rather, Socialist realist art. When we speak about the Cold War we usually have in mind the period after the WW2. However, the ideological conflict between abstract and realist art was formulated before WW2 and all the relevant arguments were merely reiterated later without any substantial changes. In the context of the lecture the genealogy and development of the conflict between the Western and Soviet concepts of art before and during the Cold War will be discussed and illustrated.
Boris Groys, born in 1947 in East Berlin, is a philosopher, essayist, art critic, media theorist, and world renowned expert on Soviet-era art and literature. He is a Global Distinguished Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University as well as a Professor of Philosophy and Art History at The European Graduate School in Saas Fee, Switzerland. He has held additional academic positions at institutions worldwide, including the International Center for Cultural Studies and Media Theory at Bauhaus University, the Courtauld Art Institute in London, the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, and the Italian University of Linguistics and Media in Milan, among others. He is the author of over 150 articles on modern and contemporary art, Russian art, and Russian intellectual history. Some of his recent books include Russian Cosmism (2018, MIT Press), In the Flow (Verso 2016), On the New (Verso 2014), and Under Suspicion: A Phenomenology of Media (Columbia University Press, 2012). Professor Groys has curated numerous exhibitions, including “Becoming Cosmic” (2017, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin), “Beyond the Globe” (2016, Triennial in Ljubljana), “Specters of Communism” (2015, James Gallery, New York), and the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2011). As an undergraduate at Leningrad State University, Professor Groys studied philosophy and mathematics. In 1992, he received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Muenster.
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