Charlie Smith
Articles by Charlie Smith

On Translating the chinari

While their participation in OBERIU offered a crucial period of incubation for their thought and art, it is as chinari that Kharms, Vvedensky, Lipavsky, and Druskin assumed their most influential creative form. After all, these authors attained their “spiritual ranks” sometime around 1925, before OBERIU had even been conceived. The enunciations of the OBERIU manifesto establish crucial features of the chinari method: creating art that is “real” — art that is first and foremost an object with noumenal status, a body interacting with other bodies. But the full application of this theory occurred only after 1930, after OBERIU’s dissolution, in the twilight of vandalized bedrooms in the apartment of Leonid and Tamara Lipavsky, with their Conversations being perhaps the most crucial text for understanding the group as a whole.

Continue reading...