Socialist Realism. Seeming to Be Another

Research and artistic seminar Socialist Realism. Seeming to Be Another

National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kyiv, 2017-2018

The research of socialist realist art based on the collection and archive of the National Art Museum of Ukraine and accompanied by short-time workshops, public lecture and discussion program, the series of interventions into the exposition of the Socialist realism period in the National Art Museum of Ukraine.

The art of socialist realism is perceived as a monolithic and ideologically laden phenomenon, due to the stable forms of its description and representation. The lines of its interpretation are usually arranged by means of the opposition. The Socialist realism is a legitimating negative measure for other artistic phenomena (in relation to the avant-garde, the Sixtiers, the modernistic and cultural-conservative tradition), that receive greater significance against its background. This is codified in accordance with the measurement through the methods of display and describing the Soviet material in some museum expositions. Socialist realism – existing for other phenomena only as a measure and a point to push from – slips out from the genealogy of its own interpretation, which does not include internal questioning. However, we will resort to the tactical methodological radicalism and exacerbate the possible forms of questioning, and will try to look at the represented norms of Socialist realism. Using the (pseudo) scientific approach, we will conduct the research on historical material, different sources. We will observe, learn, generalize, unify and interpret. Through the use of various representational models and intensifying the systematic and classification approaches (statistical, typological, comparative, regular) and analytically constructed stories, we will try to parse the ostentatious integrity of socialist realism, trace/show how and by what this integrity was achieved, reveal its contradictions, rules and structures.


28-31 of March


"Art Museum, history of art and socialist realism"

with participation of the museum workers from the museums of 10 regions of Ukraine.


28 of March

“How Many Socialist Realisms for The Contemporary Curatorial Culture? The Romanian Context”

Igor Mocanu is a Ph.D. researcher in the Art History department of the National University of the Arts Bucharest / UNARTE, editor for Revista ARTA and Head of Research for National Contemporary Dance Centre in Bucharest.

02 of June

"Changing positions. Critical attitudes and their afterlife in the art academy after the democratic changes."

Eszter Lázár is a curator, lecturer at the Department of Art Theory and Curatorial Studies, Hungarian University of Fine Arts

"In the presentation I focus on the changing postions of the neoavantgard (previously considered to be marginalized) artists whom academic chairs were offered in consequence of the "student revolution" at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts (back then Academy of Fine Arts) during 1990. How these series of replacement of the teaching staff and other structural reforms have influenced the recent past and even the present life of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts? Could the critical attitudes of the artists from the non-official art scene remain in the prestigious and traditional state institute of the higher fine art education? What is the younger generation of the artists relationship with all these remnants of the past?" Eszter Lázár

03 of June

The series of lectures raised the issues of organization and management in the arts: the history of the Soviet bureaucratic system and its continuation in the post-Soviet processes.

National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kyiv

"Actuality of The Soviet Bureaucracy"

Zakhar Popovich is a Ph.D. in economics, researcher at the Center for Social and Labor Research, an activist of the “Social Movement”.

"The National Union of Artists of Ukraine as a successor"

Olena Godenko-Nakonechna is Ph.D. in cultural studies, an art critic and lecturer.

With the support of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung with funds of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany.