The museum of contemporary art might be the most advanced recording device ever invented. It is a place for the storage of historical grievances and the memory of forgotten artistic experiments, social projects, or errant futures. But in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Russia, this recording device was undertaken by artists and thinkers as a site for experimentation.
Arseny Zhilyaev’s Avant-Garde Museology presents essays documenting the wildly encompassing progressivism of this period by figures such as Nikolai Fedorov, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Kazimir Malevich, Alexander Bogdanov, and others—many which are translated from the Russian for the first time. Here the urgent question is: How might the contents of the museum be reanimated so as to transcend even the social and physical limits imposed on humankind?
Contributors: David Arkin; Vladimir Bekhterev; Alexander Bogdanov; Osip Brik; Vasiliy Chekrygin; Leonid Chetyrkin; Nikolai Druzhinin; Nikolai Fedorov; Pavel Florensky; R. N. Frumkina; M. S. Ilkovskiy; V. I. Karmilov; V. Karpov; Valentin Kholtsov; P. N. Khrapov; Yuriy Kogan; Natalya Kovalenskaya; Nadezhda Krupskaya; S. P. Lebedyansky; A. F. Levitsky; Vera Leykina (Leykina-Svirskaya); Ivan Luppol; Kazimir Malevich; Andrey Platonov; Nikolay Punin; Aleksandr Rodchenko; Yuriy Samarin; I. F. Sheremet; Andrey Shestakov; Natan Shneerson; Ivan Skulenko; M. Vorobiev; N. Vorontsovsky; Boris Zavadovsky; I. M. Zykov.
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Arseny Zhilyaev is an artist on the editorial board of Moscow Art Magazine.Review:
"A collection of crucial essays documenting the wildly encompassing progressivism of this period. "—Russian Art and Culture
"An attempt to open up for the reader the field of museum studies alongside art history to an invaluable moment in our cultural, aesthetic, and historical heritage that has not been so readily available."—Leonardo Reviews
"Avant-Garde Museology...aims to question the existing art historical cannon by revisiting and complicating it. It is not difficult to find in the book the prototypes of some of the newest tendencies in recent museological and curatorial development."—Art Review Asia
"It is the broad range of primary documents selected by Arseny Zhilyaev that makes this collection such a valuable resource, presenting a more accurate picture of the debates on museology during the period."—The Burlington Magazine
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