Author(s): Or癟un ALPAY

Socialist art, which is shortly known as Sots-art is an art movement derived from the reality of Social realism by the late 1950's. The term was first used in 1972 by the artists Vitaly Komar and Alexandr Melamid to define the brand-new Russian pop-art as an alternative to American pop art. Sots-art is an ironic expression of oppresive social realism, therefore, allegorically approaches to Soviet totalitarism using typical Soviet discourses. Sots-art is quite closely related to Moscow (Russian) Conceptualism, namely share similar grounds and therefore usually associated to it. One can say with certainty that both of them share the same views on art such as destroying the classic sense of art and creating a new art form. Sots-Art is also closely related to postmodernism, not only in terms of sense, but also technically. The movement makes use of postmodernism’s beloved techniques like deconstruction, intertextuality and other rhetorical devices to release his voice. In this respect it is regarded as an essential component of Russian conceptualism and postmodernism. Having known that Soviet discourses played a crucial role in Soviet society’s memory, Sots-artists took advantage of its plain but picturesque language and inverted it to an Anti-Soviet art using the slogans and expressions that are inherent in them. Sots-art, as an art movement is tend to reconsider and reevaluate the Soviet past by defamiliarizing, estranging socialist clichés. The reflections of this estrangement can be seen both in art and literature; especially in the works of Ilya Kabakov, Erik Bulatov, Dmitrri Prigov, Lev Rubinstein and Vladimir Sorokin. The history of Sots-art movement, its’ features and correlation with Russian postmodernism are examined and discussed in this paper.


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