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Against the New Middle Ages:: Imperial Remodernism in Contemporary Russian Visual Culture
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Modern Languages.
2018 (English)In: The Ideology and Politics Journal, Vol. 1, p. 135-154Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article focuses on contemporary Russian neo-modernist utopia in visual arts, particularly on Anton Chumak's artistic work. In his project 'Borders' (2015), dedicated to Donbass, Chumak offers a vision of imperial remodernism as an alternative to the postindustrial new Middle Ages. The notion of the 'new Middle Ages' is often used today in socio-political discourse to characterize the new ideological role of the Orthodox Church in contemporary Russia. The 'conservative turn' in Russian politics and culture, the concept of traditional values and new legislative initiatives of the State Duma are sometimes described as 'the end of the Enlightenment' (Vladimir Sorokin). However, it is precisely the existing oligarchical globalism that is seen as the new Middle Ages through the conservative prism whereas the conservative utopia (Novorossiya, USSR-2, the Eurasian Empire) exemplifies the reemergence of the republican idea and the industrial empire. Contemporary radical conservatives such as Alexander Prokhanov, Alexander Dugin and Maxim Kalashnikov promote imperial neo-industrialism and offer a critique of demodernization processes in Russian culture and society. Their 'conservative remodernism' is characterized by a fusion of the leftist idea of social justice and the rightist idea of overcoming fragmentation and localization through the weakening of corporations and the oligarchy along with strengthening the state. Aesthetically, these ideas are manifested in a style, which can be described as 'industrial neo-classicism.' Industrial neoclassicists visualize the aesthetic utopia of the 'new antiquity' and 'new order' as an alternative to the chaos of neoliberal post-industrialism, which, according to them, has set us back to the new Middle Ages with its ethnic nationalism, fragmentation, irrationality, and uncontrollable emotionality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 1, p. 135-154
National Category
Social Sciences Humanities and the Arts
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-366576OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-366576DiVA, id: diva2:1264951
Available from: 2018-11-21 Created: 2018-11-21 Last updated: 2019-01-17Bibliographically approved

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https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329984951_Against_the_New_Middle_Ages_Imperial_Remodernism_in_contemporary_Russian_Visual_Culture

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