Beauty and the Beast: A Symposium on Stalin in the Arts is being organized in conjunction with the freshman seminar "Art in the Evil Empire: Politics and Culture in Stalin's Russia," taught by professors John E. Bowlt and Sally Pratt. The symposium also celebrates the recent donation of the Ferris Collection of Soviet Material Culture to the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the renovation of the Institute of Modern Russian Culture, also at USC.
The main argument of the symposium is that culture practiced under a political dictatorship suffers and declines as a result of ideological interference. However, the symposium will also touch upon the counter argument, i.e., that occasionally ideological interference may bring inspiration and aesthetic benefit. In order to support the two suppositions, speakers will follow two avenues of inquiry: one indicating the detrimental result of political dictatorship upon the arts; the other indicating that institutions such as censorship and ideological imposition may not always interfere with aesthetic progress and may even generate original works of art.
10 a.m.: J. Arch Getty (department of history, UCLA) presents "Stalin and His Court," about the sociopolitical strategies and human toll of the Stalin era.
11:30 a.m.: Members of the freshman seminar discuss specific artifacts from the Ferris Collection and how these items suffered aesthetically as a result of forced political engagement.
12:30 p.m.: Lunch
2 p.m.: Vladimir Paperny (Paperny and Associates, Los Angeles), a specialist in Soviet architecture, will discuss the genesis, evolution and destiny of the projected Palace of the Soviets. As an exemplar of Soviet utopian design and a consequence of direct political dictate, this pharaonic project planned for downtown Moscow in the 1930s-50s might have become one of the most powerful and original architectural ensembles of the 20th century.
3 p.m.: Members of the freshman seminar discuss specific artifacts from the Ferris Collection and how these items developed as memorable works of art as a result of political commitment.
4 p.m.: Questions and Answers
5 p.m.: A reception at the Institute of Modern Russian Culture at the Shrine Auditorium features a display of materials from the Ferris Collection and the Institute of Modern Russian Culture.
Added by kiracle on January 7, 2007