Dmitry Gutov/David Riff. If our soup can could speak ... Mikhail Lifshitz and the Soviet Sixties


If our soup can could speak ... is a new Garage Field Research project examining the complex meaning of 1968 in Soviet society, in relation to the unique relevance of aesthetic philosopher and cultural critic Mikhail Lifshitz (1905–1983).

Famous in the West as a year of social transformation and revolt, in the former socialist block in Soviet Russia the relevance of 1968 is more ambivalent: for the hopeful generation of the sixties it ushered in a frosty political climate after the demise of Premier Khrushchev's Thaw.

Over the course of two years, this Field Research project will accumulate material to produce a multi-layered film, in which a textually reconstructed Lifshitz will narrate a critical Soviet vision of 1968. This will be a narrative as full of paradoxes, juxtapositions, and subtle jibes as Lifshitz's book. The research will also produce an English translation of The Crisis of Ugliness and related texts, as well as public events with invited guests and film screenings from fall 2015 through winter 2016. Online webisodes will document the research process and offer previews and contextualization.

The project is developed and executed by artist Dmitry Gutov, founder of the Lifshitz Institute and long-standing researcher of Lifshitz's textual legacy, and curator David Riff, translator of several of Lifshitz's key texts, including an unabridged and expanded version of The Philosophy of Art of Karl Marx (forthcoming).

If our soup can could speak: Mikhail Lifshitz and the Soviet Sixties

Deadline: 2015-2017

Researcher: Dmitry Gutov, David Riff

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