Обсерватория культуры



Cultural Sections of the Book on the Needlework at Russian Country Estates

Stolyarov Yury N.

The review highlights that the book “Needlework at Russian Country Estates: NOBILIS Culture” by Svetlana Lyakisheva is of considerable cultural interest because, for the first time, it examines the culture of estate handiwork. The article shows the evolution of this activity, determines its place in the global process of the applied art development, reveals its historical and cultural significance, characterizes its economic aspect, and traces its influence on the lifestyle of the nobility. The study is based on the historical and phenomenological approach from the point of view of library science, museology, and art history in their synthetic unity.

Ethnic Societies’ Academic Studies as a Part of their Sociocultural Integration (By the Example of Romani Studies)

Smirnova-Seslavinskaya Marianna V.

By the example of Romani studies, the article analyzes the problem of the small nations and ethnic minorities’ integration into the scientific and social communicative space, and the problem of the ethnic elite inclusion in the relevant professional layer. This process, associated with inclusion of the ethnic society representatives in the widest possible scope of macro communities, is considered as one of the important aspects of the human capital development in multicultural societies, and of the formation of all their members’ civic identity. The article reviews the features of the Roma integration in the environment, their groups’ current social status, as well as the relation towards them from the state and society. The data on academic Romani studies, and the main romalogical projects and initiatives in Russia and in the world, are systematized. The article summarizes the role of the scientific studies in the field of small peoples and ethnic minorities’ sociocultural integration.

European Tour of Alexei Vikulovich Morozov (Europe through the Eyes of a Russian Merchant)

Zubanova Nadezhda A.

The article is devoted to the first foreign travel of the famous Moscow collector A.V. Morozov. In 1919, his collection of porcelain formed the basis for a museum (la-ter the State Museum of Ceramics). As Morozov’s archive was mostly destroyed in 1918, almost no documentary materials on his life have been preserved until today. That makes the scarce sources of his personal origin, those telling about the collector’s life, even more valuable. Among the documents, there is his notebook with the travel notes that A.V. Morozov was keeping during his travel to Europe in 1878. The article is the first complete reference to this historical source, which help expand our understanding of Morozov’s personal life and hobbies (theater, music, reading of history books). Morozov appears to be a perceptive observer of habits and national peculiarities, he was happy to become familiar with everything that Europe would offer to an inexperienced tourist: ballooning, visiting museums and theaters. On the pages of this diary, we can see Europe through the eyes of a man who had got a romanticized view of it, learnt from historical novels and the general course of history, and who, fortunately, was not disappointed by this journey.

François Boisrond’s Practice of Painting in the 1980s

Malova Tatiana V.

The article is devoted to the early period of creativity of the French artist François Boisrond. Member of the “Figuration libre” movement, he formed in the 1980s a specific language, close to comic strips, graffiti, and mass media printed products, which embodied the characteristic tendencies of the “New Wave” art. There were the spontaneity, emotion, and plastic emancipation in the spirit of “barbaric” syncretism contrasted to the intellectual elitism of the conceptualist practices. Redefining the boundaries and areas of art, Boisrond tried to establish a new relationship with objects and rituals of everyday life. This capacious model of cultural production is charged with an endless game of clichés - quotations and references to the highest examples that take the most banal form. The artist explores visual and semantic capabilities of the “mise en abyme”, playing with the traditional motif of “picture in picture” on the territory of the simplified, “clip” autobiographical description, compressed to the image of a tautological, self-looped visual depiction.

Image of the Duchess de Polignac in Factual and Novelized Biography and Portraiture

Ayupova Kamilya F.

The article explores the interrelation of biographical genre and portraiture, along with the problems of portrait interpretation and representation of historical figures. Visual images influence the shaping of biographer’s perception of the subject. Portraits are documents biographer knowingly or unconsciously makes use of when writing a biography. Portraits and biographies can be considered works of the same genre in different art forms. Notwithstanding the great amount of factual sources on Queen Marie Antoinette’s notorious favorite - Duchess Gabrielle de Polignac - and artistic interpretations of her person, or perhaps due to that, the Duchess remains an ambiguous and elusive historical figure. While the extant portraits by Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun project a specific image, various views on the Duchess’ person and character have been adopted in recent biographical writing. In each biography under analysis the author highlights a specific narrative structure that determines the method of the character’s representation. The difference in genre influences the representation of the character as well. The biographical novel presents a certain human type, a contrasting image. Whereas in the factual biographies the Duchess de Polignac’s person remains open to the reader’s interpretation.

Italian Theme in the Old Russian Garden Art

Сhernyi Valentin D.

The article reviews the Italian influence on the Russian garden art from the second half of the 15th to the end of the 17th century. It considers the version that the first “Italian” gardens were created during the period of the Moscow Kremlin architectural ensemble building and the surrounding area reconstruction. The appearance of the Moscow first “upper” gardens is associated with the construction of the Grand Prince’s Palace complex. The gardens were organized on the ground floor arches of the buildings. Planting of a vast garden across the Moscow River, opposite the Palace, was a part of the Italian development plan for the territory around the Kremlin and was based on the Renaissance principles of its construction - relocation of the garden from a confined space to an open, well-surveyed place. According to historical sources, despite the weakening of contacts with Italy, the “Italian” look of the Kremlin Palace had been carefully preserved up to the 17th century, when the upper gardens had become widespread. In the 17th century, there was growing interest in the countryside decorative gardens in Russia. The look and layout of some of the gardens around the suburban Tsar Estate Izmaylovo put foreign travelers in remembrance of Italian gardens. Those gardens were the “Apothecary Garden” and the “Garden with the Amusing Chambers and Maze”. Some literary descriptions and engravings confirm these assessments. Numerous examples of the West European garden art of the late Middle Ages could be found in one of Moscow districts - the German Quarter - where there were Italians among the permanent residents as well. The article analyzes the specific examples of utilization of the Italian Renaissance art in the creation of the Old Russian gardens.

Litterateur P.Kh. Bezak and the Printing House of the Land Noble Cadet Corps

Samarin Alexander Yu.

The article reveals some new facts concerning the work of litterateur and translator of the late 18th century Pavel Khristianovich Bezak. Until 1795, the life of P.Kh. Bezak was closely connected with the Land Noble Cadet Corps - an elite school and one of the centers of cultural life of St. Petersburg of the 18th century. Being a supporter of the Cadet Printing House, the litterateur at the same time acted as the customer of the print works, the seller, and the buyer of the books. This Cadet Printing House issued the significant translated works of P.Kh. Bezak - the “New News” by Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian, the “Description of the Russian Imperial Capital City of St. Petersburg and Attractions in the Surroundings Thereof” by academician Johann Gottlieb Georgi. On the basis of archival documents, the article reconstructs the participation of P.Kh. Bezak in the book publishing and selling activities of the Land Noble Cadet Corps, assesses the circulation of the books translated by him, reveals the details of their printing.

Media Philosophy: Between the Reception and Interpretation

Ocheretyany Konstantin A., Lenkevich Alexander S.

The phenomenon of media is one of the most discussed in the modern theory. The disciplines of media gain a wide circulation and legitimation both in the academic environment and beyond its limits. That is not surprising, because the images, models, and techniques ge-nerated by the media settle in the mind and bodies. Today, in the era of digital culture, the media create our world. People perceive, understand, and experience this world according to the rules offered by the media. The media determine our existence, and scientific theories try to respond to this situation by creating the conceptual language suitable to the description of the new reality - media reality. The conceptual language of media is an ambiguous concept. You can refer to the media as both the object of the analysis and its tool - the source of all the possible forms of the modern reality understanding. The everyday consciousness, perception, emotions are designed by the media, but how can the conceptual language of media become transparent for itself? Both media theorists and media philosophers ask this question worldwide. The article diagnoses the modern situation around the question of media in Russia; it shows that the main topics of the Russian media analytics correspond to the discursive vectors determining the development of the philosophical idea of media in the world. Without understanding of the media, it is impossible to understand the modern society in all variety of its aspects. In this sense, the analysis of the strategies of actual media mentality is one of the main issues of the mo-dern philosophy.

Metaculture: The Model of Future Cross-Cultural Foreign Language Education?

Goncharova Victoria A.

Regarding the priorities of present day intercultural communication (the situation of multicultural contact, the dialogue of civilizations, interpersonal base of communication, the “global citizen” phenomenon, etc.), the article outlines the rationale of the necessity to consider metaculture as a conceptual framework (and its sequence) of intercultural dialogue and thus predetermined intercultural foreign-language education. Intercultural dialogue can be generally defined as an inductive reciprocal meaning-making process functioning to defeat expectancies on the borderline of cultural habitats, the catalyst being the personal awareness of the communicant. Metaculture, being the result and the state of this dialogue, is the state of evolving awareness aiming to bridge the gaps of cultural borders, conditioned by the cases of national identity. The article presents the comparative analysis of metaculture (S.E. Yachin), interculture (V.A. Belyaev), transculture (M.N. Epstein), the third culture (Fred L. Carsnir) theories to figure out their complementary character. Culture within an intercultural contact is thus interpreted as based on self- and co-constructing evolution of the communicants, which allows it to reach the meta-level of self-awareness of a cultural identity, postulating itself as an object of reflection. Metaculture determines the goal-setting and helps select the contents of intercultural foreign-language edu-cation. The prospects of further investigation of metaculture within intercultural foreign-language education, however, appear challenging.

Modernization of the Modelof Culture Morphology

Flier Andrey Ya.

The article is devoted to the analytical consi-deration of the models of culture morphology/structure, which have got the widest spread in the Russian science. It should be noted that the cultural reality itself does not have a stable structure - the configuration of its components is constantly changing, depending on the situation. Therefore, the scientists create conditional models of its structure to facilitate the analysis of the phenomenon of culture. Those models are especially useful in the educational process; they allow to realize more systematically the essence of culture, its functions, and the scope of its dissemination in the social reality. The article gives a detailed review of the two most influential in our science models: the one of E.A. Orlova (which structures the culture according to the main directions of human activity) and the one of A.V. Kostina (which structures the culture according to the social groups of its bearers and the features of their psychology). Over many years of close companionship with both E.A. Orlova and A.V. Kostina, the author has often initiated modernization of their models, gradually shifting their bases to his own model of structuring the culture according to the main fields of human social activity (which is wider than the activity directions and the social groups of the actors). This article attempts to superimpose these models and completely switch them to the basis of the main fields of human social activity. This allows to build a new understanding of the phenomenon of culture as a collective program of people’s life and to visualize the scale of cultural dissemination and its influence on the human social practice, which will largely contribute to the success of the special cultural education and the assimilation of the key cultural parameters by the students.

Post-Digital Aesthetics in the Art Practices of the Digital Art

Denikin Anton A.

The article is dedicated to the relevant topic - latest trends in the contemporary forms of visual art, which are associated with recent technical and cultural changes. The article analyzes the concept of “post-digital aesthetics” by the example of several contemporary art practices, demonstrating the retreat from techno-positivism of the 1990s towards the neo-material trends in art. There are reviewed the works of the new generation of artists, designers, who rose in the age of “total digitalization”, domination of mass culture, and have turned to the post-digital art practices to represent the world as a hybrid, in which the digital and the real, the artificial and the material are equal, and co-exist with the equal values. Their works evidently try to restore the value of materiality, physicality, of the qualities inherent in the human being specifically. By the example of certain artworks, the author demonstrates the expressive capabilities of the post-digital works, reveals the peculiarities of neo-material strategies in the digital art, and discusses the artists’ interests in the enhancement of the processes of interaction between media and users. The article asserts that the “post-digital aesthetics” does not mean the end of the digital aesthetics. On the contrary, it means the continuation and representation in the new historical conditions.

Sergei Dovlatov: A “Suitcase” of Foreign Russian-Language Publications

Nosov Nikolay N.

The article reveals the history of foreign Russian-language works by the writer-emigrant S.D. Dovlatov, by analyzing the materials from the electronic database “Books in Russian Published Abroad, 1927-1991”, developed by the Research Department of Bibliography of the Russian State Library. Publications of Dovlatov’s works generated a large response from his famous contemporaries - litterateurs, journalists, culture workers. This article analyzes those reviews, which complemented Dovlatov’s publications and are of special interest. Not only individual works by Dovlatov are comprised in the article but also his participation in collective works, almanacs. The scientific novelty of this article is in that it for the first time pays close attention to the detailed bibliographical review of foreign Russian-language publications of Dovlatov’s works. The theoretical and practical importance of main results of the research is in the selection, description of the foreign publications of Dovlatov’s works in Russian, appeal to the complementing responses. This will allow literary critics and interested readers to better navigate in the foreign Russian-language literature connected with the works of writers of the third wave of emigration.

Social, Collective, and Cultural Memory: a New Approach to the Definition of the Semantic Borders of Concepts

Shub Maria L.

This article is devoted to the analysis of the phenomenon of memory, considered through its overindividual, social dimension. The main reasons for this issue to become actual in the last decades are connected with the identity crisis, crisis of information, crisis of tradition, and crisis of the memory itself. All the variety of the author's concepts of memory can be divided into four approaches, within the frameworks of which, the memory is considered either as an archive of the information significant for a group, or as an activity for inter-generational broadcasting of this information, or as a unity of both, or as a certain fictitious, nonexistent in reality, symbolic construction. This variety of research interpretations of the phenomenon of memory comes, among other things, from the lack of a clear basis for identification of any type of memory. The article proposes a solution of this problem through justification of the semantic borders lying between the social, collective, and cultural memory.

The Myth of Sophia in the Context of the Transition Era

Krasilnikova Marina B.

The article dwells on the “Myth of Sophia”, created by the “transitional” culture of the Russian Spiritual Renaissance, and analyzes the particularities of connotations of the Myth of Sofia in the cultural space of the transition era. The author notes that the Sophiological topics are caused by the feeling of borderline, which makes central the issues of timeless foundations of life and the link between time and the Eternity. The article represents the creative work of Vladimir Solovyov as a kind of “program of ideas” for the Russian Sophiology, developed in two directions: the religious philosophy, which does not coincide with the official churchliness (Sergei Bulgakov, Pavel Florensky), and the religious mysticism (Vyacheslav Ivanov, Andrei Bely, Alexander Blok). There are also identified the Sophiological perspective and interpretation of the Eternal Feminine in the religious philosophies and aesthetics of the Symbolists. The article reviews the Myth of Sophia as a multidimensional “text” presented by the works of Russian religious philosophy and the world of art, as well as a product of the fundamentally syncretic culture of the Russian Spiritual Renaissance, created basing on the religious revival and “new religious consciousness”.

The Term of “Interpretation” in Ballet Theory and the Criterion of Artistic Value of Choreographic Interpretation

Kirpichenkova Olga V.

The phenomenon of classical art interpretation has become an integral part of the present-day cultural reality. By now, the term “interpretation” has come into general use in different sciences, including art, theater, and music studies. However, this fundamental term of the postmodern paradigm has not yet been presented in ballet studies. This article offers the term’s definition regarding the ballet theater. For this purpose, after a review of the interpretation’s definitions in various disciplines, the author uncovers the connection between the most popular in modern ballet studies, though scientifically unformalized yet, explanation of the term “interpretation” and all the previous theoretical conceptions. The author finds the definition of the ballet interpretation, basing on the specific interaction between the script (program, libretto) and the music score in ballet. In contrast to the previous theoretical concepts, the script component is considered variable. The modern aesthetics of postmodernism tends to reconsider the meaning of original sources and can often alter their value systems. For this reason, the article offers a criterion of artistic quality assessment of the choreographic interpretations of ballet scores based on the degree of nearness of the choreography to the expressional, structural, and stylistic features of the score. This criterion helps to separate ballet performances from plastic experiments. The criterion is exemplified by three versions of the ballet score “Svadebka” (“Les Noces”) by Igor Stravinsky.

To the Question of Style Specifics of the Orchestral Song in Richard Strauss’s Works

Denisova Galina A.

Richard Strauss played one of the leading roles in formation of the orchestral song genre of the fin de siècle period of the Austro-German School. His works include original orchestral songs and orchestral transcriptions of the Klavierlied. The author mainly calls the original orchestral songs “Orchestergesang”, including in this concept not only the properties of the Lied but also of such genres as the opera aria and symphonic poem. The analysis of Strauss’s works has revealed a number of style features that creates a unique style of his orchestral song. Those style specifics are the ratio of monumentality and intimacy, imaginative sphere, tonality semantics, usage of rhetorical patterns, expressive vocal declamation, and mixing of timbres. The orchestral song of Strauss represented the era of fin de siècle in the musical art and became a genre model for the composers of the Munich School (Siegmund von Hausegger, Max von Schillings) and Arnold Schoenberg’s early works.

Wassily Kandinsky: the Experience of Reflections on the Art of Abstraction

Oganov Arnold A.

The article reviews the conception of abstract art, expounded by W. Kandinsky in his theoretical works “Concerning the Spiritual in Art” and “Point and Line to Plane”. In accordance with the painter’s target setting, the focus is given to the spirituality in art, methods, and means of implementation of this purpose in the creative practice. The article reveals the content of a number of concepts, principles, approaches, which characterize the specificity of the non-figurative art. Those concepts include “form”, “harmony”, “beautiful”, “artistic”, and “internal expediency”. The author states the theoretical importance of the conception by Kandinsky in recognizing abstractionism as a kind of art. There is given the artist’s detailed interpretation of the psychophysiological effects evoked by the color palette of a painting, as well as those associations and sensual emotions that different expressive means of the painting technologies cause. The tandem “form - artistry - spirituality”, traceable in the texts of W. Kandinsky, is carefully considered. The author suggests that the positions of the artist are conjugated with the Pythagorean idea of “numerical” harmony and the Kantian principle of expediency without purpose. The article focuses on the applicability of W. Kandinsky’s judgement to the creative principles of different types of art, especially to music.

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