Обсерватория культуры



Cinematic Theme in the Book Cover of the 1920s

Fomin Dmitry V.

Book covers, made by famous or unknown artisans, show that the people of the 1920s were extremely interested in the youngest of the screen arts, which had not quite realized its potential yet. The designers sought to find the most expressive means, in the graphic arsenal, which would be in tune with the aesthetics of the silent film. Generally, the graphic designers took photographs as a basis, which would remind of the film shots stopped for a moment. Some of the compositions were based on dramatic montage correlations of recognizable visual quotations. Since the cinematography was considered as a miracle of technology, the covers often depicted some tools of filmmaking: projectors, cameras, lightings, film rolls. Much less frequently, the books were prefaced by some funny pictures of the members of the film crew, the cameraman with their camera, for example, or the director. The critique-biographical sketches about popular actors were usually illustrated by shots from their films, which fixed their screen images in the minds of the viewers. Many designers managed to convincingly develop the cinematic theme using only font means. The innovative cinematography of the 1920s determined not only the theme but also the style, the material, the imagery of many book artists, gave to the designers a number of fruitful plastic ideas, helped them discover a modern, spectacular graphic language, understandable for the widest possible audience.

Contemporary Art of South Korea: Overcoming the Periphery

Lee Hoon Suk

This article discusses the process of overcoming the cultural periphery and restoring the feeling of national dignity in the contemporary visual art of South Korea. The research subject is the visual art history of the Republic of Korea in the period of 1950s-2000s. Since the late 1950s to the present day, in different movements of the South Korean modern art, the intention has been constantly observed not only to raise their creative expression to the international level, but also to form the national identity. According to the author, the overcoming of the cultural periphery in the contemporary South Korean art has become possible due to the transformation of the concept of contemporaneity in a series of events in the recent history of the Republic of Korea. The author rests on the numerous scientific materials by South Korean art historians, who explore various trends in the contemporary art history of South Korea. As a result, the author was able to show the existence of a plan for the restoration of national identity in the South Korean art. The author’s special contribution in the study is a generic description and representation of the history of South Korean contemporary art, which is still poorly known in Russia. Results of the research can be used for further scientific development in the fields of Korean studies and art history.

Cultural and Natural Capital: the Sustainable Development and Manageability

*, Nikonorova Ekaterina V.

The actual problem of interrelations between culture and economy demands new approaches and reconsideration because of the ongoing development of the market economy and the necessity to provide equal opportunities for development of multiculturalism, self expression, preservation of biocultural diversity for the purpose of sustainable development of mankind. As there is no other equivalent of evaluation in society but money, or economy in a broader sense, it is better to use the well-known economical terminology to combine the conceptions of culture and economy, but it is necessary to find new approaches, sections, and bases for that. Development of the conception of cultural capital is one of the approaches. Within the proposed discourse, there seems to be a distinct cognitive potential in the concept of natural capital, which affords ground for searching the analogies between natural and cultural resources, between natural and cultural capital. The analogies will provide the opportunity to identify a certain “similarity” and interaction of the two types of capital during the whole period of anthropogenesis. The idea of cultural capital can be expanded by the conception of sustainability: since the cultural capital exists as a source of cultural goods and services, it can become an object of management according to the social needs of individuals and society. The article provides the list of principles needed to control the sustainable development of the cultural capital. Orientation of the cultural capital towards the development of humanity and human capital unites together the cultural capital, natural capital, and human capital, and this unity is a reflection of the socioecosystematic approach to the development of mankind. Reduction of all the cultural activities simply to the service sector impoverishes the conception of the phenomenon of culture and the contribution of culture to the human and spiritual development, restricts the role of culture in the spiritual development of society, which leads to the impossibility of its further innovative and sustainable development.

Foreign Publications of the Works by Nikolay Gumilyov in Russian: to the 130th Anniversary of the Poet’s Birth

Nosov Nikolay N.

In 2016, there was celebration of the 130th anniversary of N.S. Gumilyov’s birth, whose works were usually published during the Soviet period abroad, among Russian emigrants. In many ways due to those publications, the poet’s name and heritage have not been forgotten, and it was them that formed the basis for the later editions of Gumilyov’s works in the new Russia. This article displays the history of N.S. Gumilyov’s foreign works in Russian through the analysis of 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. The article comprises Gumilyov’s works issued in different countries of the world and in different formats: separate editions (including reissues and reprints), collected works, collections, anthologies, almanacs, chrestomathies. This article is of scientific value because, for first time, there is paid close attention to the detailed bibliographical review of the foreign publications of Gumilyov’s works in Russian. Selection of the works, their description, and references to their history are of great theoretical and practical importance. It will help literary researchers and active readers better navigate in the foreign literature in Russian related to this subject.

Iconostases of the Belarusian Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Churches in the 17th - Early 19th Centuries: the Comparative Aspect

Flikop-Svita Halina A.

This article is devoted to the Belarusian iconostases of churches of the two confessions of the Eastern Rite: the Orthodox and the Greek-Catholic (Uniate). Hitherto, the Belarusian iconostases have almost been unexplored as separate systems with their inherent constructive and artistic solution. The question of presence of specific iconographical features of both these confessions has remained open. This lack of knowledge on this aspect is explained by almost complete loss of the artifacts: only few iconostases survived. Therefore, to perform this study, the iconographic materials were used: pictures (the first half of the 17th century) and photographs (late 19th - early 20th centuries), as well as numerous historical documents, descriptions of Orthodox and Uniate iconostases of the late 16th - early 19th centuries from the archives of Belarus, Russia, Lithuania and Poland. The study resulted in revealing some characteristics inherent only in the Greek Catholic iconostasis, which suggested that the new artistic solutions and constructive forms had been created within this confession.

Lessons of the Google Book Search: What Is Next?

Savitskaya Tatiana E.

The article examines future prospects of the Google Book Project and its place in the development of the information society infrastructure. The article gives an overall assessment of the project Google Book Search in the context of digital revolution and changes in the institutional paradigm of modern libraries. Google Inc. formed a huge electronic library, establishing the right of access to it on the corporation’s own terms. Thus, the giant of IT-industry made a request for reformatting the paradigm of production and dissemination of knowledge. As a result, libraries, as social and cultural institutions, had to compete with the dynamic infrastructure of society web 2.0, based on commodification of the monopolistically provided services. The article notes that the expansion of the Google Book Search Project resulted in the intensification of national and international initiatives for creation of digital libraries on the basis of information resources digitization programs. At the end of the article, a conclusion is made that the most valuable lesson that the library community can learn from the history of the Google Library Project development is to realize their own social and cultural identity, inadmissibility of copying the methods of the information giants.

Main Elements of the Theory of Dance Expression in A.Y. Levinson’s Works

Kholopov Vitaly B.

The article deals with some aspects of evolution of choreographical study at the turn of the 20th century. The analysis is based on the works by A. Levinson and A. Volynsky, which are largely similar to the conceptions of S. Mallarme and P. Valery. Positions of the both Russian critics are very much alike as for the system of dance expression and the dance language nature. Levinson and Volynsky turned away from the traditional view on dance system and rendered their analysis on an abstract phenomenological level. According to their theory, expressing the internal through the exterior form is achieved by dematerializing the dancer’s body, by getting rid of tooling. Spontaneous expression becomes a way to visualize the internal movement and rhythm on the internal chrono-spacial level where an abstract form is born. Due to such an approach, the dance is considered as a phenomenon conforming to its own special rules, having its own rhythm, and dealing in the internal space. Such statements determined not only Levinson and Volynsky’s critical position towards the pioneering trends in choreography at the turn of the 20th century (I. Duncan, M. Fokin) but also the basic elements of the theory of dance expression of a number of later choreography researchers. This position explains the fierce disputes between Levinson and his contemporary reviewer V. Svetlov, as well as his critics towards the adherents of the Dalcroze system.

Modern Conceptions of the Cultural Comprehension of the Caucasus

Korytina Madina A.

The article considers an actual problem of modern Caucasian studies - conceptual comprehension of the Caucasian civilization. It gives an analysis of the basis theories of highland social and cultural space identity. Due to the difficult geopolitical and geocultural position of the Caucasus, the problems of its civilizational identity cause controversy among scientists. There are different variants of the region’s name: the Unified Caucasian Civilization, the Ethnic Corridor, the Buffer Zone, the Periphery of Russian Civilization, the Boundary Civilization, the Subcivilization. All the theories of Caucasian identity were formed within the frameworks of civilizational approach to the region. The author’s position on the question is defined. There are many characteristics inherent to the concept of civilization in the Caucasus: the polyethnicity, religious syncretism (the synthesis of local paganism, Christianity, Islam), similarities in sociopolitical organization, economy, culture, way of living, psychology, and mentality of people. At the same time, the region is not characterized by any clear civilizational manifestation which would allocate it as a separate civilization system along with the Western, Eastern, and Eurasian ones. Besides, in the modern conditions, in the North Caucasus in particular, a process of disunity of the peoples can be noticed. Hence, the fundamental principles of alternative conceptions in philosophical and theoretical aspect are baseless and need more detailed argumentation.

Peter Tchaikovsky and Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich: the Epistolary Dialogue in the Mirror of K.R.’s Diary

Moiseev Grigory A.

The creative dialogue between P.I. Tchaikovsky and Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich have been drawing attention of musicologists, philologists and culture experts since the beginning of the 20th century. Though, the researchers mainly used their extensive correspondence (1880-1893) as a basis. Grand Duke’s unpublished diary notes about the composer and his works, which were made in different years (from the second half of the 1870s and up to 1915), have never been considered before. The main objective was to assess their volume, their informational value and, finally, to what extent they are the key to the understanding of mutual relations between those two historical figures. In the article, the identified views and opinions are presented in chronological order, are systematized and correlated with the correspondence, with the use of cross-commenting. Information in the diary of Grand Duke is more candid in comparison with the correspondence. Therefore, the methods of comparative source studies were used. The analysis of the diary notes allowed to specify periodization of the correspondence, to trace the evolution of Grand Duke’s interests in Tchaikovsky’s different genres - romances, piano pieces, symphonies, operas, church music, and to reveal some previously unknown facts about Tchaikovsky’s relations not only with Konstantin Konstantinovich, but also with other members of the imperial family. The article’s materials can be used in the courses of history of the Russian music, as well as in the contemporary critical edition of Tchaikovsky’s epistolary heritage and Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich’s diaries.

Priest Portraits by Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov

Shokolo Inessa N.

This article is devoted to the portraits of clerics created by M.V. Nesterov during the period from 1917 to 1926. The study aims to show the features of the author’s interpretation of the priests’ images through psychological and individual characteristics of the models, along with rejection of the canonical perception of priesthood. The material is presented in chronological sequence of the portraits’ creation. On the basis of the artist’s letters and the memoirs of his contemporaries, the article traces the history of each painting, makes a stylistic and compositional analysis, as well as analysis of the artistic and expressive means. At the end of the article, the author comes to conclusion that the works, painted under the secular realistic art, not only keep their religious depth but also become symbols and images of their time.

Symbol of Death and the “Mortal Cinematic Code” in Yakov Protazanov’s Works

Kirillova Olga A.

The article represents a cultural study, which gradually discloses the issues of film thanatology. The study is based on the screen version of L. Andreev’s story “Gubernator” (1905), filmed by Yakov Protazanov under the name “Bely Orel (White Eagle)”(1928), which became a classic of the Early Soviet and world silent cinema. It describes the representative cinematic text of a city, its local features in the cinematic texts of Saint-Petersburg and Kiev, thanatological and cinematic interpretations of the works by Leonid Andreev - a Russian writer and decadent. The author introduces the concept of specific thanatochronotope of the total Saint-Petersburg cinematic text. The thanatochronotope is defined as an artistic chronotope with the element of death integrated into it on the both levels - of sign and locus, and of rhythm. It is a chronotope passed through the prism of death, cinematic one in this case. It is noted that the free-style adaptation by Protazanov is more interesting for its cinematic representation of the culture of Art Nouveau than for the screen reconstruction of Leonid Andreev’s reality type. The White Eagle’s symbolism overpasses the political framework; its topological and identificational connotations are associated with a metonymical game - that is why the film’s supporting construction is clearly structured on all levels of visual narrative. The death as an action and the fight as an action - those are the main points of difference of the texts by Protazanov and by Andreev, as a screen version and an original version. Another difference can be rightfully noticed as well: the death as a dimension and the death as a sign - the sign of the white eagle incorporating all the death of cinematic text. The list of filmed works by Leonid Andreev for the century they have been created - from 1912 to 2012 - is thoroughly systemized by means of the currently available sources.

Technologies of Culture: the Synergy of Natural and Artificial in the Creative Activity of a Person

Yaroslavtseva Elena I.

This article reviews the issue of human potential in the development of contemporary society, which can be fulfilled basing on culture, knowledge, and technology. In its turn, this creates a phenomenon, studied in the framework of the postnonclassical scientific approach, of cultural and humanitarian technologies. The person, using the power of intelligence and creative activity, makes the subject and communicative field, enriches the reality, reveals as both individual and social power, as spontaneous and mediated creature, as autopoethic system, living not only in the present, but also in the future. These problems are actual because of the formation of modern communicative space and renewal of the objective world by digital objects, prototyping technologies, and virtual space. In the center of attention, there are the new aspects of the problem of transformation of the artificial into the natural, as a phenomenon of creative orientation of a person beyond the horizon of possible, when the goal’s attractor and its orientation to the future create the social dynamic and the synergetic process (cooperation and coordination) while overcoming the existing boundaries. The article analyzes the specific socio-cultural phenomena that demonstrate the fundamental importance of the natural human intelligence for overcoming the risks of modern development of the objective and virtual spaces. It is demonstrated that the idea of physical and digital mobility, as well as the self-transformation of a person, requires a more extensive understanding of the basic natural parameters of individual’s existence and development of the human-measured approach in post-non-classical methodology.

Unpublished Poem of the 19th Century about Stephen of Perm, the Great Scribe of the 14th Century

Morozov Boris N.

The article introduces to the scientists an unpublished poem of the middle of the nineteenth century dedicated to the enlightener of the Komi region Stephen of Perm (died in 1396), who had created a new writing - the Old Perm alphabet (script) - in the course of Christianization of the local Finno-Ugric population. The analysis of the lengthy poetic text (about 1000 lines), written by an amateur poet, obviously a student of the local spiritual institution, leads to the conclusion that not only widely used he the local folklore tradition (at the time of writing of the poem yet unstudied), but was also familiar with the written monuments (“Zhitie Stefana Permskogo (The Life of Stephen of Perm)” written by his colleague Epiphanius the Wise in the end of the 14th - early 15th century, and its later editions, for example, the “Tale of Stephen of Perm” of the 18th century). The fact that the author of the poem was familiar with the monuments reflecting the ancient Komi written language is of special interest. Those monuments are the inscriptions on two icons of the 14th - 15th centuries, one of which is now lost. In addition, the text of the poem of Stephen of Perm and the baptism of the Komi-Zyrians was obviously influenced by the Russian poetry of the first half of the 19th century - the tales of A.S. Pushkin “The Dead Princess and the Seven Knights” and the tale of P.P. Yershov “Konyok-Gorbunok (The Humpbacked Horse)”.

Useful and Enthralling Educational Manual

Bazarova Eteri L.

The article reviews the educational manual by M.A. Polyakova “Cultural Heritage of Russia. The History of Protection and Current State” (Moscow: Russian State University for the Humanities, 2015). Sections of the publication: “Cultural Heritage in the Humanitarian Knowledge”, “The History of Protection of the Monuments of the Past during the 18th - 20th Centuries”, “The State and the Monuments of History and Culture in the Soviet Epoch”, “Cultural Heritage in the Post-Soviet Russia”. Every section is complemented by a list of control questions. The main text of the publication is complemented by a list of sources and literature, dictionary of basic concepts and terms, index of names. The book is characterized as a publication rich in content and enthralling in the form of presentation. The author gives a positive response to the way the manual presents the multidimensionality and complexity of formation of the attitude of Russian society to its historical and cultural property during a vast historical section. The article focuses on the analysis objectivity of the formation of idea about the protection value of the objects of the past. The legal aspects of the protection of cultural and historical monuments are particularly important. The manual analyzes the law projects and the comments to them. The actualization of cultural heritage in the modern conditions is considered in the sense of formation of the Russian self-identity.

“Werther” and Wertherianism in the Opera Genre of the Last Third of the 19th Century

Shabshaevich Elena M.

The article focuses on refraction of the Wertherianism in the art of opera in the last third of the 19th century. In the center, there are the reflections on the operas by J. Massenet and P. Tchaikovsky, some parallels between which were already recognized by the contemporaries of these composers. The Wertherian tendencies are also considered in a wider musical and historical context, which includes not only “Werther” and “The Queen of Spades”, but also “Tristan and Isolde” by Wagner, where for the first time, according to the author of the article, the image of the “New Werther” was captured. The author analyzes the parallels in implementation of the images of characters (Charlotte - Liza, Tristan - Werther - Hermann, Albert - Eletsky), the problems of the aforementioned compositions (in particular, the refraction of the ideas of Liebestod and free will). But the drama and music (especially the leitmotif system) have both similarities and differences due to some different properties of the national mentality. The author comes to the conclusion that the worldview of Massenet and Tchaikovsky had a lyrical basis, which caused the relevance of the “New Wertherianism” in the late 19th century.

“Zrichitel (Viewreader)”: a New Subject of the Modern Culture

Kondakov Igor V.

This article is dedicated to important issues of the modern media culture. The author suggests a new outlook of the media, which affirms that the culture, during the process of its transformation from literaturecentrism to mediacentrism, combines the subjects of visual culture (viewers) and the subjects of verbal culture (readers). As a result of this close interaction, the fundamentally new textual strategies appear: “a reader as a viewer” and “a viewer as a reader”. Application of the strategies and intensity of their intersubjective dialog influence on the depth of text understanding (both verbal and visual) as well as on the level of hypothetical penetration into the “submedial space”, which is covered by the screen of cinema, television, or computer and represents an area of “semantic uncertainty”. Implication of the two-level subject of mediaculture (“viewreader”) in this “semantic uncertainty” dictates the specifics of cultural texts perception in the age of “post-literacy”.

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