Directed by Alexandr Shein
[on the relevance of Mayakovsky]
Not only for Russia, but for the whole world, Mayakovsky's work is perhaps the only example of a fusion of poetic and political revolutions. In the West, revolutionaries in poetry have never been able to become political revolutionaries, although many of them wanted it, simply because the revolution didn’t happen in the West.
In Russia only Mayakovsky became a symbol of political renewal of the country from entire generation of Russian poetic avant-garde. At the same time, Mayakovsky tried actively to overcome not only the gap between the poetic and the political, but also the gap between high modernist poetry and mass culture. His "Growth Windows", made by him together with Alexander Rodchenko, still serve as a model of advertising, included in the standard program of Western design schools. It might be said that Mayakovsky's main occupation was the restoration of the unity of culture, split by modern art and the policy of radical avant-garde. But this search for a new unity of culture paradoxically led Mayakovsky to cultural loneliness.
Other modernist-oriented poets and artists of his generation perceived his "soviet" verses as a betrayal of true poetry, while typical representatives of the soviet cultural mainstream did not at all welcome the synthesis of avant-garde and Soviet ideology, since avant-garde was perceived by them only as a survivor of bourgeois society. As a result, the unifying project of Mayakovsky was in fact not understood by anyone, although it made himself famous and popular. Today, the relationship between art and politics, as well as between high art and mass culture, remains essentially as problematic as it was in the Mayakovsky era.
In this sense, the figure of Mayakovsky stands today both as a promise and as a warning. It stands as the promise, since Mayakovsky's example shows that an attempt to overcome contemporary cultural gaps is possible and may even turn out to become successful. It stands as the warning, as this attempt inevitably leads the poet or artist to social and cultural loneliness. In the film, Alexander Shei shows the drama of the loneliness of the poet inside the situation of social success. In this sense, this film is not only about Mayakovsky, but, rather, about the paradigmatic fate of a poet and artist in the era of cultural and social rifts.
Duration – 1:55
Age limit 16+
Tickets will be available in August
The Theatre of Nations / main stage
st. metro Chehovskaya, Петровский пер., 3
The film was created with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Cinema Foundation of Russia, The Foundation of Vladimir Smirnov and Konstantine Sorokin