terça-feira, março 13, 2007

Russian Children's Books

“Not just to portray the world, but to change it.“
“For a Bolshevik, nothing is impossible.“

Livros infantis dos anos vinte exprimem a crença num mundo cheio de novas possibilidades, metáfora da utopia em curso.
Uma exposição que se debruça sobre os signos inscritos na literatura infantil e escolar daquele período da Rússia revolucionária. E da importância da (s) vanguarda (s), estreitamente implicadas nessa produção literária.

“…the legendary Russian era of upheaval, despite its chaos, poverty, diffuse hopes, completely different needs, and a heterogeneity of ideas which were pitilessly canalized but also reversed by self-censure, has become highly significant for the development of radically modern ideas. Its relicts – and books for children should be taken just as seriously as other important projects – can make us aware of what was culturally possible in a short time under the most difficult conditions and, moreover, what transformations resulted from this.
"The title of the MAK exhibition “Shili-Byii" – "Once Upon a Time" –, which presents books and magazines for children, mainly from the early decades of the 20th century in the Soviet Union, is not merely an allusion to fairy tales; there is also the definite implication that fairy tales should come true – but, at the same time, that they need not necessarily have a happy ending."
"For example, in the sparsely texted children's book “Two Squares: A Suprematist Tale. In 6 Constructions“ conceived by El Lissitzky (1890-1941) in 1920, which is part of the MAK Library and Works on Paper Collection, a black square and a red square fly to earth from outer space to errect a new order. The struggle for the best solution ends after twenty pages with the disappearance of the black square; the red one remains, as a basis for things to come. The building instructions for constructing the new order consist in the simple message "further" – as an expression of the utopia of uninterrupted motion. Good and evil are presented to children through a finely tuned, abstract use of geometric forms, which avoids any type of personification and leaves a great deal open to the imagination."
On the Cultural Environment in Russia 1920 / 1930 / 1940 ...