Socrealism is an attempt to translate Marxism into the sphere of art . This term appeared first in 1932 in the soviet press. It is, more formally, an artistic current; it was indeed the official art trend imposed by the Communist regimes. It originates in the Union of Socialist and Sovietic Republics (USSR), where it was officially implemented as the unique form of art in the country in 1934, by the Congress of Sovietic Writers, after several years (since 1917 and the October Revolution indeed) of artistic debates. The Russian artists were to decide whether they had to support artistically the new Communist regime, and, if yes, which form of art would be the most appropriate. The debates were facilitated by a flourishing vanguard of young artists, eager to translate and glorify the radical social and political changes. However, vanguard art was deemed too sophisticated, too complicated for the basic masses the communist regimes aimed at representing (at least, theoretically speaking). Eventually, the socialist realism trend, mainly embodied by the Russian artist Maxim GORKY, won. Indeed, realism was put in opposition with the bourgeoisie's art, such as surrealism or vanguard art.
[...] Literature is an interesting field of art as far as socrealism in Poland is concerned, because it is the field where there must have been most resistance. The Writers' Union was a place of debates and opposition to the new regime and its cultural policy, notably because writers thought that some artistic „progressive and avant garde” styles coming from Western Europe were as able, and even more able, to stand for communism, than socrealism. Socrealism was officially carried out in 1949, but there were still much resistance. [...]
[...] Socrealism in Poland This presentation of the general principles of socrealism, even though it did not concern Poland at first sight, was absolutely necessary since socrealism was basically the same in the USSR of the 1930's, 1940's, and in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (Poland among others), in the late 1940's and early 1950's. Even though there were claims, in Poland, that socrealism could find back its origins in the Polish popular tradition; socialist realism was mainly an import from the USSR, as they imported a political and an economic system. [...]
[...] The Minister of Culture, Wlodzimierz SOKORSKI, stopped supporting socrealism in 1954. Eventually, the socrealist creative method was definitively dropped in 1955. From 1955, socrealism was officially forgotten, even more after 1989 and the desire to forget everything about communism. However, today „Socrealizm staje sie trendy” -socrealism is getting trendy-. It seems that the Poles are today re-discovering their communist -and thus, socrealist- heritage. Nevertheless, it is necessary to add that this come-back mainly concerns architecture, whereas socrealist novels or poetry are mostly forgotten. [...]
[...] One of the theoretical bases of socrealism was the work of STALINE, the leader of Communist Russia: O polityce partii w dziedzinie literatury pięknej („About the party's policy in the art current of great literature”). Later on, Anatolij ŁUNACZARSKI and Aleksander WORONSKI were the first theoricians of socrealism. The principles of socrealism were afterwards logically enlarged to every parts of art, notably, thanks to Andriej ŻDANOW. This only concerned, at first, the USSR, where the communist movement was at the head of State. [...]
[...] Architecture is obviously one of the main, if not the main field of art in which socrealism could „give its best”. Buildings, their general outlook, their size, became everyday life propaganda weapons. The aim was to shape, by imposing themselves to the average citizens, socialist themes and ideas to those citizens' consciousness. The very architect hence became a top profession because, in the wake of socrealism, he -or she- not merely an engineer creating edifices and streets but an engineer of human souls”. [...]
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