Museums

At National Museum in Krakow, an Alexander Rodchenko Exhibition Without ‘Communism’

alexander rodchenko At National Museum in Krakow, an Alexander Rodchenko Exhibition Without Communism

Alexander Rodchenko “Pioneer-Trumpet Player,” 1930. (Moscow House of Photography Museum)

At the National Museum in Krakow, Poland, an exhibition of photographs by Alexander Rodchenko, the Russian artist who came to prominence after the 1917 revolution, has left out any mention of the word “Communism” or any of its cognates.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Russian institutions would only work with the museum’s director (not curators) and insisted on writing the wall text and catalogue essays–“none of which could be altered, and on supervising the installation.” Of the censorship of Communism, The Journal writes:

This was also part of the deal with the Russians. Yet Communism, both as a utopian ideal and as a despotism, intermediated Rodchenko’s career. Can you discuss the art of Michelangelo without mentioning Christianity? It’s as if the very word “Communism” were theurgic, that to utter it would unleash powers with which no one wants to contend. So, silence.

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Tags: Museums