Avant-Garde Transformation of Artistic Labor: The Productivist View of Boris Arvatov

Nikola Dedić

Abstract


The basic thesis of the article is that in historical materialist theory a distinction can be made between the terms work and labor. Work refers to a specific activity – sewing, weaving, painting, sculpting. Labor refers to the social relationship, primarily between different social groups, i.e., classes – wage labor, serfdom, slavery, petty craftsmanship. Art history has approached the avant-garde mainly from the aspect of artistic work – for example, how the avant-garde transformed work in the domain of painting into work in the domain of three-dimensional construction. This article tries to think of the avant-garde as a phenomenon that has transformed art in terms of artistic labor. The basis is the transition from constructivism to productivism in Soviet art in the 1920s, and especially Boris Arvatov's theoretical postulates.

 

Article received: March 12, 2022; Article accepted: June 21, 2022; Published online: September 15, 2022; Original scholarly paper

How to cite this article: "Avant-Garde Transformation of Artistic Labor: The Productivist View of Boris Arvatov." AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 28 (September 2022): 133-151. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i28.523


Keywords


historical materialism; labor theory of value; political economy; avant-garde art; Soviet avant-garde; constructivism; productivism.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25038/am.v0i28.523

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