May 3: Nancy Perloff on “Unlocking the Semantics of Sound in the Russian Futurist Book”

Please join us for a talk by Nancy Perloff (Getty Research Institute)

“Unlocking the Semantics of Sound in the Russian Futurist Book”

Friday, May 3 | 3pm | HSSB 1174

 Olga Rozanova (Russian, 1886 - 1918) and Alexei Kruchenykh (Russian, 1886-1969), Design and text for  "Pugal' k ustam" ("A gun to the mouth,") in Vzorval' (Explodity); St. Petersburg, 1913, lithograph, Los Angeles, Getty Research Institute (85-B4913)

Olga Rozanova (Russian, 1886 – 1918) and Alexei Kruchenykh (Russian, 1886-1969), Design and text for “Pugal’ k ustam” (“A gun to the mouth,”) in Vzorval’ (Explodity); St. Petersburg, 1913, lithograph, Los Angeles, Getty Research Institute (85-B4913)

Dr. Nancy Perloff is curator of modern and contemporary collections at the Getty Research Institute where she has organized such exhibitions as Monuments of the Future: Designs by El Lissitzky, and Tango with Cows: Book Art of the Russian Avant-Garde, 1910–1917. Her scholarship addresses the Russian avant-garde, European modernism, and the relationship between music and the visual arts.

This talk comes out of Dr. Perloff’s forthcoming book project, Books to Look at, Books to Listen to: The Great Russian Avant-Garde Experiment. This project explores the hybridity of word-image-sound interplay in Futurist book art. Perloff also identifies a curious aesthetic of “calculated spontaneity”, which Futurists implemented by their distinctive way of modifying the contents and sometimes the covers of their artist’s books. Variant copies reflect a curious impulse to resist finality and to appear ephemeral and makeshift, when in fact each copy is planned and controlled. The transformation of the book, an essentially visual and verbal medium, into an auditory one exemplifies this calculated approach, carefully thought out rather than accidental.

Sponsored by the IHC’s History of Books and Material Texts RFG, the Center for Modern Literature, Materialism and Aesthetics; the Dept. of the History of Art and Architecture; the Media Arts and Technology Program; the Dept. of Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies, College of Creative Studies; and the Dept. of Studio Art.

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