Producer Eduard Boyakov — about why art should be Patriotic
Photo: RIA Novosti/Ekaterina Chesnokova
Patriotism. Traditional values. High art. Great style. What associations cause the youth of these words? Alas, this is not the most popular vocabulary of twenty – and thirty-somethings. Modern aesthetic environment are usually focused on other values, but these important concepts are often devalued. For many years the main educational formulae we had slogans like “Take everything from life”, “don’t stop”, “Because you’re worth it”… It’s not just the antics of a cynical marketers, it is a situation of civilizational choice, the imposition of a system of values in which there is no place for patriotism, solidarity, where “global” (actually West) above the national, the individual is more important than the people.
The clash of civilizations is not only military conflicts, economic battles and political interests. Home war — to some it may seem strange or cynical against the backdrop of reports from the Donbass and Syria, but it’s happening on a symbolic field. Today, the main war — for the images. War for pictures of the world, with the hierarchy of values. And here in the foreground are questions of art, style and language.
Each civilization left the place in history, was the style. It is an axiom. The style concentrates, accumulates information about the person. Magazine cover or Billboard, for example, the Paris performance of the early XX century, can tell us not only about the popular fonts, but about the habits, gender plots or conflicts of generations.
Furthermore, art not only reflects life, it shapes reality, ahead of the reality, shapes our world. I mean not only the fantasy genre, and movies about space missions. The art of designing a situation with which society, business and policymakers face in the near future. We still have not learned, did not understand this paradox, although he at different times wrote different smart people — from Plato to Baudrillard.
Art is always ahead, it feels. First was written “Anna Karenina”, and then, in the early XX century, in most European countries women were allowed to vote. First, Dostoevsky described the demons in the novel, and then they took in the reality of revolutionary terror. First was written “uncle Tom’s Cabin”, and then only in 1950-60-ies (!) black in America was allowed to use the same sinks, and white, ride in the same bus and drink coffee in the same bars. Politicians always go after the artists.
The style of the era, until recently, has always been the national. It is equally concerned of the time of Pushkin, Mussorgsky and Stravinsky. But the time of postmodernism, which blurs not only aesthetic criteria, but also to the anthropological border, which casts doubt on the basic human identity — gender, nationality, moral-psychological norm. The opposite of “high style” in any moment of history is the vulgarity of the expressions of selfishness, self-interest and consumerism. That is such a moment Russia was going through a quarter of a century, until the “Russian spring” 2014. Today we seem to Wake up, come to life. What do we see? Let’s be honest: we see the lack of a developed symbolic field, the authority of modern art and world-class artists. It says our crisis is more than economic indicators.
We are facing an important task — to win the “war” in the so-called soft power, soft power. Here Russia is losing the West. Just look at the repertoire of cinemas, design hipster cafes, the content of fashion magazines, shelves of toy stores. Russian culture, Russian civilization today is really at a crossroads. On the one hand, sold two million copies of the book “Unholy saints” Bishop Tikhon Shevkunova (absolute record in the book trade in post-Soviet Russia), on the other — incredible vulgarity of our platform. On the one hand, almost the entire country goes to the “Immortal regiment”, on the other hand — the Muse of many eminent Russian artists, alas, are silent. Apparently, the word for young, creative, free patriots. I think the near future will show whether such.
The author — producer, theater Director, Creator of the festival “Golden mask”