SOME IDEAS ABOUT THE STRANGE SUBJECT OF NEOACADEMISM
One could say that the main achievement of Modernism is how it has destroyed all the beauty represented in European culture. All attempts to revive the integrity of art in the Soviet and Fascist cultures failed because of the political regimes at the time in these countries. The Babylonian quantity of art dialects in Modernism make critics use references completely unrelated to art, in order to make their classification easier for all to understand. But this is cutting their nose off to spite their face because it does not spoil the substance of art, nor ruin our desire to enjoy its colours and beauty. This desire for beauty is, in fact, both the secret passion of Post-modernists and the source of an ecological approach to culture. The resurrection of Venus and Apollo that took place in the Renaissance, is once again taking a siesta in their crystal coffins in museums. It is about time to wake them again, but how?
And could ancient Greek replace Esperanto? The alternative is the beauty of Coca-Cola bottle. For many years now, established cultural centers, like the Academy of Fine Arts, have not been able to provide substantial education for art lovers. They have other «artistic» exercises. The Neo-academism movement is a pitiful attempt by the «cultural environmentalists». Like a bunch of Pygmalions, they wander through museums, dig in libraries, visit stadiums and sit through theatre performances. They are searching for the Wonderful. And there is still have plenty of it.
Although the Modern style prevails in the art of the 20th century, the interest towards European culture has never weakened; but a considerable transformation of the approach to it has occurred. Famous art pieces such as Swan Lake, Gioconda, Acropolis and certain figures in art Van Gogh, Mozart, Pushkin become fetishes, along with the glorification of characters, Ulysses, Romeo, Don Juan and the utilization of antiques (a Rembrandt, a Byzantine icon, a splinter of an ancient comb, all have become objects in a catalogue created by museum stuff). Such transformation encourages generations of experimentalists to borrow from this cultural tradition with no respect to the original item. The respect to culture, native to the generation of artists who grew up in the period of «stagnation’ in the Soviet Union, is totally alien to those who have become famous in the time of Perestroika. Their international success has made them surprisingly self-confident. These «separated» modernists started sucking the blood of their maternal culture like parasites using the success of others as their own, postponing the end of Modernism, which then resulted in having to change this movement into Postmodernism. Such aspirations towards the roots of culture made by its secret enemies (heretics) leads to its destruction and stimulates the childish left-wing syndrome in art that is a lethal disease.
In the first place, these converted representations of modern culture, make the experts and the viewers look upon a piece of art as a fetish, seeing but the canonized heroes. This is especially characteristic for cinema where their own becomes a character (i.e. Chaplin, Monroe, Schwarzneger, Madonna). The powerful pressure of Americanism that has influenced European culture is now spreading over our country, which either completely unprepared for it or happy to accept it. The result of this almost instantaneous triumph is that 3/4 of the Russian culture is being Americanized. This will accelerate all our cultural changes and, from my point of view, will lead our «high» culture to the edge of extinction. It is already being dislodged by the popular culture, because a country with a ruined economy cannot provide financial support for «high» culture (for Russian culture prospered only when the Russian State was rich). Popular culture targets poor people and is much more profitable. Today the upholders of «high» culture are following their maestros such as Baryshnikov, Rostropovich, Makarova, Tarkovsky, Nabokov.
One of the most important and constant qualities of the person involved in art in Russia has always been a self-denying heroism, inexorability. These kind of people are creating guerilla troops, cooking food to eat in prison, learning how to work in illegal conditions. It is not businessmen who wear the artist disguise anymore - now artists put on the mask of a «businessman».
In this situation the «Neoacademists» look foolish, absurd, simply out of place. As though nothing has changed, they frisk around the statue of Apollo in the temple of Art like simple children, trying to «put on a brave face», while the clergy have abandon the temple in panic.
Novikov.T.: "Some Ideas About Strange Subject Of Neoacademism"// New Russian Classicism. The edition of the State Russian Museum. SPb. P.187-192, 1998.
Novikov T.: "Some Ideas About Strange Subject Of Neoacademism" // Timur Novikov. Catalogue. Moscow. P. 39-41, 2003