Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Contextual Studies Day 2 Tate Modern Review

Contrasting the Tate Modern's white walls, dozens of powerful 'Russian Revolutionary' posters hang. "Poetry and Dream" was the category that the posters fell under at Tate Modern, and sure enough this theme runs throughout these dominating graphics. Created by different Russian and Ukraine artists as well as 11 unknown artists a dream like representation of the period of the time has been created. The beautiful images of the farmers and different workers hand in hand united could not be further from the truth yet this unjust depiction. Stated in the information section in this room "ideas and illusions conveyed in these posters" suggest not only Russian history fake appearance but the push for over dominating designs.
Fig.1 Russian Revolution Posters at the Tate Modern.
(Authors Own, 18.9.2013)
Due to the use of bold colour palette the designers used, at first look it was hard for me to take in the individual lithographs, as all demanded attention in every direction I looked. The strong red and black dotted with hints of gold did not make me walk into a “happy” and colourful room. Yet these colours did still make an impact, as well as representing the ideal Russia at this time it intimidated me. It was really hard for me to pinpoint one poster to focus and it allowed me to develop empathy for the workers of this time in the position I was in.
As well as the similar colour palette apparent for all forty seven pieces the posters were assembled so all the prints were cluttered on three of the four walls. These two factors as a first impression did overwhelm me. And it was not just me- as I stood in the centre watching the other voyeurs it was apparent how many people walked by this room and did not really appreciate each individual lithographs. With this in mind I wondered what Matthew Gale the curator was thinking, the cluttered organisation of the room contrasted the minimalist surrounding rooms. Yet the selection of posters presented in this way created a chilling sense of power and structure much like Russia at this point of time, furthermore it allowed me to gain a greater knowledge of the importance of political power in communist Russia. Even the Russian text on the poster that I was unable to read connected with the powerful imagery which made me not actually need to know what it meant they screamed power and authority. Again I was placed in the shoes of the common illiterate Russians at the time. The propaganda posters were such a big thing in the Russian revolution because of the way they masked the real situation, "This proliferation of colourful propaganda posters transformed towns and cities, creating a street art available to all."(2013, The posters visually allowed even the poorest of peasant to engage and understand. This is what inspires me as a student, I want to be able to affect people without them having to look deeper into the text surrounding it. The power of placing imagery in a particular way and dominating the way is something to look up to.
As a Student I personally was really inspired by the strong Graphic style which is still very relevant in today’s advertising and Graphic artwork. The way in which the limited amount of colours demanded recognition and power, is something I want to be applied to my work.

Exhibitions Visits
Tate Modern 18:09:13

(2013) 'Russian Revolutionary Posters'.[Online]. London. Tate Modern.
Available at

Stephanie Peer Feedback:
-possibly shorten some sentences
-Maybe some quotes about Russian revoloution

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