PICASSO AND POLITICS. ISSUES OF PHILOSOPHICAL INTERPRETATION OF CUBISM

А. В. Рыков

Abstract


The paper examines the interdisciplinary issues of reconstruction of Cubist symbolical structures. The author considers Picasso’s art as the field of convergence of different ideological and philosophical discourses (anarchism, racism, vitalism, sexism a. o.). Rhetoric and mythopoetical potential of these «secular religions» are explored in the article in the context of general theory of avant-garde. Special attention is paid to metahistorical interpretation of Cubism, its Renaissance connotations: the author focuses on the history of conceptualization of uncertainty in European art in connection with Picasso’s critique of «metaphysics of presence». The author draws the conclusion that the «political» level of Picasso’s art is inseparable from the so-called philosophical or artistic planes. «Les Demoiselles d’Avignon» drifts, changing its contexts, from the discriminative masculine and racist conceptions to anti-colonialism and feminism. Paradoxically in Cubist art intellectualism meets «life philosophy», social constructivism is combined with conservatism, the optimism of pre-war Europe — with negativism of Counterculture. The main issue of the paper are the complex relations of anarchist and Cubist mythologies. Anarchism with its totalitarian and conservative connotations is given an original intellectualist interpretation in Analytic Cubism. Maintaining its critical attitude towards highly influential at the edge of 19–20 centuries ideas of vitalism and primitivism, Picasso’s art of that period is a unique example of deconstruction in the fields of political and philosophical thought. Melancholia of Cubism, its Buddhist, solipsist tendency together with its Utopian image of new, transparent, fluid world create the skeptical futurology of Picasso.

Keywords


Cubism, anarchism, Picasso, racism, Gender Studies.

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