[Marxism] Chto Delat and Ostalgia

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Jul 24 11:36:51 MDT 2011

On Friday the NY Times had a glowing article on the “Ostalgia” showthat 
just opened at the New Museum. “When Repression Was a Muse” is the title 
of Holland Cotter’s piece and gives you a good idea of his angle:

	For some artists repression had a psychological upside. It gave their 
work a clear-cut sense of importance. It established art’s primary value 
as moral, not monetary; instrumental, not formal. If what you were doing 
was censorable, you could trust you were doing something right; heroic, 
even. And this attitude fostered solidarity and the growth of a 
counterculture in which experimentation, individuality and iconoclasm 
were protected and nurtured.

All this is well and good, but you really have to wonder what this has 
to do with Ostalgia, the neologism that combines the word East (Ost) 
with nostalgia and that means a longing for the socialist past, no 
matter how bureaucratic. Perhaps no other work of art expresses this 
better than the film “Goodbye, Lenin” that I reviewed in 2004. Given the 
preponderance of bitter rejections of the socialist system on display at 
the New Museum, one wonders why they didn’t call it “Anti-Ostalgia” instead.

full: http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/chto-delat-and-ostalgia/

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