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The Commissar Vanishes by David King (copyright D. King, New York : Holt, 1997) Screening Socialism, Fall 2010, Sciences Po.

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Presentation on theme: "The Commissar Vanishes by David King (copyright D. King, New York : Holt, 1997) Screening Socialism, Fall 2010, Sciences Po."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Commissar Vanishes by David King (copyright D. King, New York : Holt, 1997) Screening Socialism, Fall 2010, Sciences Po

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3 Reworking the crowd: Lenin in Petrograd on July 19, In order to boost his popularity, when the picture was reprinted in 1924 in Krasnaya Niva, the attendance was artificially expanded

4 1897 Meeting in St. Petersburg in February 1897 with Lenin. Left standing is Alexander Marchenko. Along with the others Marchenko was exiled for 3 years in Siberia. Returning from exile in 1900 he abandoned revolutionary politics. In 1929 he was arrested, wrongfully accused of being a "wrecker," and executed in For 30 years he was air-brushed out of the photo whenever it was reproduced. In 1958 he was rehabilitated, at which time his presence was allowed to re-appear.

5 1919 Lenin and Trotsky [center, top of stairs] celebrating second anniversary of the revolution in November A heavily retouched version was published in Trotsky has been air-brushed out.

6 1920 Outside the Bolshoi Theater in May, On the steps to the right we can see Trotsky, with Kamenev partly obscured behind him. The falsification of this photograph is probably the first and certainly the most famous example of Stalinist retouching. The original photograph, achieved icon status, while Lenin was still alive and Trotsky still had power. After Trotsky's downfall, the photograph was never again shown in its entirety in the USSR. Even during the Gorbachev period the photo was cropped to eliminate Trotsky and Kamenev.

7 Original photo included from left to right: Anippov, Stalin, Kirov, and Shvernik. Taken in Leningrad in 1926, celebrating the defeat of Zinoviev's anti-Stalinist opposition. The photo of three reveals the disappearance of Antipov [the chandelier has also been eliminated]. Antipov had joined the Bolsheviks in 1912, chairman of the Petrograd Cheka in 1918, and later prime minister Molotov's secretary. Arrested and sent to prison where he was the last Stalinist cadre to be shot in August, In the next picture, Shevernik was erased when the photo was used in 1949 for a short biography of Stalin. Finally, an oil painting by Brodsky based on the original photo. Stalin the executioner alone remains.

8 Stalins Personality Culte From the mid-1930's the Stalinist propaganda machine churned out thousands of sculptures, paintings, and drawings to exaggerate the closeness of his relationship with Lenin. The photograph of Lenin and Stalin near Moscow in 1922 [top left] bears every sign of having been faked. The ponderous sculpture made in 1938 based on the faked photograph [top right]. Below the top two pictures are other examples of the Stalin-Lenin exaggeration

9 Some further readings on representation. Louis Marin, Portrait of the King, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988 ( first ed.1981) Roger Chartier, « Pouvoirs et limites de la représentation. Sur l'oeuvre de Louis Marin », Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales, 49 (2), 1994, p Ernst Gombrich, Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation, Hanna Pitkin, The Concept of Representation, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967


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