Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Tomorrow, Feb 5, 6:30 - 8:30, Panel on “Moscow to the Rescue: U.S. Racism, European Colonialism and the Soviet Promise.”

Winkleman Gallery is very pleased to present, in conjunction with "The Wayland Rudd Collection," a project by Yevgeniy Fiks, an evening of indepth discussion on the issues raised by the exhibition: “Moscow to the Rescue: U.S. Racism, European Colonialism and the Soviet Promise.”
Date: Wednesday, February 5th at 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Location: Winkleman Gallery, 621 West 27th Street, New York, NY 10001
Featuring Yelena Demikovsky, Dr. Raquel Greene, and Dr. Jonathan Shandell.
Moderated by Dr. Maxim Matusevich
Information on the panelists and their presentations:
1. Maxim Matusevich, “African American Travelers in Stalin’s Soviet Union”
Maxim Matusevich is an Associate Professor of Global History at Seton Hall University where he also directs the Russian and East European Studies Program. He is the author of No Easy Row for a Russian Hoe: Ideology and Pragmatism in Nigerian-Soviet Relations (2003) and editor of Africa in Russia, Russia in Africa: Three Centuries of Encounters (2007). A former Fulbright, IREX, Kennan Institute, and Harvard University fellow he has published and presented extensively on the history of Soviet-African relations during the Cold War as well as the history of race relations in the Soviet Union. He also served as historical consultant on several documentary projects, including a recent CBC TV series “Love, Hate, and Propaganda” (2012)
2.  Raquel Greene, "Into Africa: The Soviet Union and Its Civilizing Mission as Depicted in 1920's Soviet Children's Literature"
Raquel Greene is an Associate Professor of Russian at Grinnell College in Iowa where she teaches Russian Language and Literature as well as a course on the history and development of American Multicultural Children's Literature. Her publications include articles on how questions of diversity might be addressed in the Russian language classroom and incorporated into a specific pedagogy. She has also published on Alexander Pushkin and the significance of his African heritage in his oeuvre. Her current research focuses on constructions of "Blackness" in early Soviet Children's Literature. This is part of a larger manuscript project that examines the construction of the "other" in 20th century and post-Communist Russian Children's Literature.

3. Jonathan Shandell, "Before Rudd Was Russian: The Hidden History of a Trailblazing African American Actor"
Jonathan Shandell is an Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA.  As a theatre historian, his scholarship focuses on issues of race and integration on the American stage in the mid-20th Century.  A collection on inter-racial and cross-cultural collaboration on the American stage that he is co-editing, together with Dr. Cheryl Black of the University of Missouri, is forthcoming from Southern Illinois University Press.  His writing has appeared in African American Review, Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Theatre Topics and edited collections published by Cambridge University Press, Peter Lang, and Rodopi Press International.  Jonathan received a Master of Fine Arts and Doctor of Fine Arts from the Yale School of Drama. 
4. Yelena Demikovsky, “Film ‘Black Russians: The Red Experience’”
Yelena Demikovsky is founder of Red Palette Pictures. She is a documentary and narrative filmmaker with a broad theatre background in the United States and Russia. Demikovsky has directed award-winning documentaries such as “Unity,” “The Story Of Fenist ,” “Happy To Be So,” and “Vera. An Intimate Sketch.” She also directed narrative shorts “Shell” and “Through the Door.” Currently she is in post-production of the documentary “Holding on to the Barre”  and “Black Russians: The Red Experience,” produced by Sam Pollard, in co-production with the 1066 Productions, UK. 
Image above:   Dread Scott, "Constitution of the USSR," 2014, Acrylic and Xerox transfer, 30 x 22 inches.
Information about the exhibition:
The Wayland Rudd Collection
A project organized by Yevgeniy Fiks
January 17 – February 15, 2014

Winkleman Gallery is very pleased to present The Wayland Rudd Collection, a collaborative project organized by Yevgeniy Fiks that focuses on the representation of Africans and African-Americans in Soviet visual culture. A point of departure for this project is Fiks’ collection of over 200 Soviet images (paintings, movie stills, posters, graphics, etc.) of Africans and African-Americans spanning from the 1920s to the 1980s. Fiks invited contemporary artists and academics to select one or more images from this collection and to respond to it, either via artwork or other forms. Some of the participants chose to react to Fiks' invitation with artworks that were already premade, but which reflect on the issues that are raised in Fiks' original call for participation.
Wayland Rudd was an American actor who began performing in the Hedgerow Theater in Rose Valley, Pennsylvania under the directorship of Jasper Deeter. Rudd first received critical acclaim for his performance in Eugene O'Neill's "Emperor Jones." Frustrated over racism in the entertainment industry, Rudd moved to the Soviet Union in 1932 where he began a successful career in Soviet Theater and Film including work with the famed Russian Director Vsevolod Meyerhold. He later received a degree from the Theatrical Art Institute in Moscow and worked at the Stanislavsky Opera and Drama Theater. Rudd died in Moscow in 1952.
During Wayland Rudd's twenty year-long career in the Soviet Union, he appeared in numerous films, theatrical performances, and plays. He was also used as a model for paintings, drawings, and propaganda posters and, in many respects, defined the image of the “Negro” for generations of Soviet people. Although only a small section of the assembled images in The Wayland Rudd Collection are of Wayland Rudd, the project is given his name to commemorate this American-Soviet actor's personal story as a case in point of the complex intersection of 20th century American-Soviet narrative.

The historical Soviet images present a very complex and often contradictory mapping of the intersection of race and Communism in the Soviet context. They present this issue as unresolved, revealing the Soviet legacy on race as a mix bag of internationalism, solidarity, humanism, Communist ideals as well as exoticization, otherness, racist stereotyping, and hypocrisy.
Artists in the exhibition: Ivan Brazhkin, Michael Paul Britto, Suzanne Broughel, Maria Buyondo, Zachary Fabri, Joy Garnett, Alexey Katalkin, Kara Lynch, Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Nikolay Oleynikov and Arkadiy Kots Band, Natalia Pershina-Yakimanskaya (Gluklya), Jenny Polak, Dread Scott, and Haim Sokol
This exhibition will travel to First Floor Gallery Harare in Harare, Zimbabwe in Summer of 2014. Also, a book will be produced as the result of this project.
Yevgeniy Fiks thanks Daria Atlas for her help with research on this project.
Yevgeniy Fiks was born in Moscow in 1972 and has been living and working in New York since 1994. Fiks has produced many projects on the subject of the Post-Soviet dialog in the West, among them: “Ayn Rand in Illustration,” a series of drawing pairing descriptive text from Atlas Shrugged with uncannily complimentary Soviet Socialist Realism classic artworks; “Lenin for Your Library?” in which he mailed V.I. Lenin’s text “Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism” to one hundred global corporations as a donation for their corporate libraries; “Communist Party USA,” a series of portraits of current members of Communist Party USA, painted from life in the Party’s national headquarters in New York City; and “Communist Guide to New York City,” a series of photographs of buildings and public places in New York City that are connected to the history of the American Communist movement. Fiks’ work has been shown internationally. This includes exhibitions in the United States at Winkleman and Postmasters galleries (both in New York) Mass MoCA, and the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art; the Moscow Museum of Modern Art and Marat Guelman Gallery in Moscow; Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros in Mexico City, and the Museu Colecção Berardo in Lisbon. His work has been included in the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2011, 2009, 2007 and 2005), Biennale of Sydney (2008) and Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art (2007).
Image above: (top) Maria Buyondo, “Pushkin, Winter Morning,” 2011.
For more information please contact Edward Winkleman at 212.643.3152 or info@winkleman.com


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