Revolutions and the avant-garde: visual footnotes of the great and the damned October Revolution

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At 18:30 EET on Tuesday the 8th November 2017, The Red House hosted a discussion about the artistic revolution of 1917, asking how did the revolution change imagery and how much the image itself affects our perceptions of history.

A full-length Bulgarian-language recording of this event can also be accessed by clicking here

Revolutions and their children

November is the month that is marked by two key historical events – the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and the Revolutions of 1989. What legacies do these revolutions have and what is the fate of their children? What is the place of the October Revolution in Putin’s Russia? What role have the Revolutions of 1989 played in the development of Eastern Europe as part of the European Union? These are just a few points of reference for the great debate about revolutions, counter-revolutions, conservative and postmodern revolutions in the framework of the bigger, enduring question: what is progress?

Revolutions and the avant-garde: visual footnotes of the great and the damned October Revolution

Radical utopias are unthinkable without social, political and artistic imagination. How did the 1917 Revolution affect imagery? Have new assessments, political analyses and historical details changed the way we see the historical event of the revolution? How can iconophilia and iconoclasm be recognised through the question of how imagery influences our perception of the revolution? How does how we struggle with images change or fail to change perceptions of history? And, what is the impact of revolutions on art?

Find out more by watching the English-language highlights video at the top of this page.


Iara Boubnova is an art historian and one of the founders of the Sofia Institute for Contemporary Art. She has been the curator of several leading art projects in the field of contemporary art and holds a doctorate in the history of contemporary art from the Russian Academy of Arts.

Series and support:

The Red House’s Revolutions and their Children discussions are part of a Time to Talk series of debates looking at revolution today, 100 years after the Russian Revolution.

This series has been realised with the support of the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Union.