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

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.


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 full length Bulgarian-language recording or keeping an eye out for our English-language highlights video which will be produced post-discussion.


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.

Recordings of the discussion:

English-language video highlights

An English-language highlights video of the discussion will be produced and uploaded to the after the 8th November.

To stay informed about upcoming video highlights of this and all other TTT debates, you can follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook, where we regularly publish updates about the availability of new material.

Full-length, Bulgarian-language video

The full, Bulgarian-language of this recording can be accessed on The Red House’s YouTube site by clicking here

To keep track of all new recordings from The Red House, you can subscribe to their YouTube channel.

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.