Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Lenin on the Moon

Vyacheslav Khovayev, a Soviet artist from the Ukrainian city of Dneprpetrovsk, was known mainly as a landscape artist. He studied under Isaac Brodsky in Leningrad. Apparently his cosmonautic paintings were generally unknown (kept in special reserves and unexhibited) until a fairly recent exhibition at the HIstorical Museum. The painting is said to be have been composed around 1960.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Lenin's role in 1920's Romance.

I'm no longer yours, I'm Senya's
He invited me to the Soviet
To listen to Lenin's speeches.

Friday, 9 February 2018

An unusual Lenin sculptor in the Churchill family.

Clare Sheridan's bust of Lenin.

I suppose the least likely person I'd expect to be a sculptor of a Lenin bust would be a cousin of Winston Churchill, part of a close circle of friends of the Mountbatten's as well as a family friend of Rudyard Kipling and much of the rest of that coterie.

But Clare Sheridan unlike her cousin had always gotten on better with the Bolsheviks than with the fascists (Churchill after the war admitted to his cousin that he had rather liked Mussolini and was sorry that he had to fight him whereas Clare had a strong personal dislike of the fascist dictator, not surprisingly because on a visit to him the fascist dictator had tried to rape her).

Lenin on hearing of her family relationship with the imperialist bulldog was none too impressed but chuckled upon hearing that she was not the only political anomaly in that reactionary family.

Here in any case is a fuller account by her of their meeting:

Sheridan did not meet Lenin until 7th October (1920): "Lenin was sitting at his desk. He rose and came across the room to greet me. He has a genial manner and a kindly smile, which puts one instantly at ease. He said that he had heard of me from Kamenev. I apologised for having to bother him. He laughed and explained that the last sculptor had occupied his room for weeks, and that he got so bored with it that he had sworn that it never should happen again. He asked how long I needed, and offered me today and tomorrow from 11 till 4, and three or four evenings, if I could work by electric light. When I told him I worked quickly and should probably not require so much, he said laughingly that he was pleased."

During the session Lenin expressed his dislike of her cousin Winston Churchill: "I asked if Winston was the most hated Englishman. He shrugged his shoulders, and then added something about Churchill being the man with all the force of the capitalists behind him. We argued about that, but he did not want to hear my opinion, his own being quite unshakeable. He talked about Winston being my cousin, and I said rather apologetically that I could not help it, and informed him that I had another cousin who was a Sinn Feiner. He laughed, and said That must be a cheerful party when you three get together. I suppose it would be cheerful, but we have never all three been together! During these four hours he never smoked, and never even drank a cup of tea. I have never worked so long on end before, and at 3.45 I could hold out no longer. I was blind with weariness and hunger, and said good-bye. He promised to sit on the revolving stand tomorrow. If all goes well, I think I ought to be able to finish him. I do hope it is good. I think it looks more like him than any of the busts I have seen yet. He has a curious Slav face, and looks very ill.

She also produced busts of other Bolsheviks including Trotsky, Dzerzhinsky, Zinoviev and met many of the others. She attended the funeral of John Reed. Apparently, the historian Robert Service believed that she and Trotsky became lovers (she was also said to have been the lover of Kamenev and Charlie Chaplin). 

Sheridan admiring her Lenin bust.

By the way, a smaller reproduction of the original is apparently on ebay for a few thousand dollars. Any rich patrons reading this have now been informed as to what they can buy me for Christmas. 

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

A Dancing Lenin in the ballet 'Hammer and Sickle'

Here is Lenin in the ballet "Hammer and Sickle" performed by the Kazakh State Accademy Dance Theatre. The leader of the world revolution appears to the music of Time Forward, one of the most well-known pieces of music from the Soviet era.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Ivan Tuzov's Pixellated Lenin's

A visit to the former winery turned arts centre near Kurskaya station last week meant that I discovered one more Lenin-related series of art works. Namely Ivan Tuzov's pixellated Lenin's. Lenin becomes a character for a computer game. As Tuzov states in an interview in his art Lenin (and other historical figures) lose their historical baggage. One of his exhibitions was entitled "Lenin Father Christmas' (Ленин Дед Мороз). He relates this to how he remembers being told about Lenin at nursery school. So Tuzov's Lenin is a kind of monument to his young memory of the figure of Lenin.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Lenin (Peter Steen) as ambulant beer seller in crazy Danish musical comedy Lenin, You Rascal, You (1972)

Haven't been able to find much information about this film at all but it appears that Lenin turns up as an ambulant beer seller among other things in the demential comedy about Lenin on his way back to Russia in his sealed train to start the revolution. Here's a scene:

 Google translating a short synopsis from the Danish one comes up with this:

Lenin's journey in 1917 on the sealed train from Zurich to Saint Petersburg, served as a crazy comedy. The great revolutionary theorist goes through numerous crazy conflicts before he can reach home and start his October Revolution.
Would love to see the rest of the film. Here are some more scenes on youtube (without subtitles but the film seems to have many musical numbers):

Some Cyberpunk Lenin's