Ostalgia as a Special Artistic Development in the Contemporary Art

  • Abstract:

    Much attention has been given to the consequences of the falling down of the Soviet Union. One expression of this is the phenomenon of “Ostalgia”, a form of post-communist nostalgia. Originally the term Ostalgia is limited to feelings of Ossies, former German Democratic Republic citizens. Today, this phenomenon is, however, also recognized by former Soviet citizens. Ostalgia is studied in philosophical, sociological and psychological research. In the art Ostalgia is approached by means of using Soviet symbolism, which is rooted in the imagery: consumer products, utensils, objects, photographs, uniforms. In short, everything that people keep from the “good old days”, evoking memories, everything that has a sentimental value. In my opinion Ostalgia is some emotional bond, attached to the Soviet past, which reflects a specific selection of autobiographical memory. But is Ostalgia a form of propaganda for an absolute ideology? Must an artist have an experience with the system to be able to create images about? Are these art works the new images, new insights into the past through the eyes of the last Soviet generation? What feelings are hidden behind this phenomenon? How does it change though the time? Is Ostalgia a longing for the past or a desire for what is gone? Can Ostalgia be an providing aesthetic beauty of the terrible past? Within this artistic research Ostalgia is the starting point. Based on existing memories of witnesses, literature and visual material about the Soviet era, character of Ostalgia is examined, and the boundaries of the phenomenon with the Contemporary Art are explored. The research intends to represent Ostalgia as an artistic subject. The process and the final result play an important role during the creating of the artistic work. Installations and objects that are realized during this research will be the artistic result of this complex phenomenon.