Ostalgia as a Special Artistic Development in the Contemporary Art

  • Abstract:

    Much attention has been given to the consequences of the falling 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 GDR citizens. Today, this phenomenon is, however, also recognized by former Soviet citizens. Ostalgia is studied in philosophical, sociological and psychological studies. In the art Ostalgia is approached by means of the use of 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 any 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 experience with the system to be able to create images about it? Are these new images, new insights into the past through the eyes of the last Soviet generation of young artists? What fore feelings are hidden behind this phenomenon? How it changes over the time? Is Ostalgia a longing for the past or a desire for what is not anymore? Can Ostalgia be a providing aesthetic beauty of a terrible past? Within this artistic research Ostalgia is the starting point. Based on existing memories of witnesses from the Soviet era, literature and visual material about the Soviet era, Ostalgia’s character is examined, and the boundaries of the phenomenon are explored in the Contemporary Art. 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.