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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Soviet Constructivism is a central reference for the American art journal October (founded in 1976 and still in print today). This article discusses the ways in which October refers to that historical art movement, while overlooking some of its key political aspirations. Especially during the journal’s founding years, the discursive association with Soviet Constructivism served to bestow criticality, urgency, and sociopolitical relevance on the American art journal. Furthermore, with the reference to Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov, in particular, the October protagonists have positioned themselves in a specific manner within mid-1970s art critical discourse in the United States. In addition to framing and positioning, the article examines how Soviet Constructivism (alongside Dadaism and Surrealism) becomes for October a key reference for rooting and evaluating the expanded, cross-genre art production post-1945 historically.

Keywords: October, self-representation, Constructivism, Sergei Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov, neoliberalism, art criticism, art journal, United States

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