USSR Posters
September 28, 2006 2:06 PM   Subscribe

USSR Posters. Gallery of over 1400 posters from the Soviet era.
posted by plep (44 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
If it were 1400 posters from WWII Germany, Flikr would be forced to delete them after complaints from European governments. Why such a desire to celebrate a bloody murderous regime?
posted by Yakuman at 2:16 PM on September 28, 2006


Some day I'll get tired of looking at Soviet posters.

No... not really.

Also, Yakhuman, looking at cultural artifacts = celebrating actions said culture? WTF? And, yes, Nazi poster art is lovely as well.
posted by brundlefly at 2:19 PM on September 28, 2006


Also, thanks for the link, plep!
posted by brundlefly at 2:19 PM on September 28, 2006


Why such a desire to celebrate a bloody murderous regime?

Why such a desire to pretend that such regimes never existed? Besides, even bloody murderous regimes can have interesting graphic styles.
posted by COBRA! at 2:20 PM on September 28, 2006


I'm not sure how this celebrates Soviet Russia. It seems to me these are something of a historical resource that lets outsiders see what the Soviet population was shown during the cold war. I would have no problem with a similar display of Nazi progaganda.

This is particularly interesting to me, as my wife has a few dozen similar posters (from a trip she took to the USSR in the 1980's) and I have wondered about finding a way to share them online. I didn't see any of the one's she has here, but then again, I don't have them memorized and I also haven't had time to look closely at all 1400+ posters here.
posted by TedW at 2:22 PM on September 28, 2006


because bloody and murderous regimes have the coolest poster art, natch!
posted by the painkiller at 2:22 PM on September 28, 2006


To the grammar police-sorry about the "one's"; I don't usually apologize for typos but that particular error is one of my pet peeves and so quite embarassing.
posted by TedW at 2:24 PM on September 28, 2006


This is what you will look like when the secret grammar police release you from the Lubyanka.
posted by COBRA! at 2:26 PM on September 28, 2006


These are fantastic. Then again, I am busy consolidating my own bloody and murderous regime of my own, so YMMV.
posted by scody at 2:28 PM on September 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


a bloody and murderous regime that's too busy to proofread for redundancy, as you can see!
posted by scody at 2:31 PM on September 28, 2006


I'm pretty sure that these posters have been a FPP numerous times.
posted by bim at 2:35 PM on September 28, 2006


The redundancy division of the grammar police will be kicking your door down this evening. Set your affairs in order.
posted by COBRA! at 2:35 PM on September 28, 2006


I love the spider-with-bombs-for-legs... it seems uncharacteristic, considering the "we will crush you" attitude that I usually associate with the USSR.

Also, what is "het!" and why would a bomb spider be yelling it? Is it some variation of "nyet"? I guess that would fit in with (what I perceive to be) the anti-war message of the poster.

Anyway, these images are great.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 2:44 PM on September 28, 2006


Other USSR remnants:

- These pictures of a Latvian sculpture park from a friend's visit there. (quarter of the way down, or search for "sculpture park")
It may be in Latvia but a lot of that stuff looks Soviet to me, not that I really know anything. My favorite.
- The Masters of Russian Animation DVD series. There's one really creepy short composed entirely of images from classical art formed into a disturbing narrative about totalitarianism. The main titles claim it's a critique of capitalism, but I'm not so sure.
posted by mkb at 2:47 PM on September 28, 2006


Cool. I was wondering how far into the collection I would have to go to find a poster of a chisled prole swinging a hammer. Not far at all.
posted by MikeMc at 2:47 PM on September 28, 2006


I knew all along that Star Trek was a commie front.
posted by COBRA! at 2:48 PM on September 28, 2006 [2 favorites]


syn: "HET!"="Nyet." The Russian alphabet is different, who'da thunk it.
posted by nasreddin at 2:58 PM on September 28, 2006


i've always been fascinated by these and have even poked fun at some on my blog by making up translations for them

this is the best collection on the web by far
posted by pyramid termite at 3:01 PM on September 28, 2006


Why such a desire to celebrate a bloody murderous regime?

I admire men like Josef Stalin because he would have had you shot.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:03 PM on September 28, 2006


Facials are your patriotic duty, comrade!
posted by Cyrano at 3:04 PM on September 28, 2006


why shostakovich got divorced
posted by pyramid termite at 3:07 PM on September 28, 2006


A recurring topic on metafilter, but deservedly so and this is the best link I've seen yet. Some of the finest pieces of 20th Century graphic design. Love it!
posted by twistedonion at 3:20 PM on September 28, 2006


Excellent stuff.

If it were 1400 posters from WWII Germany, Flikr would be forced to delete them after complaints from European governments.

It might be interesting for someone to test that hypothesis.
posted by jack_mo at 3:31 PM on September 28, 2006


why shostakovich got divorced
posted by pyramid termite


NPR had an interesting piece about him last week, I think. There's something about tortured Russian souls and beautiful music that seem to go hand in hand.
posted by SteveTheRed at 4:07 PM on September 28, 2006


The travelocity gnome really has been everywhere!
posted by SteveTheRed at 4:18 PM on September 28, 2006


this link is awesome.

being a person interested in somewhat subversive design, i have found much intellectual and artistic inspiration from the Andre the Giant has a Posse / OBEY movement .

Frank Shepard Fairy leads this ubiquitous campaign from which, among other things, he has taken a que from not only the contemporary advertising industry, but also from his deep study of soviet propaganda.

a close study of these posters and his work will reveal interesting parallels (sp?), but most of all, just cool shit to look at on the street... (ellipses uncalled for but instantiated anyway)
posted by localhuman at 5:07 PM on September 28, 2006


Why such a desire to celebrate a bloody murderous regime?

Why such a desire to be the first to piss on an excellent post? In the first place, good art can come from bad politics; see Leni Riefenstahl, Ezra Pound, Pablo Neruda, and a whole bunch of other people. Are you really incapable of seeing the beauty in the linked art? And do you really consider a movie poster like this a sign of support for Stalin? Would you rather that the entire population of the USSR had been wiped out so you wouldn't have to deal with their filthy commie productions? Feh.

Thanks for a typically fine post, plep!
posted by languagehat at 5:14 PM on September 28, 2006


This week on "Flava of Love."
posted by ColdChef at 5:29 PM on September 28, 2006


...Or are you just glad to see me?
posted by ColdChef at 5:32 PM on September 28, 2006


My understanding is that the strange, cool-looking, futurist designs are mostly from the early days of the revolution, and that that kind of design was later suppressed for being bourgeois/reactionary. Anyone with a better knowledge of Soviet art history able to confirm that?
posted by stammer at 5:52 PM on September 28, 2006


Too designy. Needs more tractors.
posted by jfuller at 6:14 PM on September 28, 2006




Apparently soviet lightbulbs double as willing women.
posted by Citizen Premier at 6:42 PM on September 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


Good one plep, thanks
posted by doctor_negative at 7:06 PM on September 28, 2006


plep, I love you and want your children. With a little lemon garlic sauce and asparagus on the side.
posted by mediareport at 7:14 PM on September 28, 2006


awesome, thanks...
posted by es_de_bah at 8:00 PM on September 28, 2006


My understanding is that the strange, cool-looking, futurist designs are mostly from the early days of the revolution, and that that kind of design was later suppressed for being bourgeois/reactionary. Anyone with a better knowledge of Soviet art history able to confirm that?

Grove Art's article on Russian constructivism (which grew out of futurism and suprematism) gives a good overview of this. It's true the period from the Revolution (and even a few years before) through c. 1921-22 was the real flowering of cutting edge Russian art and design -- the second section of the Grove article touches on some of the reasons why the avant-garde began to be suppressed after that (broadly speaking, a combination of the economic hardship brought on by the civil war and Stalin's fundamental hostility to the avant-garde). A lot of great poster art (as well as textile design and typography) continued to be produced into the late 1920s and even the early '30s, though.
posted by scody at 8:01 PM on September 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


oh shoot, I just realized that the Grove site is by subscription, so it may not work for you. Here's the wikipedia article, though it doesn't appear to say much about the poster arts. Speaking of which, here's something from a past exhibition at MoMA of the work of the Stenberg brothers, who were among the best of the poster designers.
posted by scody at 8:12 PM on September 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


Just wanted to add to the long list of people giving kudos on an excellent post. Great stuff, plep!
posted by Pontius Pilate at 10:31 PM on September 28, 2006


Nazi posters on flickr (not 1400, true, but I'm sure you can find more. Only took me a minute.)
posted by alasdair at 5:12 AM on September 29, 2006


these are great thanks, though they unexpectedly get less good in the '40s. I like the "Worthless Solution"
posted by patricio at 8:22 AM on September 29, 2006


Actually, нулевое решение [nulevoe reshenie] doesn't mean 'worthless solution,' it means 'null solution'; whoever left that translation in the linked thread didn't understand the mathematical term. There's a similar metaphor here:
There is a common solution for every [homogeneous] set of linear equations, called The Null Solution, which consists of setting every parameter to zero. The Null Solution is also known as the trivial solution because it is uninteresting: any moron can slap it down.

Death is the Null Solution to all of life's problems. What is the one sure way to rid the world of hunger, poverty, illiteracy, anxiety, terrorism and bad manners and bad breath? Global suicide.

A professor will very rightly flunk a student who enters the null solution for every problem of an exam. As in linear algebra, life's null solution is "trivial" and no solution at all.
posted by languagehat at 9:50 AM on September 29, 2006


I shouldn't say they didn't understand it; they may have been trying to provide an interpretation, but it's not a translation.
posted by languagehat at 9:51 AM on September 29, 2006


What a shame that the first comment in this thread appears to advocate censorship.
posted by Robert Angelo at 4:13 PM on September 29, 2006


(ellipses uncalled for but instantiated anyway)
localhuman, i hate you
posted by bonaldi at 6:02 PM on October 3, 2006


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