Soviet Science Fiction

As part of the yearlong exhibition series The Kids Want Communism, a permanent space at the museum serves as a screening room featuring a variety of classic films and new video works. For the first installment in the series, the venue features a selection of three science-fiction films from the Soviet Bloc.

The literary genre of science-fiction was created in a time of immense instability generated by capitalist industrialization during the nineteenth century. Alongside space travel, this genre also included time travel. The ability to leap to a future moment received artistic manifestation in the possibilities that cinema had to offer, and found its political expression in Lenin’s conception of the revolution when he invented his own time machine – the revolutionary party. Nevertheless, as history shows, this machine sometimes leaped to the wrong moment in time – be it the formation of totalitarian regimes, or the destruction of traditions that eventually led to capitalism’s accelerated penetration into new territories. From Sputnik to Chernobyl, the incredible reality in the Soviet Union produced its own science-fiction imagery.

The film program highlights this aspect of life under real existing socialism in the twentieth century: Yakov Protazanov’s Cubo-Futurist Aelita: Queen of Mars (USSR, 1924), Aleksandr Medvedkin’s masterpiece New Moscow (USSR, 1938), and Piotr Szulkin’s dystopian O-Bi O-Ba: The End of Civilization (Polish People’s Republic, 1985).

more catalogs:

Idiolect (2009)

Laptopia #5 (2009)

FACTORY (2009)

Demons (2008)