Petrograd: Tretiya strazha, 1923. Item #416
59 pp. 23х16 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Very good. Spine with tears.
First and only edition. One of 2000 copies. Constructivist wrapper designed by wunderkind of Petrograd theatre world Nikolay Akimov (1901-1968). Akimov was working as a book designer full time, but at the same time his career as a theatre designer had started already in BDT with the help of Nikolay Evreinov. Akimov can be regarded as one of the most multifunctional personas in Russian constructivism as he was active as poster and book designer while working as a stage designer, and later as a theatre director. His first work as a theatre director was ‘Hamlet’ staged in 1932 in Vakhtangov theatre (Shostakovich wrote the score for that particular performance). In 1927 ‘Academia’ printed a book dedicated entirely to 26-year-old Akimov and the same year his first personal exhibition was held.
The book written by Petrograd art critic Yakov Brukson (1878- 1933) is analyzing the recent tendencies in the theory of the theatre. In early 1920s young Soviet theatre was going through significant changes, with avant-garde theatres taking over the old-regime ones. In this spirit one of the most popular theatre conceptions was the one by Evreinov, who proclaimed the philosophy of the ‘theatre itself’. In his works he suggested to carry the theatre laws to the life itself, dramatizing the life. Evreinov understood theatre so broadly that it led some of his critics to blame him for denial of the theatre. Brukson is criticizing Evreinov’s conception more mildly. He disagrees with the idea of regarding the normal life theatrically, and surprisingly defending Evreinov from Marxist positions. This narrative is yet another interesting example of the Soviet thought of 1920s, when young left ideology was in tune with the avant-garde conceptions in art.
No copies according to Worldcat.