New Soviet World
Saturday 18 February 2017 7 - 11.45pm
Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly
£35. Includes entry to 'Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932' and a 'Negroski' cocktail, courtesy of Peter Spanton Drinks.
RA Lates invite you to experience the futuristic idealism of 1920s Soviet Russia.
Tsarism is dead and the Bolsheviks take power, eventually forming the USSR in 1922. The early ambitions of the new socialist Soviet state were informed by Marxist ideology; a commitment to industry and technological development. Artists such as Kandinsky and Malevich epitomised the optimism of the era.
Despite these dark and turbulent times, an economic revival injected vibrancy into Russian city life. Experience the aspirations of 1920s Soviet Russia; think Constructivism, utopian architecture, a new collective way of life and political debate.
Explore the Royal Academy and experience live sets, immersive installations, workshops, discussions, band performances, film screenings and more. Programme highlights include:
The Workers Club
These centres for creativity and recreation flourished in the 1920s, introducing a new collective way of life. Avant-garde artists and workers mingle as they take part in discussions, performances and dine in communal cafeteria rooms. The workers club is housed in an old, grand townhouse, left vacated by an émigré seeking a new life in one of the western cities of Berlin or Paris, where you'll find...
Meyerhold's Constructivist play
Step inside the rehearsal room of Bed Bug, a brand new Constructivist play. Join the actors and Meyerhold as they attempt to finish what will be one of the most radical plays of the early 20th-century – a hilarious, buffoonish and double-edged satire on Soviet life. Try on the costumes, play on the set and help bring the story of Ivan Prisypkin to life – a once-active communist turned social-climbing, greedy capitalist. Produced by Wilson & Hart.
Biomechanical life drawing
Actobaric actors perform technically precise movements inspired by the mechanics of machinery, developed by pioneering director Vsevolod Meyerhold. Sketch the actors' performances and the movement of light and shadow at this activity created by Art Macabre.
Rusakov discussion room and social space
Improve yourself through exposure to Soviet values and culture. Relax, play cards, engage in a game of chess, rest, write a poem of book, and most importantly, cast your vote. If you to wish to contest the New Economic Policy (NEP), we invite you to debate with us here.
Take inspiration from the innovative designs of Lyubov Popova and Varvara Stepanova and create an abstract headdress, or adorn your outfit with Suprematist geometric shapes.
Communal dinner at canteen no. 57
It's 1922 and the fine Korolevo-Akademichesko building in the outskirts of Moscow that once belonged to a local aristocratic family has been taken over by the Party. The old gilded ballroom is now a stalovaya, or canteen number 57. Russian Revels invite you into their newly opened canteen for a lively and exuberant communal dinner. Menu includes a hot meal and shot of vodka (vegetarian options available), with meal vouchers £10 per person.
Krasnyi Ugolok / Little Red Corner
These makeshift museum-like spaces were established in Soviet institutions to promote Soviet ideas and as a space for local information and learning. Read through our Russian history books and discuss the latest news.
Constructivism vs Suprematism workshop aboard the Trans-Siberian Express
In 1921, the Constructivists of the INKhUK board the Trans-Siberian rail to Moscow to challenge Kandinsky's notion of art for art's sake. How can they create art that will champion the hopes and aspirations of a new Soviet state and post-Revolutionary Russia; an art for the new Communist utopia? Malevich calls out to artists to contest Constructivism's ideals. Suprematism, in sharp contrast, embodies a profoundly anti-materialistic, anti-utilitarian philosophy. Using Suprematism "grammar" based on fundamental geometric forms, how can these artists put the emphasis back on art existing for itself and pure emotional feeling? Workshop hosted by Abbie Vickress, designer and researcher, RCA.
CCCP poster installation
Become part of the Soviet propaganda machine with this interactive installation by artists Natasha Hicken and Adam Crockett (UAL).
Pop-up cinema and lecture programme
A night-long programme of curated talks, performances and film screenings.
Living in utopia: urban communes and the New Soviet World
Dr Andy Willimot introduces us to the utopian visions that inspired the first generation of Soviet activists. It tells the story of those young hopefuls who banded together in urban apartments and tried to offer the first revolutionary examples of socialist living. Known as "urban communes", they embraced total equality and shared everything from money to underwear. These fiery-eyed, bed-headed idealists show us how grand ideological visions were lived on the ground, helping us to recapture the emotional energy and promise of the New Soviet World.
New Factory of the Eccentric Actor presents Blue Blouse
The Blue Blouse was a living newspaper at a time of widespread illiteracy. Travelling theatre troupes performing simple plays, inspired by everything from plate glazing techniques, topical issues, sport fixtures and expressive dance to magic tricks and classical theatre. They were produced for factory workers by factory workers in canteens across the USSR. Watch these revolutionary live performances by New Factory of the Eccentric Actor.
Man with a Movie Camera (1929)
This film was written and directed by pioneering documentary filmmaker Dziga Vertov, whose ambition was to capture "film truth"; revealing a deeper reality than can be understood first-hand. It documents a day living in the Soviet Union, a city symphony to Kyiv, Kharkov, Moscow and Odessa, where it was filmed.
October 1917: Ten Days That Shook the World (1928)
Commissioned by the October Revolution Jubilee Committee for the tenth anniversary of the revolution, this is Serge Eisenstein's third major feature film. It reconstructs the events that led to the overthrow of the Tsar and celebrates the heroism of the proletariat.
Step inside this hidden Moscow dancehall and where our live band, Benievj Viejlevojn Hotchi Clubnia, will perform energetic 1920s jazz alongside Russian folk songs. 9pm - 11.45pm
Food and Drink
Soviet street food with Mince & Dough
Visit this street food stall on the night for a bespoke menu of pelmeni dumplings, vegan beetroot salads with Russian sauerkraut and dark borodinsky bread with pickled herring. Prices from £3 - £4.50
Communal dinner at canteen no. 57
Russian Revels invite you into their newly opened canteen for a lively communal dinner. Menu includes a hot meal of iconic Soviet milk tender sausages from Cobbled Lane Cured with mashed potato, a side of spicy pickles and a shot of cold vodka. Vegetarian options available. Meal tickets £10 per person
Serving up Russian cocktails, a selection of wine, beer, Prosecco and Champagne all evening.
Dress code: 1920s Soviet
Come dressed as a Soviet athlete, theatrical performer, soldier, factory worker, avant-garde artist or NEP-man.
Need inspiration? Head to our Pinterest board.
Win tickets to RA Lates: New Soviet World
To celebrate our next RA Late, we're giving you the chance to win two tickets to New Soviet World, where we recreate the futuristic hopes and constructivist dreams of 1920s Soviet Russia.
Your ticket will include a free drink on arrival, plus entry into the exhibition after-hours. After the party’s over, we’ll also send you off with the exhibition catalogue.