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Garbage: Aesthetics and Poetics of Things after Commodity Fetishism

Student: Anna Davidian

Supervisor: Georg Wilhelm Heinrich Witte

Faculty: School of Arts and Humanities

Educational Programme: Philology (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2021

The first industrial revolution not only gives rise to the mass production of things, but also changes the meaning of things in the mind of a person. If earlier the main property of a thing was its functionality, now it goes beyond the framework of material nature, it is endowed with super-meanings - fetishes. Commodity fetishism affects the image of the objective world in art: the thing is now becoming one of the most important categories for creating the ideological and compositional organization of works of art. Each thing, however, sooner or later becomes obsolete, turning into rubbish. The object of research in this work is the special aesthetics and poetics of the image of garbage in the field of fine art of the contemporary artist I. I. Kabakov, as well as the literary work of N. V. Gogol "Dead Souls". The purpose of the study is to rely on the theory of commodity fetishism, to study the evolution of the concepts of a thing and garbage, and then to analyze the novel by N. V. Gogol "Dead Souls", as well as graphic and text works of I. I. Kabakov, who associated himself with one of the Gogol's heroes-accumulators Plyushkin, and then conduct a detailed analysis of the typical meanings and ways of depicting garbage.

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