The Dark Side of European Art

Organized for the Year of France-Russia in 2010, the Musée de la Musique presents a chronicle of Soviet music, from the October Revolution in 1917 to the deaths of Stalin and Prokofiev in 1953. Revolutionary enthusiasm, dashed hopes, convictions, dissidence and resistance, the exhibition tells the entire saga. The exhibition is organised chronologically, with important historical events given prominence. The role of arts and artists in revolutionary impulse and how they came to be exploited by the totalitarian communist regime are the main focus. The dark role of west European artists and ‘intellectuals’ is dealt with as well. Lenin already forbade bourgeois and Avant Garde art in 1917, as a predecessor of the entartete Kunst of the Nazi’s in 1933. Some of the works are being exhibited in France for the first time. They come from music (handwritten manuscripts, printed scores, musical instruments, stage sets, models and costumes), visual arts (paintings, drawings, engravings, sculpture), photography and photomontage.