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Unique Russian Sports Posters exhibition to be held in London
The exhibition of Russian Sports Posters of XX century “To the Stadiums!” will start in London at the Rossotrudnichestvo office on 21 June 2012, featuring the fascinating history of Russian and Soviet sports as seen by outstanding graphic artists, whose works are assembled in the collection of the Union of Sports Artists. Most of these posters are unknown outside Russia. This exhibition forms part of Russia’s programme at the London Festival of Architecture and Design which is itself part of the cultural programme of the London 2012 Olympics.
The exhibition will be open free of charge at the Rossotrudnichestvo office at First floor 37 Kensington High Street, London W8 5ED UK. It will be open until 10 July Monday-Friday from 10 AM till 6 PM and on Saturdays from 11 AM till 2 PM. A launch party, open for all those interested will be held on 26 June at 18.30 at the same venue.
History of USSR sport poster
Traditions of amateur sport in Russia were laid in late XIX century when bicycle, ski and skating races, fellow football matches, swimming and tennis competitions became the new exciting spectacle and when children sports and physical trainings were promulgated by the leading education schools. After the Civil War physical trainings and sports became massive and regulated. This was due to the fact that government policy which was based on the promotion of health, physical education and organization of youth’s leisure time, and due to the fact that there was international tendency of sport expansion among workers which was lead by trade unions in the Western Europe in the 1920-s. Outstanding national sport achievements of the XX century were the result of large-scale trainings of workers, kolkhoz and military sportsmen and students done by the sport trade unions and sport clubs.
In the USSR the huge role in promotion of physical trainings and sports belongs to poster, which was one of the most popular means of agitation and the mouthpiece of that period – collectivism.
Posters constantly advertised sport festivals and fellow competitions in different sports. Physical trainings and sports helped beautiful and slim sportswoman and heroic muscleman to be printed on the posters. Thus, soviet sport poster became the only place where sensual characters served the purpose of promoting socialist way of life.
At the turn of 1920-1930 sports poster faced an important political target – to strengthen the social significance of sportsman and athlete in the city and in the countryside. Sportsman was seen as active production person, builder of socialism, defender of the Fatherland. This challenge was approached by the generation of young painters – amateurs of sport who were always physically fit. Among the most active sport promoters were A.Deyneka, A.Kokorekin and V.Govorkov. In 1933 A.Deyneka created the best soviet sports poster – dynamic expressive portrait of disc thrower. A.Kokorekin served sports poster with good faith and fidelity all his life. Symbol of the mid-1930 was the poster of V.Govorkov “All international records should belong to us” where the whiteness of a sports suit of a lady shades her tanned body with the patriotic ribbon on her chest. At that time sports development in the USSR has reached its culmination. Sports posters became an important part of the city setting. Youth was spending weekends on the sports grounds. The country was preparing to the Olympic Games in Berlin (1936) where it wanted to show its sports power to all capitalistic world.
Late 1940-1950s became one of the most impressive periods in the history of sports poster. After the victory over the Nazi Germany, the main priority of the government shifted to the preparation of soviet athletes for international competitions. Failures in some sports showed the necessity of extensive trainings for athletes. The slogan ranged: “Youth to stadiums!” (poster of L.Golovanova, 1947). The country entered the famous sports decade which was completed by the constriction of sports center Luzhniki and conduction of Union Spartakiada Games in 1956. Sport became truly national.
For the first time ever such games as football, basketball, volleyball, hockey, rugby, swimming, track and field athletics and gymnastics were broadly promoted all over the country. B.Zelensky advertised regular competitions by showing flexibility and plasticity of sportsmen, well fitted athletic body was praised by L.Golovanov, A.Kokorekin and other young painters. “Gymnastic parade is a powerful show of force and invincibility of the Soviet people!”, “Become sport lady!”, “Youth- go skiing!”, “Fight for new sport achievements!” were the slogans of soviet posters of that time period. V.Sachkov and M.Gromyko moved to promotion of sports with slogans “Sports is health, will and courage!”, “Honour to soviet sportsmen!”, etc.
Optimistic nature of posters of early 1960 matched with the spirit in the country, depicted the success of our sportsmen in the international competitions. Everyone was well inspired by victories of young woman-gymnasts and female swimmers.
The last impressive landmark in the development of sports poster was international competition held in Moscow and dedicated to Olympic Games 1980. There were two leading motives in the numerous works of soviet painters: first was that sport is peace envoy such as the method to strengthen friendship between the nations; second – sport is the demonstration of physical power of the person such as expression of perfection and harmonious development of personality.
Posters actively promoted healthy and beautiful body, physical trainings, inspiring people for going in for sports. Painters succeeded in filling up their works with internal spirit which even now makes us believe in the highest aesthetics of the sports competitions.
However, by the beginning of perestroika sports theme was no longer pictured in posters.
London Festival of Architecture.
The Festival started out in 2004 as the London Architecture Biennale (LAB) with a series of events focused on the Clerkenwell area. Clerkenwell is home to more architects per square metre than any other place in the world and the Biennale was seen as a one off event largely aimed at a local audience.
The London biennale was designed to be embedded in the city - past and present. Its programme designed to celebrate the delights of the historical capital, to focus on its role as a creative hub and to posit ideas for its future. The founder of the festival, Peter Murrey stated that, “Our competition is renowned for having played a huge role in improving the lives of people living in London. We are gradually preparing the city for the arrival of a large number of visitors to the Olympic Games to be held in 2012. Reflecting on how we can improve our streets, to take care of nature, to expand the area for walking and cycling, we can make the city more pleasant and flexible.” One can participate in this festival as a single person, a community of neighbourhood residents or a group of architecture and landscape design experts. The festival offers many activities that take place in all parts of London; to visit them they organize walks and cycling trips to the destinations.
This Biennale gathers the leading architects in the UK. The program is incredibly diverse, including exhibitions, tours, installations, etc. This year the festival will focus on the huge upcoming Olympic Games in London and the areas they affected. The purpose of the program is to look at the works of architectural workshops of Great Britain, visit the many activities of the London Festival of Architecture, as well as to visit London.
In 2006 events were held along a route linking Borough, south of the River Thames, with Kings Cross in the north. The serious message of this event was to highlight the impact of the construction of the new bridge on the economy and the planning of the area around Bankside and St Paul’s cathedral.
In 2008 the buzz of activity moved across five key areas or ‘Hubs’, with large scale public events taking place in a different Hub each weekend.
Since London’s diplomatic status is a key part of its make up, and international diversity is strength of the local architectural scene, the Festival organised events that would have a global perspective yet still remain true to the desire to be embedded in the city and its community. International embassies exhibit architecture from their particular countries, and temporary
Installations occupy streets across the city as part of the National Architecture.
The theme for LFA 2012 will be ‘The Playful City’, proposing ways in which both Londoners and visitors can be active participants in the city. From reinterpreting familiar places through new installations and animations, redesigning public spaces to encourage physical fitness in the spirit of the Olympic Games, to testing interactive forms of consultation and planning for future urban development, festival participants will be encouraged to play in, and play with, the city around them.