Elena Vishlenkova 1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Bodies for the peoples, or ‘to see a Russian no everyone is able’

2007, vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 64–99 [issue contents]

The article is devoted to visual people studies in the Russia of the XVIII-th century – a specific field where results of academic expeditions and traveler’s notes were formatted in visual frame. Revealing and deconstruction of dominating versions of typifying are fulfilled on the base of graphic albums, book and journal illustrations, costume images on the surfaces of porcelain and art things. Examination of writing sources (the expedition accounts, journal articles and personal texts) brought to the conclusion that image of the people was as a rule the result of combination of the super power’ order to get knowledge of the resources of the Russian empire, a model of the ideal subjecthood, a desire of the territorial extending, the west European art conventions, colonial experience of displaying the world of civilization and barbarism, the ethnic stereotypes and a search for identity. Usage of the classification scheme from ‘natural history of the human being’ (taxonomy by Karl Linnaeus, for example) brought to the version ‘the Russian empire as the Kunstcamera of the exotic costumes’ (engravings by Ch.Rot). Actualizing of the ‘Russianness’ among the Russian elites encouraged distinguishing ‘the Russian people’ and autonomy of ‘the Russian theme’ (engravings by J. Le Prince, H.Geissler, E.Korneev)

Citation: Vishlenkova Elena A. (2007) Telo dlya naroda, ili «uvidet' russkogo dano ne kazhdomu» [Bodies for the peoples, or ‘to see a Russian no everyone is able’] The Russian Sociological Review, 3, pp. 64-99 (in Russian)
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