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Bouras A. The Origins of Avant-garde: The General Theory of Creativity in the Writings of P. K. Engel’meier
(Moscow Architectural Institute)
Abstract ♦ In the 1920s leftist artists and theoreticians attempted to formulate their concept of the essence of art, which led to the development of a new theory of art, named “artistic culture”. This paper investigates the origin of artistic culture and more specifically the influence the theoretical work by P. K. Engel’meier had on it.
Peter Kliment’evich Engel′meier was a multifaceted personality — a mechanical engineer, a pioneer of motoring in Russia, an inventor, a philosopher of technology and creativity, an amateur artist and musician and a member of the Moscow artistic photographic society. In the late 19th and early 20th century he published extensively in scientific journals in Russia and Germany. In his writings, Engel′meier examines the creative process in the field of technology and identifies some common features of creativity in art, science, religion and everyday life, such as craftsmanship, novelty, objectivity, materiality, economy, and activism. The climax of Engel’meier’s ideas was his three-act theory of inventiveness: any invention is the result of desire (intuition), knowledge (discourse) and craftsmanship (routine).
Special focus should be made on Engel’meier’s theory of creativity, a theory that he turned into a special philosophical discipline and named it heurology. His views of creativity process and the three-act theory of art formed the basis of the theory and practice of the Russian avant-garde.
In the last ten years, the interest in the study of materiality and artistic practices has increased. This is true for scholars of contemporary art, as well as those of European and Russian modernism (Yve-Alain Bois, Rosalind Krauss, Benjamin Buchloh, Maria Gough, Margit Rowell and others). Inventiveness, craftsmanship, materiality, scholarly objectivity, economy and activism — all of these became crucial notions for a new theory of art known as ‘artistic culture’.
Keywords: P. K. Engel’meier, avant-garde, theory of creativity, technology, theory of art, heurology, activism, artistic culture.
Bouras Alexandros, Pograduate student, Department of History of Architecture and City Planning, Moscow Architectural Institute (MARCHI). Postal address: 11/4 Rozhdestvenka St., Moscow, Russian Federation, 107031. Tel.: +7 (495) 621-51-90. E-mail: email@example.com. Research adviser: D. O. Shvidkovsky, Doctor of Art Studies, Professor.
Citation: Bouras A. (2015) The Origins of Avant-garde: The General Theory of Creativity in the Writings of P. K. Engel’meier [ ]. Znanie. Ponimanie. Umenie, no. 1, pp. 335-343. (In Russ.). DOI: 10.17805/zpu.2015.1.34
Submission date: 12.10.2014.
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