red hot

Art, advertising, and politics all come together in a fantastic show currently at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art called Constructing Revolution: Soviet Propaganda Posters from between the World Wars. Regardless of what your politics may or may not be, the work in Constructing Revolution: Soviet Propaganda Posters from between the World Wars is visually stunning, and every graphic designer out there owes these artists a debt of gratitude. The imagery is bold, the messages are clear (which was important, since most of the target audience was illiterate), and although a lot of this work is around 100 years old, many of the themes explored in Constructing Revolution: Soviet Propaganda Posters from between the World Wars could apply to right now: women as revolutionaries, “power to the people,” the struggle between the “haves” and the “have nots”. I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same… Another thing I couldn’t help but notice is how much these images reminded me of movie posters…

 

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…or album art…

 

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…or of “Rosie The Riveter”!

 

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Constructing Revolution: Soviet Propaganda Posters from between the World Wars runs through February 11th, so get there while you can! Museum hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm; Thursday, 10 am – 8:30 pm; Sunday, 1 pm – 5 pm. Admission is free (but donations are welcome)!

 

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master of puppets

On Saturday, September 2nd, I attended a performance by Bread and Puppet Theater (the “Our Domestic Insurrection Circus”) at Fort Allen Park in Portland. This was a real treat for me, since every other time I’ve seen Bread and Puppet, it’s been in Glover, Vermont – not exactly right around the corner from Brunswick!

 

B&P 96

 

My first time experiencing Bread and Puppet was over 20 years ago (how is that possible?)  – back then, it was the “Our Domestic Resurrection Circus”. Even though all that time has passed, some things remain the same: you can still count on Bread and Puppet for bold, thought-provoking, political performance art that is filled with humor, insight, and beauty. The crowd at Fort Allen Park was treated to a spirited performance that was simultaneously biting and hopeful, calling for the formation of a new political party – the Possibilitarians – to work together for positive change. The park was full, and at times it was difficult to hear because we were so far back, but our vantage point gave us a great view of the enormous papier-mache and cardboard puppets. Packing all of that work onto their converted school bus and still having room for the troupe must be quite a feat! Here are some photos in case you weren’t there to experience it for yourself.

 

B&P flags

B&P big hug

B&P forest dwellers

B&P washer woman

B&P migrants

B&P

B&P donation

 

If you’re interested in finding out more before planning a trip to the Northeast Kingdom, a quick search on the Curtis Memorial Library website turns up several selections that are available through the inter-library loan. Check it out!