As part of the “Performers for Peace” event, a curator Maxim Bokser has put together an exhibition of works by artists belonging to Russian Cosmism.
Russian Cosmism is a lively and still productive tendency in the history of Russian esoteric thought, important but little known outside Russia. This paper presents a brief introduction to the ideas of several of the major figures in this tendency. From Nikolai Fedorov, in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, to Svetlana Semenova, today’s leading Cosmist, the emphasis of this movement has been on the human role in shaping and directing future human evolution, in all its physical, social, and spiritual manifestations.
The first ideologist of Cosmism was Nikolai Fedorov who regarded the Universe as the future home for a united and transformed humankind. Having incorporated certain mystical and religious revelations, scientific and engineering discoveries, and avant-garde art solutions, Cosmism has become an embodiment of some deep-going traits of Russian mentality.
Artistic quality has been the main principle in selecting works for this collection. Relying on experience and sensibility I tried to present my favourite artists with their signature works as well as some characteristic works from the most fruitful past periods”.
“Looking at this painting — which either glorify the peaceful atom or shudder at the horrors the atom can wreak when used for military purposes — you realize that there is nothing more archaic today than faith in scientific progress and fear of its consequences. No, science did not stop in the 190s and ‘70s, but for a man of our age who measures the advancement of technology by how sophisticated his laptop or cell phone is, science has irrevocably lost its mysterious and terrible metaphysical charm and, consequently, its ability to enrapture”. — Irina Kulik