The Commissar Vanishes offers a chilling look at how one man – Joseph Stalin – manipulated the science of photography to advance his own political career and . Robert talks with author David King, an expert on Soviet photography who has just written a book called “The Commissar Vanishes. Courtesy of our good chum Randy comes this absolutely chilling photo gallery of manipulated images from Soviet Russia. The images above.

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This coincided with the hypertrophied state control that was imposed during the massive industrialisation and collectivisation schemes of the First Five Year Plan.

Infallibility cannot coexist happily with drastic changes. When people are airbrushed out of a photo, it means they have also been “airbrushed” out of existence into a gulag, or simply shot. Collected Works, Volume XX ed. This article about an art -related book is a stub.

Chillingly, as time progresses, these photos become less populated — as though the subjects never existed. A truly frightening set of pictures, because they are all real. Sign up to our newsletters. At the same time, ordinary citizens, fearful of being in possession of banned material, defaced their copies books and photographs with scissors and India ink. On Stalin’s orders, purged rivals were airbrushed from group portraits, and crowd scenes were altered to depict even greater legions of the faithful.

Lacking the coherence that genuine planning or even the market would provide, the Stalinist system was chaotic, with the centre attempting to control all aspects of social life. I have owned this book for a while, but just began reading it due to a paper I am writing for a final in my photo archives class. Perhaps most spooky are the pi This is a creepily visceral historical record.


Other images showed the original unaltered state and the authorized officially published versions with people removed and even times when people have been moved to accommodate the need.

The Commissar Vanishes – Wikipedia

Michael Nyman created a companion album of the same title in Either way, it really embodied the apocryphal Stalin quote of “The death of one man is a tragedy. Retrieved December 22, In your mailbox, on your iPad. You can suppress, conceal and burn up historic documents. Sheds light on both the political and technical aspects related to images of those who fell from Stalin’s grace.

What’ll they think of next? Unfortunately, during this period a number of rare manuscripts ceased being in existence. Soviet law prohibited the creation and distribution of pornography under Article of the criminal code of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and analogous legislation adopted by other republics of the Soviet Union.

Vaanishes War That Never Ended ed. The Commissar Vanishes is nothing less than the history of the Soviet Union, as retold through falsified images, many of them published here for the first time outside Russia. The authoritarian must undermine this. However, that relationship soon started to disintegrate as the more militant workers took up posts in the party-state apparatus, and many others returned to the countryside or became disenchanted with the Bolsheviks as conditions deteriorated during the Civil War.

All these things Stalin is doing. I had no idea that Latvians were considered “disciplined and non-squeamish” and therefore vanishse the Cheka the acronym stands for “Extraordinary Commission to Fight Counterrevolution and Sabotage. He occasionally makes rather snarky asides about some of the art work, which I found a bit odd. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up! Arthistorypolitics. Revolutions can also be co-opted, which is part of what happened as Stalin rose up the party ranks.


Jan 17, C rated it it was amazing. Spanning the three defining chapters of his ruthless leadership of Russia to Race for the Reichstag: Oct 22, Daley Porter rated it it was amazing.

The Commissar Vanishes

In one famous image, several Par The Commissar Vanishes offers a chilling look at how one man – Joseph Stalin – manipulated the science of photography to advance his own political career and to erase memories off his victims. Mirar hacia otro lado.

The photo represented a historic moment, the defeat of Germany in a war that cost the Soviet Union tens of millions of lives. How did the Soviet regime get into this appalling position?

Although the re-emergence and discovery of hidden Soviet photographs, documents, etc. The artifice, fear, lies and pomposity required to keep themselves in power was just too much. A morbidly fascinating book.

I believe this book came to my attention after reading The Tsar of Love and Techno which starts with a beautiful story, “The Leopard,” about an artist who erases people out of history. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Dzhugashvili didn’t become a priest. Censorship of images was widespread in the Soviet Union. Stalin, wishing to take on the mantle and halo of his predecessor, Lenin, mounted a two-pronged media campaign: Trotsky not important in Revolution.

Particularly when it explains how this censorship was carried out not just by party officials, but even by individual citizens who rushed to comprehensively obliterate cherished close family members from privately held photo albums and publications, as soon as those family members fell out commissae favour with the leadership of the state.