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The Things of LifeMateriality in Late Soviet Russia$
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Alexey Golubev

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501752889

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501752889.001.0001

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Time in 1:72 Scale

Time in 1:72 Scale

The Plastic Historicity of Soviet Models

(p.41) Chapter 2 Time in 1:72 Scale
The Things of Life

Alexey Golubev

Cornell University Press

This chapter explores the scale model hobby in the USSR, focusing on models as objects that made manifest the historical imagination inherent in Soviet technopolitics. Models, especially when assembled in collections, challenged Marxist interpretations of history and helped organize the Soviet historical imagination along national lines. As with their prototypes, scale models were also affective but in a different way, because of their ability to showcase Soviet industrial and technological capabilities and to stand as a synecdoche for historical progress. The miniaturization of history in its particular technocentric and national understanding made models performative, as they organized history into a spectacle for the educated male gaze of Soviet model enthusiasts. The chapter also addresses the themes of the public space, performativity, and visuality.

Keywords:   scale model hobby, Marxist, performativity, public space, visuality, Soviet technopolitics, collections

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