U.Va. Art Museum Presents Futurist Celebration and Poetry Reading in Conjunction With the Exhibit 'El Lissitzky: Futurist Portfolios'

October 31, 2008

October 31, 2008 — Inspired by the University of Virginia Art Museum's exhibition, "El Lissitzky: Futurist Portfolios," the interdisciplinary collaboration, "We Astound the Universe," aims to recreate the revolutionary atmosphere of the original Russian Futurist movement. The event will be held Nov. 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the museum,

El Lissitzky’s "Victory Over the Sun" portfolio of abstract prints was created to commemorate a 1913 Futurist opera of the same name — an opera that featured experimental music by Mikhail Matyushin, nonsensical text by Alexei Kruchenykh and Velimir Khlebnikov, and abstract costumes and set design by Kazimir Malevich. "We Astound the Universe," comes from a translation of the opera.

Capturing the spirit of that original performance, participants from the University of Virginia's departments of Slavic languages and literature, drama, art, dance and music will provide an evening of Futurist celebration. Highlights include a procession from Ruffin Hall to the museum of the SSUN chariot (created by the Solar Sculptors + Scientists United Now, located in the U.Va. Sculpture Department); body sculpture costumes; poetry readings in Russian and English from "Victory Over the Sun" and other works by Khlebnikov and Vladimir Mayakovsky; an improvisational dance performance; and musical accompaniment.

For information, contact the U.Va. Art Museum's education department at museumoutreach@virginia.edu or 434-243-2050.

— By Jane Ford