MON 1 February 2016, 6pm-8pm
Room 432, UCL SSEES, 16 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW
The director Oleksandr Dovzhenko’s Berlin period (1922-1923) is most commonly discussed as biographical material. However, the wide circle of acquaintances he made within Berlin’s art world made it an extremely fruitful period for his development as an artist.
Through her paper Julia Sutton-Mattocks (University of Bristol) sets out to demonstrate this by exploring the influence of the work of two German artists – Dovzhenko’s friend, Käthe Kollwitz, and his art teacher, Willy Jaeckel – on his 1928 film Arsenal.
The paper’s focus will be on the film’s quotations from two of the artists’ print cycles – Kollwitz’s The Weavers’ Revolt (1897) and Jaeckel’s Memento 1914/1915 (1915). Julia explores both the ways in which Dovzhenko appropriates Kollwitz and Jaeckel’s work, and also the impact of the intrusion of the quotations’ prior contexts on our understanding of the film. She seeks to reinforce existing readings of Arsenal’s exploration of the relationship between conflict and suffering, and to underline the film’s strong pacifist message. Ultimately, she suggests that Arsenal should be viewed not just in its cinematic context, but also in the tradition of the great print cycles on the themes of war and conflict of Kollwitz, Jaeckel, Francisco Goya and Otto Dix.
Biography: Julia Sutton-Mattocks is a first-year research student at the University of Bristol, where she is working on a project exploring the interrelationship between humanity, modernity and the natural world in inter-war Russian and Czech literature and film, under the joint supervision of Dr. Rajendra Chitnis and Dr. Muireann Maguire (University of Exeter). Her research is supported by the South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP). Her dissertation on Oleksandr Dovzhenko, Käthe Kollwitz and Willy Jaeckel was submitted for her MA, which she has recently completed at UCL SSEES.