Semiotics, Politics and Economics of the Outdoor Sculpture

The monograph by Dr.sc.inf. Sergei Kruk is an interdisciplinary study on monuments as ideological tools in the politics of Latvia from 1945 to 2010. Alongside with the report on historical events the book also contains analysis of the semiotic models of sculpture. The study is based on archive documents on the politics of monument building as well as publications on the theory of aesthetics, art history and political propaganda.

The author offers an in-depth research into the history and process of creation of particular monuments, taking the reader behind the scenes of political decision making, and gives the analysis of the relationship between Soviet ideology and economics, showing how the ruling power used monuments as tools for organizing of social rituals and construction of collective identity. The last chapter of the book is focused on the monuments created in the recent two decades. By assessing the politics of their creation the author has worked out semiotic models of the Latvian sculpture.

The monograph is richly illustrated with images of all dismantled monuments thus providing a vivid presentation of the evolution of artistic styles and techniques of sculpture in the second part of the 20th century.

The book is supplemented with documents issued by the Artists’ Union, Art Combine „Māksla”, Ministry of Culture, the Central Committee of the Communist Party and local governments on building and dismantling of monuments. In Latvian.