Skip to Content
Art

Crumbling Empire & Upside-Down Propaganda – Art Under Authoritarianism at the Wende Museum

6:04 AM PST on February 15, 2019

    [dropcap size=big]'T[/dropcap]hose who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” is a useful adage to keep in mind when viewing Crumbling Empire: The Power of Dissident Voices, an exhibit of Soviet-era dissident posters and paintings at the Wende Museum of the Cold War in Culver City.

    In our current context of weaponized social media and politicized meme propaganda, understanding the iconography of authoritarianism – and appreciating the artists who satire it – is perhaps more important than ever.

    Cleverly repurposing the visual tropes of the Stalinist state, the posters and paintings in the exhibit include an astonishing variety of references and visual techniques, and are strikingly modern –right at home adjacent to contemporary pieces by Shepard Fairey, also included in the show.

    The stunning paintings of North Korean dissident Sun Mu, whose incredible story is told in a recent documentary on Netflix, are given a dedicated space in the museum. Similar to the Russian dissident posters, Mu’s works reference the imagery of the North Korean state and are imbued with his own memories – an effect that is somehow terrifying, beautiful, and bittersweet at the same time.

    RELATED: Photos: Ralph Ziman's Casspir Project Exhibit Tackles Militarization ~ Rendon Gallery

    Visit:

    Crumbling Empire: The Power of Dissident Voices

    Upside-Down Propaganda: The Art of North Korean Defector Sun Mu

    Stay in touch

    Sign up for our free newsletter

    More from L.A. TACO

    What To Eat This Weekend: Cannabis-Infused Boat Noodles, Thai Smashburgers, and “Grass & Ass”

    Plus, a pizza festival and a respected chef from Toluca, Mexico comes to Pasadena to consult for a restaurant menu, including enchiladas divorciadas, and more.

    April 12, 2024

    Facing ‘Immediate Layoffs,’ L.A. TACO Launches Membership Drive to Save Our Publication

    After Sunday, we do not have enough money to make another payroll. We need 5,000 members to become sustainable. Our deadline is April 26th to hit this goal.

    April 12, 2024

    The Final Round of TACO MADNESS 2024 Is Now Open for Voting! It’s Highland Park vs. San Fernando Valley

    It was an incredible comeback to deny last year's winner and bring a first-timer from the San Fernando Valley to the finals. They will have an uphill battle against Villa's Tacos, who lead all teams in total votes so far in the 2024 competition. L.A.'s favorite taco will be decided on Sunday, April 14th, at 11:59 P.M. 

    April 11, 2024

    This New Koreatown Onigiri Spot Is Unlike Any Other in Southern California

    Supamu, which started as a food truck and a series of pop-ups, brands itself as Southern California’s first Okinawa-style onigiri. What sets its onigiri apart from competitors? All the details are in the post, plus where to find it.

    April 10, 2024

    When ‘Tomorrow’ Never Comes: The Saga of a DTLA Bar Staff’s Struggle To Get Paid

    A barback recalled a time when he had to use a payday loan app to cover a dinner bill. “How can you, with a straight face, hand someone a check knowing that there isn’t money in the account,” the barback questioned.

    April 10, 2024
    See all posts