Soviet Salon: Dinner on the Centenary of the Russian Revolution

Dilettante Army Soviet Salon


Dilettante Army invites their fellow comrades to a salon dinner on the centenary of the Russian Revolution:

DATE: November 7, 2017

TIME: 7:30pm.

PLACE: Cabinet magazine (300 Nevins St, Brooklyn, NY)

Tickets to the dinner can be purchased on Eventbrite. Important: Tickets must be purchased ahead of time!

Optional readings that will be relevant to our discussion are located in the Soviet Salon Google Drive.

This dinner, inspired by communal meals in Moscow and Petrograd during the first years following the Russian Revolution (roughly 1917-1921), will facilitate group discussion about the wholesale reorganization of art and life during those tumultuous years. The Russian Revolution was a chance for artists to destroy the hated old order of aristocratic patronage and build a bold new society. They moved from the easel to the street, endeavoring to shape the emerging consciousness of the proletariat while arguing fiercely amongst themselves about what exactly “proletariat art” should be. Arts organizations like Proletkult (Proletarian cultural organization), Narkompros (the Commissariat of Enlightenment), and RABIS (the All-Russian Union of Art Workers) formed and evolved in quick time, working through new ideas and striving for cultural hegemony. In this rapidly changing art world, how did artists make work, and how did they make money? When given the chance to self-organize, which models did they choose (or invent)? In a time of widespread shortages, how did they manage to eat, and what did they eat when they could?

Drawing on archival recipes, we will eat food born from both the Soviet imagination and the (much harsher) Soviet reality. And as we dine, we will consider the questions that always confront us at times of political upheaval: What does it mean to be a community? Who belongs to it? Does creative dissent matter, and what do we owe to the people we disagree with? Can we design the society we want?

We will strive to answer these questions over a six-course meal punctuated with brief presentations and trivia rounds.

Drinks will be provided. Vegetarian and vegan participants are welcome–exclusions from the menu are possible (but not substitutions). For questions about other dietary restrictions, please email Sara at