» Image versus Socialist Advertising

Socialist advertising is often seen as absurd. At the same time, it was an established field providing jobs to hundreds of creators, it was impacted by the economic and technological situation at the time, based on opinion polls, and constituted an overlap of international influences, local traditions and notions of the role of advertising in socialist consumerist culture. The program will address the phenomenon of socialist advertising from three perspectives. Ondřej Táborský will briefly speak on the historical research of advertising, methodological approaches, current international trends and topics for further research in the Czech context. Lucie Česálková will present the key stylistic and rhetorical specifics of television commercials and will illuminate them as conditioned by the production conditions and evolution of the ideals of socialist advertising. Ondřej Dufek will give examples of various promotional formats to illustrate the relationship between the visual and verbal layers of socialist advertising.

The lectures build on the collaborative research of the broader team of authors which resulted in the recently published collective monograph Consumerist Imagination of State Socialism. Advertising in Czechoslovakia 1948–1989. The book elaborates on the situation of individual advertising media within the wider context of state socialist economy, the role of advertising in planned economy and the development of advertising institutions. Through a careful historicization of the development of the structural conditions of advertising and through its content analysis, the book seeks to overcome many of the conventional ideas about socialist advertising. Its secondary purpose is to point out the necessity of archiving the visuality of everydayness as a distinctive historical source.

Ondřej Táborský works as a curator at the National Museum in Prague. Lucie Česálková is a film historian from the Department of Film Studies at the Faculty of Arts at Charles University. Ondřej Dufek is a linguist from the Institute of the Czech Language at the Czech Academy of Sciences. Admission is free. The lecture program will take place at ArtMap bookstore, Vojtěšská 18, Prague 1.

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