<< YCBA Home Yale Center for British Art Yale Center for British Art << YCBA Home

YCBA Collections Search

IIIF Actions
Campbell, Ken, 1939–2022

Ten years of Uzbekistan : a commemoration / by Ken Campbell and David King.

[London] : Ken Campbell, 1994.
Physical Description:
[60] p. : ill. ; 52 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio A 2009 32
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
View by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: The Study Room is open by appointment. Please visit the Study Room page on our website for more details.

Copyright Status:
© The Artist
"In 1934 Rodchenko was commissioned by the State Publishing House OGIZ to design a commemorative album entitled 'Ten years of Uzbekistan' celebrating a decade of Soviet rule in that state. ... But in 1937, at the height of the Great Purges, Stalin ordered a major overhaul of the Uzbek leadership and many heads rolled. Many party bosses photographed in 'Ten years of Uzbekistan' had been liquidated. The album suddenly became illegal literature. Using thick black Indian ink Rodchenko set about defacing his own work. The macabre results, both brutal and terrifying, are to be seen here for the first time, and serve as the inspiration for the making of this book."--Introduction by David King.
"I collaborated with [photographer] David King on this book. During the course of research for his archive on Soviet art, David found the estate of Alexander Rodchenko, a designer and artist who had produced a book called 'Ten Years in Uzbekistan' [in 1934], which boasted of the triumphs of ten years of Soviet rule. It was beautifully designed with great fold-outs, and had full statistics and mug shots of the members of the social committee of Uzbekistan who one by one fell out with Stalin. They were removed from office or killed or otherwise vanished. One by one they were removed from all official records ... As each person 'disappeared,' Rodchenko felt obliged to take his own copy of this book....and obliterate the faces with ink to ensure his own safety, so as not to be found with any representation of these people. I found this an absolutely terrifying image; not a comment on the Soviet system, more a comment on the nature of censorship and self-censorship. And I also recall another phrase in the book that says 'Here we die for it,' which is what the Russians say about poets ... So I did this book with David; he wrote an essay, and I hand-set it and did the design ... [The portraits in the book] were photographed by Dave King; [I had them] blown up to almost the size of the page. I put a border around [the page], in order to better reveal the picture, but also to make it look like an icon frame ... I played around with those edges in terms of colour and firing staple guns into the metal to make the thing look violent and also restrictive. Where we could we found out what had happened to these people, and I think that's one of the things that makes the book chilling."--Ken Campbell, from The word returned.
David King produced a trade edition on the same subject with title: The Commissar vanishes. See link herewith.
Edition of 45. Printed letterpress in several colors, form Monotype Bodoni. Staples, zinc plates, halftone portraits, wood type figures. Bound in black cloth, with black cloth slipcase.
Original archival material related to this work is available in the collections of the Yale Center for British Art, Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts (Ken Campbell Collection, MSS 25).
Campbell, K. Ken Campbell, an artist's books, 15
Word returned: artist books by Ken Campbell, 18
BAC: British Art Center is no. 3 of 45, signed by Campbell and King.
Artist's book featuring a series of printed photographic portraits, the faces of which have been obliterated with black ink. Inspired by Aleksandr Rodchenko's 1934 work of the same title, a commemorative album designed to celebrate a decade of Soviet rule in Uzbekistan.
Subject Terms:
Artists' books -- Great Britain.
Campbell, Ken, 1939- -- Publisher.
Photographs -- Censorship -- Soviet Union.
Photographs -- Political aspects -- Soviet Union.
Photography -- Soviet Union -- History -- 20th century.
Russians -- Uzbekistan.
Soviet Union -- History -- 20th century.
Uzbekistan -- Politics and government.
Artists' books -- Great Britain.
King, David, 1943-
Rodchenko, Aleksandr Mikhaĭlovich, 1891-1956. Ten years of Uzbekistan.
King, David, 1943- Commissar vanishes.
IIIF Manifest:

If you have information about this object that may be of assistance please contact us.