Aglaya K. Glebova

Dissertation Fellow
2012-2013
Image of Aglaya Glebova.

Is there such a thing as a purely and fully ideological landscape? While recent art historical scholarship has argued that the landscape genre serves to naturalize political and social values, Aglaya K. Glebova (History of Art) investigates the instances in which it fails or defies ideology. In her dissertation, The Last Class Enemy: Early Representations of the GULag, Ms. Glebova focuses on photographs of forced labor camps and their settings during the First Five-Year Plan (1928-1933). Ms. Glebova argues that the process of picturing landscape is deeply influenced by nature’s resistance to physical and pictorial transformation, which, in turn, supplies artists with potent visual metaphors for political disagreement. She also examines related visual phenomena, such as the artwork that was displayed around the camps and the way the prisoners saw and represented their experiences.