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A cold war sketch: the visual antagonism of the USA vs. the USSR at Expo 58

Rika Devos (UGent)
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Abstract
At Expo 58, the first world's fair after World War H, the USA and the USSR were given adjoining lots in the centre of the Foreign Section. This juxtaposition triggered images and discourses of direct comparison. During Expo 58, this paper claims, postwar modern architecture not only was used as a metaphor for the successful, postwar state by several nations, but also played a crucial role in the visualization of the ideological subtleties of the antagonism between the USA and the USSR. This text investigates the use of images of modern architecture in the carefully cultivated, opposed representations of both superpowers, as they were manifest on different scales and published in various media. The analysis of these images not only reveals "consistencies in the self-representation of the superpowers, but also, in the case of the USA, the creation of distinct images of the other". The images and discourses analysed were selected during archival research, as well as by a close reading of contemporary publications.
Keywords
architectural representation, visual antagonism, Cold War, USSR vrs USA, Expo 58

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Devos, Rika. 2009. “A Cold War Sketch: The Visual Antagonism of the USA Vs. the USSR at Expo 58.” REVUE BELGE DE PHILOLOGIE ET D’HISTOIRE 87 (3-4): 723–742.
APA
Devos, Rika. (2009). A cold war sketch: the visual antagonism of the USA vs. the USSR at Expo 58. REVUE BELGE DE PHILOLOGIE ET D’HISTOIRE, 87(3-4), 723–742.
Vancouver
1.
Devos R. A cold war sketch: the visual antagonism of the USA vs. the USSR at Expo 58. REVUE BELGE DE PHILOLOGIE ET D’HISTOIRE. 2009;87(3-4):723–42.
MLA
Devos, Rika. “A Cold War Sketch: The Visual Antagonism of the USA Vs. the USSR at Expo 58.” REVUE BELGE DE PHILOLOGIE ET D’HISTOIRE 87.3-4 (2009): 723–742. Print.
@article{1013787,
  abstract     = {At Expo 58, the first world's fair after World War H, the USA and the USSR were given adjoining lots in the centre of the Foreign Section. This juxtaposition triggered images and discourses of direct comparison. During Expo 58, this paper claims, postwar modern architecture not only was used as a metaphor for the successful, postwar state by several nations, but also played a crucial role in the visualization of the ideological subtleties of the antagonism between the USA and the USSR. This text investigates the use of images of modern architecture in the carefully cultivated, opposed representations of both superpowers, as they were manifest on different scales and published in various media. The analysis of these images not only reveals {\textacutedbl}consistencies in the self-representation of the superpowers, but also, in the case of the USA, the creation of distinct images of the other{\textacutedbl}. The images and discourses analysed were selected during archival research, as well as by a close reading of contemporary publications.},
  author       = {Devos, Rika},
  issn         = {0035-0818},
  journal      = {REVUE BELGE DE PHILOLOGIE ET D'HISTOIRE},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3-4},
  pages        = {723--742},
  title        = {A cold war sketch: the visual antagonism of the USA vs. the USSR at Expo 58},
  volume       = {87},
  year         = {2009},
}

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