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|The New Artists and the Mayakovsky Friends Club (1986-1990)
Text: Hannelore Fobo, 2021
Chapter 8. Document D. Front page of the Mayakovsky Friends Club charter, 3. 9. 1986
previous page: Chapter 7. Document C. Application by the New Creative Association, 5. 8. 1986
next page: Document E. Registration card for young associations
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Front page of the Mayakovsky Friends Club charter, signed and dated 3. 9. 1986 by Timur Novikov as deputy chairman. (Положение о Клубе друзей В.В. Маяковского)
The charter itself is missing.
It appears that Vladislav Gutsevich only kept the front page of the charter, which is now in the Sergey Chubraev Archive, but not the charter itself. Ksenia Novikova’s chronicle entry about the charter is more specific (The New Artists, 2012, p. 273.)
We find most of these names in Timur Novikov’s report on the first year, together with their assignments to sections (see chapter 12).
However, the front page of the charter is quite interesting by itself. A closer look at this document reveals the highly bureaucratic procedure imposed on unofficial artists wishing to gain a legal status for their activities.
Thus, the document was to be dated and signed by the representatives of four different organisations. With his signature as deputy chairman, Timur Novikov confirmed (“утверждено”) that a constituting assembly of members approved the Mayakovsky Friends Club’s charter. Тhree additional organisations, reflecting different levels of competence in the municipal government’s hierarchy, were to confirm (“утверждаю”) the charter. Their signatures should be found on the original document.
The first of these three organisations was the LMDST – the Leningradskii Mezhsoyuznii Dom Samodeyatel’nogo Tvorchestva / Ленинградский Межсоюзный Дом Самодеятельного Творчества – The Leningrad Inter-Union House of Amateur Culture. Long before the new “Law on amateur associations and interest clubs” from 13 May 1986, this organisation, obviously having the competences of a House of Culture, had been able to register amateur groups pursuing a large variety of interests, from folklore to theatre. The LMDST is best known for having registered, in 1981, the Leningrad Rock Club, the first of its kind in the Soviet Union. Among the rock club’s members was Sergey Kuryokhin, whose Pop-Mekahnika performances with musicians from Kino, Strange Games and other bands and with New Artists as performers, were occasionally arranged at the Rock Club. On one of these occasions, the New Artists showed their works in the group’s first public solo exhibition “Happy New Year”, at the end of 1985 more>>. The LMDST administration was therefore familiar with the New Artists. Besides, Sergey Kuryokhin, who was a member of the Rock Club, also appeared in the Mayakovsky Friends Club working plan and report. It is plausible that the LMDST acted as a kind of trustee, guaranteeing the reputation of those “amateur” artists.
In this way, the second organisation, the Vodokanal Club represented by its director, could adapt the Mayakovsky Friends Club as one of its branches.
Last but not least, the Dzerzhinsky Executive Committee, which, I would think, had the final saying, approved the Vodokanal Club’s decision, taking into consideration the support of both the LMDST and the Vodokanal Club.
Note that the front page of the charter of the Club of the Appreciation of Amateur Creativity has an identical structure, mentioning the same three official organisations and Vladislav Gutsevich as chairman of the Club‘s council. The first page of the charter‘s text has also been preserved more>>.
This formal structure, if interpreted correctly, substituted what would have been a simple administrative act in a democratic country: to register a non-profit association in a state office register of legal entities, at the most following a visit to a notary to document its charter and the people representing its main functions.
But the communist system combined formal requierments with personal allegiance, checked by a public administration tied to its backbone, the party and the KGB. An informal network of personal relations, based on friendship or mutual benefit and favours, helped to overcome such difficulties.
Uploaded 17 August 2021