ONLINE SCREENING:
OPENING IN MOSCOW

JUNE 10 – JUNE 20, 2020

Fuar Hakknda <i>Opening in Moscow</i> (1959) belgesel filminden bir kare ©Pennebaker Hegedus Films
Still from Opening in Moscow (1959) ©Pennebaker Hegedus Films
The first world’s fair was held in London in 1851 under the title of “The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations,” and the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896… Delving into the impacts of international mega-events on urban fabric via the 2016 Thursday Cinema, SALT has furthered the discussion on the legacy of the world’s fairs in contemporary visual culture with the public lecture series Exhibit.

Both monumental and temporal as dynamic sites of interaction, the world’s fairs, international sports tournaments and also art biennials continue to maximize the experience economy, questioning little of their true benefits and validity. At a time when significant international events have been postponed or cancelled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, saltonline.org presents selected media in reference to these models, including the documentary films Opening in Moscow (1959) and Kick in Iran (2009).

Opening in Moscow (1959)
Director: D.A. Pennebaker
49 minutes
English and Russian; Turkish and English subtitles


Sponsored by the U.S. government, the “American National Exhibition” in Moscow was organized in 1959, honoring the agreement of cultural exchange between the two countries. From automatic vacuum cleaners to refrigerators, Polaroid cameras to videotapes, symbolic goods of the American lifestyle were presented in the fair, complemented with art and photography exhibitions, and even books legally unobtainable in the USSR. The event was also the setting of the televised “Kitchen Debate” between the U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev, whose discussion centered around the technological advancements of the two powers. Depicting the historical moments, which gave the Russians a glimpse beyond the Iron Curtain, the 1959 documentary film is streaming online at saltonline.org between June 10-20.
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