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To those unfamiliar with the world of the Russian Avant-Garde, the phrase "tango with cows" might sound like the name of a new avant-garde electronic music juggernaut. In fact, the phrase is the title of a book and poem by noted Russian writer Vasily Kamensky. Kamensky's work, along with others, forms the heart of this provocative exhibit created by the Getty Center. This site is designed to complement their in situ exhibition, and it succeeds with great panache. The exhibition "explores the way Russian avant-garde poets and artists responded to crisis through their book art." The "crisis" in question here happens to be the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917 and the overall milieu of increased urbanization and technological embrace. On the site, visitors can explore some of these books in detail via a specialized interface and also view select books in their entirety. The real treat is that visitors can also listen to some of the poems in these books in Russian or English, and even download complete versions of certain works for their own edification.
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