Photomontage achieved its height as an ideological tool in the 1930s but remained in practice even in the late Soviet period, said Olga Sviblova, the director of the Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow, and an authority on Soviet photomontage.
Even if the alteration is obvious, Sviblova said, a photomontage can be effective as caricature, leaving a lingering, negative image.
“Ideological propaganda works better if it is blunt,” she said. “We, unfortunately, have to acknowledge that crude political technologies do work — up to a point. And maybe we are reaching this point today in Russia.”