Soviet architecture that emerged at the time
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Architecture Architecture Mar 07, 2017 03:05 AM EST
Tremendous view of the Hermitage in St Petersburg & onion domes of St Basil's in Red Square, Moscow- collapse the view of a tourist in drizzling imperial legacy of soviet architecture. 100 years after the revolution of 1917 & birth of Soviet Union, today the 21st century is exhibiting consequences of Russia's revolution through its culture.
All the frozen post-revolutionary plans for recreating Moscow is opening in London museum, in the name of Imagine Moscow: Architecture, Propaganda, Revolution. According to independent, the Royal Academy's show Building the Revolution, Soviet Art and Architecture is re-energizing the motive of art by showing the collection of untimely experiments.
Curator Eszter Steierhoffer of the Design Museum, the revolutionary period was not into architecture but into art. In a word with developed constructivism, the old buildings were removed for transforming the cities. Stupendously-sized the Lenin Tribune by El Lissitzky and Tatlin's Monument were among those buildings.
According to The Guardian, some of those can still be seen. Like- Vladimir Shukhov's Shabalovka Radio Tower, Eiffel Tower, Narkomfin Communal House, Zuev Workers' Club and the 1929 house of Konstantin Melnikov. Not only the built heritage but also the inbuilt like- paper architecture, Boris Mihailovich Iofan's The Palace of the Soviets, El Lissitzky's Cloud Iron- make us feel proud of soviet art.
But recently released Moscow map ticked off 50 soviet architectures, which is perfect for fabled dream & brutalism and it is not so Russian.
Russian modernism expert Jonathan Charley, an architectural historian at the University of Strathclyde and author of the collection Memories of Cities stated that the interest of maintaining soviet art & imperial buildings was rare in the earlier time and so is now. Back then there was only one advocate: Yuri Volchok of the Moscow Architectural Institute. Then the book Pioneers of Soviet Architecture by Selim Khan-Magomedov and the prescient documentary photographs of Richard Pare came to prove Russian modernism of last decades.
Jonathan stated that the conservation mentality mainly came from the west. Recently Will Strong of Calvert 22 Foundation - set up in 2008 by Russian London-based economist Nonna Materkova, has shown deep interest in the maintenance of post-revolutionary buildings. He wants to create a nostalgic future by reconstructing the old legacy with the lost hope of social utopianism in the era of marketing.
But Jonathan suspects the wave of interest due to the forgetfulness of people of the inspiration that motivated every part of their life.
In the 1930s when Stalinism stopped, the constructive ideas were also useless. Mr. Charley likes to describe it as "socialist deception". Mr. Strong who recently went to Russia saw that there was no interest in people to recall their revolutionary culture which is politically incorrect & painful.
Lastly, if we want to think that from Putin's era Russia leads the way to revolution, then we are wrong. Charley visualized that the source of bad neo-liberalism is Moscow. But now as Russian money is engaging in actionable architectures revolutionary taste can come home in future.