Posts Tagged with Visual Research Center


From 28 January till 28 February 2015 in Visual Research Center took place exhibition-research “Superstructure” that presented documentation of key architectural buildings of Soviet modernism in Kyiv, schemes of residential districts, implemented projects and projects that existed only on a paper. The exhibition prolongs tradition of tremor and admiration of Soviet modernist architecture, very reasonable, but not till the end conceived and and conceptualized. Exposition of exhibition was supplemented by lections and discussions, among which was lecture of Georg Schöllhammer that from 2002 have been working over researching project “Trespassing Modernities” , devoted to architecture and urban development of Soviet modernism and its historical origin. For me, as for an artist that works with aesthetics of Soviet architecture, the exhibition helped to study out the sources of visual language that I use.

Exhibition “Superstructure” is not unique research on architecture of Soviet modernism and represents rather trend, existing in world scopes. Apart of one of printed editions of ArtUkraine journal, a number of photo-books, albums and photo essays of photographers from around the world present documentation of everything from monument to bus stops that actually also worth it.

https://vimeo.com/85582010

facebook.com/SovietBusstops

Georg Schöllhammer that also actively researches and documents phenomenon of Soviet architecture, rises important question at the lecture – what will be lately with this entire heritage lately? Today many from these unique objects do not function. Bus no more drives, where bus stop is, not finished cinema for 300 people will never will be finished, as nobody needs cinema for 300 people today.

  Exposition of exhibition "Trespassing Modernities"

Alexander Burlaka, one of initiators of exhibition “Superstructure”, taps in the answer to the question, making the post on facebook with image that depicts fragment of decoration at Palace Ukraine subway station. The image recalls ancient ruins, that today have incontestable status of cultural heritage and oeuvres that stay open art protected by laws or placed into museums with proper conditioning and other conservation conditions.

What makes “Superstructure” exhibition significant is hidden in texts that accomplish every project. They describe the historical background and concepts of architects and actually together with images lead to interesting conclusions.  

Let’s go back to extracts from texts:

Musical theater of Florian Yuriev

… At the beginning of 1960th at the time of campaign of fight with abstract art, exhibition of abstract painting by Florian Yuriev in Kyiv Architect House was closed, work physically destroyed and Yuriev himself was expected to be excluded from Architects Union. Yuriev managed to escape from catastrophe with the help of argument that his mistake took place at the territory painting, but not architecture, so there is no sense to punish him as architect.

At the beginning of 1960th Florian Yuriev created his own vision of “synthesis of arts” in a project of light and musical theater that should have become platform for a new art discipline, called “music of light”. Yuriev stated that “music of light” – independent style of art and transmission of colors, organized in a special way, may cause in a special color perception of the audience. With this purpose Yuriev created light-musical orchestra and designed special space with perfect transmission of light and sound...

Photo of grishasergei from Livejournal

Crematorium project by Ada Rybachuk and Vladimir Melnichenko

… Rybachuk and Melnichenko discard first edition of the project for crematorium by Miletskyi that designed it as just functional building. Instead, they create their own concept of crematorium as therapeutic institution. To help participants of funeral ceremony overcome psychological trauma, Rybachuk and Melnichenko develop idea of Park of Memory with authorial landscape and monumental Wall of Memory and unique Halls of Last Respect. Architecture of these Halls should had been deprived from any associations with industrial process of cremation; this is what had shaped their unusual form.

Halls of Last Respect were designed in collaboration with artists of monuments and engineers and embodied important idea of that time about “scientifically-based artistic consciousness”. Figurative forms of Halls of Last Respect resulted both from difficult technological process and avant-garde artistic ideas…

Photo by Anton Petrov

Conclusion that arises from projects and their descriptions at “Superstructure” exhibition – projects, presented in examples, as many others, presented at exhibition, reflect practices and tendencies that had been developing in art in world scopes. They consider elements of installation, conceptual art, science and new technologies. According to many criteria, these objects could be treated also as contemporary art pieces that were created and exposed outside traditional for that time exposing spaces. Owing to misunderstanding of subject of art and logics of its development, government suppressed only experiments with classical media in gallery space; at the same in architecture it was possible for artists and architects to embody quite interesting and authentic experiments, reflecting the spirit of time. Consequently, these architectural pieces are not simple buildings and bus stops, but also large-scale and serial art projects, financed by the state. From such point for view, it is possible better to understand incredible interest to them and desire to document them, as they represent also important part of history of art in USSR, heritage that due to its undervaluation and indefiniteness not protected from destruction and demolishing. At the same time, these works carry much more experiment and actualness than kilometers of political realistic paintings that have filled up museums and that represent traditionally art of Soviet Union. And tradition of which develop Kyiv Academy of Art and many other educational art institutions of Ukraine.

More pictures of Lenin with children

If we range the cultural heritage of Soviet Union in such way, it’s possible to make a conclusion, that development of contemporary art at the territory of Soviet Union wasn’t terminated by repressions but rather made a shift to related areas and like architecture and exterior decoration. Such way of looking at the history of art in Soviet Union also makes much more clear and logical significant works of some contemporary artists. The most bright and obvious examples could be found among works of Zhanna Kadyrova, in which forms refers to tradition of Soviet architectural modernity (that also defines the form of works – sculptures) but the ideas are rather reflecting new capitalistic reality. 

Work of Zhanna Kadyrova

Also is quite representative the work of Nikolay Ridnyi – honors board. Unlike Kadyrova, he exhibits casual fragment of Soviet reality and at the same time architectural object as a ready-made artwork in gallery space, postulating in a such way that placed in gallery space this object is already piece of art.

Work of Nikolay Ridnyi, Photo pinchukfund.org

Finally, I can cite as an example my reference to simple architectural forms from the past in my project “Snow City”, where forms and structures create visual language that I use working with up-to-date topics.

  Exposition of my project "Snow City", photo Maxim Belousov