Castle in the Air

2021

Avant-garde architectural projects of the 1920s were based on an unyielding belief in technological progress, rooted in the technocratic utopias of the early twentieth century. The buildings reflected the reluctance of people to put up with the old way, based on a new thought, which symbolically and technically corresponded to the ideals of the revolution. 

The Stalinist period deprived architects of the right to individualism in their work. Party functionaries rejected the avant-garde and other modern movements. The only options turned out to be eclecticism and historicism, which contradicted the ideology of communism, which was supposed to bring a new consciousness, and not create the illusion of an old rich life. 

The decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR of November 4, 1955 was followed by the emergence of a new style — Soviet architectural modernism. The architecture of socialist realism of the Stalinist era, which reminded of imperial ambitions with its decorativeness and high cost, was rejected. The change in the architectural paradigm brought functionalism to the fore, made the construction of new buildings cheaper, and approached for ideological reasons. 

It was impossible to discern behind the propaganda grandeur of utopian architectural projects at what cost throughout the Soviet period the mythology of the triumphant victories of socialism, the creation of a new system of values, and the provision of the material and technical base for the construction of communism were achieved. Passing like a red thread through the three main Soviet architectural trends, they could clearly illustrate the aspirations, hopes and dreams that excited the minds at one stage or another of the existence of the USSR. But being unfinished or unfinished for one reason or another, these ghosts of a bygone era personify the utopianism of ideologemes that have not been able to withstand the test of time.

In collaboration with Stanislav Ponyatovsky.

Castle in the Air. Lesha Pavlov | photography
Castle in the Air. Lesha Pavlov | photography
Castle in the Air. Lesha Pavlov | photography

47 After 74

DK Gaza

Saint-Petersburg, Russia

2021