Eventsi-collectTopography of Memory

Trespassing Modernities


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Almost 25 years after the corrosion of the Soviet Union, still little is known, beyond the former Empire’s borders, about the social fabric that wove it together. Architecture and urbanism have been one of its strongest warps: creating a feeling of social unity and being one of the agents of its dissolution. This continent of architecture, afflicted by inner contradictions that enfolded within an homogenized space, is full of masterpieces waiting to be formally discovered. Trespassing Modernities explores this landscape and an approach of building for a fundamentally different idea of society.

All started in the thaw period of the Khrushchev years after Stalin’s death in 1953. The new ideological call for modernization of the country led to an enormous extension of urban space. This continued into the final years of the USSR as economical crisis and dwindling material resources took their toll. The master architecture of Socialist Realism was rejected. A new urbanization was driven by an ideology of scientific and technological progress. It was conceived by local planning offices in each republic and executed to the standardizations of the construction industry. Architects experimented with concepts of international architecture and the legacy of Soviet Modernism of the 1920s. Rapidly an original Soviet language of Late Modernism developed.

Trespassing Modernities is dedicated to the legacy of post-war Soviet architecture: to its masters and its specificities, its original styles and erratic buildings. It aims to offer a glance at a still existing void in the canonical history of architecture.

Supported by Kalebodur, Trespassing Modernities is programmed for SALT by Georg Schöllhammer with Ruben Arevshatyan. The exhibition is based on the research of Local Modernities, a project by Georg Schöllhammer, Ruben Arevshatyan, Klaus Ronneberger, Markus Weisbeck and Heike Ander, which initiated the exhibition Soviet Modernism 1955-1991 Unknown Stories (2012) by Architekturzentrum Wien.

SALT Galata, Istanbul

MAY 08 – AUGUST 11, 2013

Thomas Büsch

Filmmaker, Founding Member and Secretary General of diyalog, promotion of cultural exchange with Turkey. Since 2012 he is also project manager of InEnArt.

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