Jun 08, 2016

Calvert 22, London

Power and Architecture

A season on utopian public space and the quest for new national identities across the post-Soviet world.

10 June – 9 October 2016
Wed — Sun, 12pm-6pm

Calvert 22 is delighted to announce its upcoming seasonal programme opening this summer, Power and Architecture. Taking place from 10 June – 9 October 2016, Power and Architecture will comprise four main interlinked elements:

  • — A conference and a number of related talks
  • — An exhibition of new and existing artwork presented in four parts
  • — A series of architectural workshops connecting London and Prague
  • — Curated digital content on The Calvert Journal

Part 1:
Utopia and Modernity
12 June — 3 July 2016

In the opening show, four artists will reflect on the modernist vision of the socialist city and consider the real and imagined futures of utopia. Polish-born, Berlin-based Przemek Pyszczek’s series Façade captures the bright, block-colour decorative Soviet-era design of external walls and windows grates. Dmitry Lookianov’s Instant Tomorrow series provides a vision of the near future through the setting of Muscovite apartment life, where minimalistic furniture and repetitious architecture create a suburban “utopia”.

In his films Hyperborea and Walking the Sea, Anton Ginzburg explores the quest for a perfect, utopian life and its potentially devastating impact. Kuba Snopek, Iza Cichonska and Karolina Popera’s Architecture of the VII Day catalogue  draws upon 3,597 churches built by hand in Poland against the will of the state in the second half of the 20th Century and the circumstances of their construction.

Participating  artists:  Przemek  Pyszczek,  Dmitry  Lookianov,  Anton  Ginzburg,  Kuba  Snopek,  Iza  Cichonska  and  Karolina Popera.


Part 2:
Dead space and ruins
7 July – 7 August 2016
Three photographers present the decaying architectural reminiscence of the Soviet vision. With work taking inspiration from across the vast landscape of the former Soviet Union, these artists will explore the “dead space” left in the wake of the quest for progress.


Eric Lusito maps what remained of the militaristic power of the USSR from eastern Europe to eastern Siberia. His photographic series Traces of the Soviet Empire catalogues the haunting ruins of former bases, monuments and equipment from length and breadth of the empire.
In Restricted Areas, Danila Tkachenko presents us with the “utopian strive of humans for technological progress”. The artist travelled to sites embodying this quest for advancement, not found on any map or travel guide; these behemoths lie forgotten and decomposing in the frozen tundra.
Turo by Anton Ginzburg investigates post-Soviet geography and icons of constructivist architecture. The four chapters of the film explore different landmarks of Soviet modernism such as the Narkomfin building and ZIL , while proposing alternate futures for these and other settings through virtual, video game environments.
Vahram Aghasyan reminds us of the many examples of deserted urban areas across the Soviet Empire. Through economic meltdown, natural disaster or industrial catastroph
Ghost City references the disregarded buildings that used to form towns in parts of the vast Soviet landscape.
Participating artists: Vahram Aghasyan, Anton Ginzburg, Eric Lusito and Danila Tkachenko.