Turo is a film exploring post-Soviet geography and Constructivist architecture. It is made up four chapters and an introduction-index. Each chapter is exploring a different Constructivist building as a stage for past utopias. The buildings are landmarks of Soviet modernism: Melnikov House (architect Konstantin Melnikov), Narkomfin Building (architect Moisei Ginzburg), ZIL (Automobile factory designed by Vesnin brothers) and also recording of a “ghost mode” of a video game exploring ruins of Pripyat’ (Soviet town affected by Chernobyl catastrophe) featuring unrealized Tatlin’s Tower. Since a lot of Constructivist projects were never realized and existed as potential designs, they are placed into the virtual environments of the video game, positioning utopia within dystopia. It’s an atemporal collective territory, where past dreams coincide with current consumer culture. Modernity could be interpreted as an updated Babel Tower project where the universal tongue would have been imposed over the rest of the world. It still resonates deeply with contemporary culture, but today it exists as an archive of ruins, the record of fragmentation.
Exploring various methods of representation the video’s structure combines cinematic approach with layering and digital abstraction. Each part of the film is a metaphorical tower that gets deconstructed throughout the duration of the chapter. Some parts are direct cinematic narratives, like an enormous blaze, while others show use projected images, deconstruction of an image and shaping its potential meanings on the basis of technological reproduction.
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