’Soviet Modernism 1955-1991: Unknown Stories’ exhibition, Vienna

’Soviet Modernism 1955-1991: Unknown Stories’ exhibition, Vienna

Shifting the focus from Russia to other former Soviet Union territories, ’Soviet Modernism 1955-1991’ at Vienna’s Architekturzentrum presents a fresh take on Modernist architecture, showing buildings from the early fifties to the early nineties.

Spanning Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the Ukraine and Uzbekistan, the show includes photography, film and drawings of lesser-known architecture projects from the period, spread across the width and length of the former USSR.

Making a case for the protection and preservation of the buildings on display - many of which are currently disused and rapidly deteriorating, with some threatened with demolition - the show argues for action in order to save this important part of 20th century architectural history.

The exhibition seeks to highlight the diverse design approaches applied in the Soviet Union at the time. ’Soviet Modernism 1955-1991: Unknown Stories’ is curated by Katharina Ritter, Ekaterina Shapiro-Obermair and Alexandra Wachter, while the exhibition design is by Austrian artists Six & Petritsch.

Following the curators’ intention, the design team divided the space in four regions, the Baltic, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, making it easier to underline the architectural parallels and differences between geographical areas.

A catalogue in English and German (published by Park Books) will accompany the exhibition and for those of us who cannot get enough of the subject matter, a conference discussing the points raised by this shiw is being held on the 24 and 25 November at the centre.

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