New Avant-Garde Museum in Moscow, on Constructivist and more

17/07/2017
New Avant-Garde Museum in Moscow, on Constructivist and more
Na Shabolovke Gallery [Moscow] Russia
metalocus, JOSÉ JUAN BARBA
Na Shabolovke Gallery. Photograph © Olga Alexeyenko
While Moscow's authorities point to constructivist buildings on a list demolishing a massive project to relocate 1.6 million residents of the city, a non-profit museum dedicated to preserving avant-garde architecture has been inaugurated in the Shabolovka neighborhood From Russia.
As it is often the case, the justification of a primary need, ie employment, health, housing ... serves as a justification for the destruction of heritage. This insensitivity for our past is demonstrated by the Moscow authorities, pointing to constructivist buildings to be demolished, in response to the massive relocation project of 1.6 million people. To give visibility and adequate protection to the avant-garde buildings of the Soviet era.

Russian non-profit museum opens as government earmarks Constructivist buildings for demolition. A series of galleries and private institutions have joined together in the Shabolovka neighborhood to create a non-profit museum dedicated to preserving Russia's avant-garde architecture, under title The Constructivist Project.

Na Shabolovke Gallery.
 
Danilovsky, the Moscow gallery district, was created more than 20 years ago on the basis of the creative association "Moscow River" in the center of the Havsko-Shabolovskaya urbanization, designed in the late 1920s by architects N. Travin And B. Blokhin, members of the constructivist association "Asnova" (Association of New Architects).

Originally this area was designed as a chant to the new post-revolutionary Moscow. In the area there are numerous monuments of constructivism, for example, near the gallery "Zamoskvorechie" is a masterpiece of the twentieth century architecture, world-renowned: the radio tower designed by the architect Vladimir Shukhov.

The museum has photographs, archaeological fragments, archival materials, plans, interior elements recovered as door handles and tools belonging to the visionary tower engineer, Vladimir Shukhov. Oral stories collected by residents of Shabolovka have long been featured on video screens. Since 1991 the gallery has organized more than 600 art exhibitions in Moscow, other Russian cities and abroad.

The idea for space came from a local historian and activist Ilya Malcow, who has spent years collecting artifacts from the area, many of which are now on display at the museum. The neighborhood is unique, she says, because it was built virtually from scratch after the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 to house workers for new factories and institutions.

The Gallery is an active part of different network projects, which unite in one idea the expositions of all the gallery of the different districts of Moscow. One of the most significant projects is dedicated to constructivism, as well as to historical and local projects related to the understanding of the cultural heritage of the Danilovsky district and its dissemination.
 
Alexandra Selivanova, describes Shabolovka as an open-air museum which is prized more by foreign tourists than by most Russians. "In Moscow, there are many dispersed monuments of the avant-garde. Here you can arrive in a relatively small area to see both of the architectural and of social experiments of that time." comments Alexandra Selivanova, commissioner of the project. The minimalist aesthetic and the utopian vision of constructivist and rationalist architecture are unpopular among current politicians. "The ideas related to the liberation of women from housework ... are in complete conflict with our current programs transmitted by the authorities. The traditional, patriarchal family does not correspond in any way to the communal house ... where they all are absolutely the same, "adds Selivanova.

The minimalist aesthetic and utopian vision of constructivist and rationalist architecture are unpopular with today's bureaucrats. "The ideas related to women's liberation from housework ... totally contradict our current programs transmitted by the authorities," says Selivanova. "The traditional family, patriarchal, does not correspond in any way to the communal house ... where all are absolutely equal."