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160x200 mm hardback
Published in 2020
In recent years Russian cities have changed, but the architectural heritage of the Soviet period has not been fully acknowledged. As a result, many modernist buildings have been destroyed, while others have become almost unrecognisable following insensitive renovations.
Russian photographer Arseniy Kotov intends to document these buildings and their surroundings before they are lost forever. He likes to take pictures in winter, during the ‘blue hour’, which occurs immediately after sunset or just before sunrise. At this time, the warm yellow colours inside apartment block windows contrast with the twilight gloom outside. To Kotov, this atmosphere reflects the Soviet period of his imagination. His impression of this time is unashamedly idealistic: he envisages a great civilization, built on a fair society, which hopes to explore nature and conquer space.
Hotels fit for a KGB officer: Soviet cities in the twilight
Interview with Arseniy Kotov: “In just a few years, I’ve seen more cities and regions of Russia than the average Russian would see in a lifetime.”
A ’flying saucer’ assembly hall and an office that resembles a game of Jenga: Fascinating photography book reveals that Soviet architecture wasn’t always dreary.
Recording a Disappearing Landscape
A Photographer’s Ode to Everyday Soviet Architecture