Saturday, 19 November 2011

"Building the [Soviet] Revolution"... sort of... in London

(Never built) Tatlin’s Tower was re-created to mark "Building the Revolution: Soviet Art and Architecture 1915-1935" exhibit at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
[...] Its official title was Monument to the Third International (the revolutionary congress of that name had taken place in 1919) and it was intended to mark the Soviet revolution in Petrograd (St Petersburg) in much the same way that the Eiffel Tower was built to commemorate the French Revolution in Paris – a century after the event. Tatlin’s Tower would have stretched right across the River Neva.

This monument was intended as a conference and administration hub, as well as a propaganda broadcast centre and all-purpose symbol for international revolution. Talking of revolution, buildings slung within its armature would have rotated at different speeds (a year, a month, a day) making it not only a huge metaphor but also the world’s largest perpetual calendar.

Never built, Tatlin’s Tower passed into mythology. It has been a potent symbol for both the Left and for those artists and architects influenced by Russian Constructivism: Richard Rogers RA, Zaha Hadid RA and Anish Kapoor RA all acknowledge it. [...]

These "building the revolution" posters can be seen all over London.

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