Tbilisi architecture biennial

The Hotel, the Sanatorium, the Pension and Their Refugee's Room

Kyiv, Ukraine

28.10.20

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The installation focuses on refugee’s rooms in modernist buildings: hotels, sanatoriums and pensions to highlight the curious “blind spots” in urban structures of Kyiv and Tbilisi. Turning the clean lines of modernist monuments into a hybrid of permanent and temporary structures, human and building matter can serve as a symbolic illustration of the changes after the post-Soviet crisis and the war in Eastern Ukraine and Abkhazia. Authors explore how an informal settlement works in ways the building’s architect never would have conceived. They study social blindness imposed by the propaganda of war.


At the same time, the project team explores the concept of erasing the memory of socialist modernity, the aggressive privatization, and alienation of the city from its inhabitants. Illegal occupation of modernist buildings becomes possible only if they are doomed to be a ruin. Their death is highlighted by its transfer to the settlements of Internally Displaced Persons, which subsequently legitimizes the amelioration in western “steel and glass” style.


The exposition of the project includes archives (photographs, books, videos) of occupied buildings placed in reconstructed refugee room. It is represented in physical space at the open-air court of the National Art Museum of Ukraine and exhibited as a site-specific installation “Gradual Loss of Vision” inside the pension Dzherelo.


The Hotel, the Sanatorium, the Pension and Their Refugee's Rooms

Presentation of the physical project in the National Art Museum of Ukraine and the former water pump station


Dzherelo Kyiv, 24/10/2020


Video: Natalka Diachenko

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