Vladislav Efimov

efimovBorn in 1964 in Moscow. Teaches at the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia. Winner of the Innovation state prize in 2008 in the Work of Visual Art category. Longlisted for the Kandinsky Prize 2011 in the Project of the Year category. His works are held by the State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Moscow Museum of Modern Art, National Center for Contemporary Arts (Moscow), n.b.k. (Berlin). Lives and works in Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod.

The project “Communal Avant-Garde” (curated by Elena Belova, Alisa Savitskaya) is dedicated to the two most important utopias of the first half of the 20st century: the Russian avant-garde and the “Stalin style,” which were reflected in the architecture and social construction of the 1920s and 1930s. The artists do not focus on purely constructivist or purely neo-classicist architectural constructions and instead consider the phenomenon of the Soviet sotsgorod (socialist city) as an illustration of the transition from one utopia to another in the 1930s.
The artists investigate the socialist towns of Avtozavod (Nizhny Novgorod) and Uralmash (Yekaterinburg). Using the technique of formal photography, Efimov renders each structure significant and monumental, whether it is a banya or apartment building. Through the medium of the camera, architecture is transformed into an idealized image. Photographs in lightboxes of real buildings are positioned in a space in accordance with urban planning principles and form a total installation — the model of a non-existent, ideal sotsgorod. The utopian factory zone is equipped with all necessary infrastructure and its streets and districts are filled with residents (photographer Sergei Leontyev) and sounds (composer Georgy Stefanov). The ‘new town’ is alive, allowing the viewer to determine where the boundary lies between reality and fantasy, between innovative construction and a dream.
None of the photos in the installation bear inscriptions. There are descriptions and addresses of the buildings in the catalogue (authored by Elena Belova, Alexei Gordin and Alisa Savitskaya).

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