Architecture of the Off-Modern by Svetlana Boym

By Svetlana Boym

Svetlana Boym's Architecture of the Off-Modern is an imaginitive journey during the heritage and afterlife of Vladimir Tatlin's mythical yet unbuilt Monument to the 3rd overseas of 1920. Boym lines the vicissitudes of Tatlin's tower, from its reception within the Nineteen Twenties to its privileged remember in "the reservoir of unofficial utopian desires" of the Soviet period. Boym bargains an alternate heritage of modernism, postulating the "architecture of experience" as a poetic version for "third-route" puzzling over know-how, historical past, and aesthetic tradition.

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Leon Trotsky, Literatur und Revolution (Vienna: Verlag für Literatur und Politik, 1924). In English, see Literature and Revolution, trans. Rose Strunsky (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1971), 246–47. Unattributed translations from the Russian here and elsewhere are by the author. 8. Nikolai Punin, Pamiatnik tret’emu internatsionalu (Petrograd: Otdel IZO Narkomprossa, 1921), 2. 9. El Lissitzky, “Basic Premises, Interrelationships between the Arts, the New City, and Ideological Superstructure,” in Bolshevik Visions, vol.

Gary Smith, trans. Richard Sieburth (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986), 132. 40. Walter Benjamin, “Paris, the Capital of the Nineteenth Century,” 10. 41. George Grosz, An Autobiography, trans. Nora Hodges of Ein kleines Ja und ein grosses Nein (New York: Macmillan, 1983), 179–80. 42. “A Conversation between Victor Tupitsyn and Ilya Kabakov on Leonid Sokov” in Leonid Sokov: Sculptures, Paintings, Objects, Installations, Documents, Articles (St. Petersburg: State Russian Museum, The Palace Edition, 2000), 15–16.

If only Hitler had presented a miniature version of the Third Reich to the applause of the Viennese artistic establishment, twentieth-century history might have been different! There were many cosmic dreams in Kabokov’s palace, miniature Letatlins born in the claustrophobic conditions of crowded communal living. Each project had a small room of its own, although there were also empty rooms for the reluctant dreamers of the future and for projects that were submitted belatedly and missed all possible deadlines.

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