The sterility of the photos, especially the images of prisoner bedrooms, hints at the degree to which the Stasi kept a tight lid on dissenters. In prison culture (or at least prison culture as it’s portrayed in the movies), there’s a lot of graffiti: on the walls, in library books, between cells. “We were searching for any scratching or anything in the cells—usually you would think they were sending messages—but it was very clear you couldn’t see anything” — wired.com
English photographer Rebecca Litchfield braved radiation and KGB-style interrogation techniques to capture the beauty of this bygone era in a series called Soviet Ghosts.
Her work took her to schools, hospitals, factories, and accidentally, a top secret radar installation. “Many of the abandoned buildings are pretty unknown to the public, they are hidden behind tall fences and gates, I think it is easy to just pass without knowing what is inside,” says Litchfield. — wired.com
Buildings perform a variety of functions: They shelter, illuminate, and obscure surrounding people and landscapes. The fundamentally pragmatic purpose of architecture endows edifices with a wide range of functions, but rarely does architecture speak. Curator Joanna Warsza, however, organizes performances and interventions that implore architecture to speak back. — blouinartinfo.com
The new commission for cultural heritage protection, an adviser to the Czech National Heritage Institute (NPÚ) director, has recommended that the state start protecting relatively young works of architecture from the second half of the 20th century [...]
“Unlike the architecture of the interwar Czechoslovakia, the post-war architecture has been omitted by protection programs so far, also because its valuable pieces are more difficult to distinguish." — praguepost.com
The most visible legacy of Communist rule, the grand and often eye-catching buildings have become a source of heated debate in Poland with critics condemning them as an ugly and unwanted reminder of a past best forgotten. Defenders stress their architectural merits and argue that the buildings are now part of the national heritage. — economist.com
Still, Bezjak hasn't refrained entirely from commenting on the architecture. He developed strict formal guidelines for his series, photographing it all with a large-format camera and always with the same lens. "I photographed everything that fit within this frame -- in terms of the buildings' dimensions, but also in terms of the possibilities for distancing oneself from the building -- and not the rest," he says. — Der Spiegel
The photographer Roman Bezjak spent five years traveling around Eastern Europe taking pictures of communist-era buildings. Born in Slovenia but raised in West Germany, he set out to document the everyday qualities of communist buildings. His book recently published book "Sozialistische Moderne...
Artist's assistants and wife released but his whereabouts not disclosed by Beijing authorities — guardian.co.uk
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