Date of Award
MFA - Master of Fine Arts
In the 80s when Russian state-sanctioned architectural production consisted of standardized buildings that deplored any unnecessary ornament or decoration, an architect functioned only as an interpreter of numerous limiting factors. As an act of protest against the stagnation in architecture, a group of young architects began to create projects that existed only on paper. For them ‘Paper Architecture‘ became a way of bypassing restrictions and dissenting, a way to critique the dehumanizing nature of the architectural style that prevailed at that time. Spatial compositions, which were hard to comprehend visually, elements of inverse perspective, and impractical, idealistic environments depicted a mental picture produced by the artists' imagination. There one could feel cramped or spacious, cozy or desolate. The irony of life can be seen in these projects as well as in their titles: “Island of Stability”, “Villa Claustrophobia”, “Ruins of Paradise”. For those architects it was an act of personal liberation, where paper appeared as a kind of revelation, a means to overcome feelings of unfitness and disappointment. Thus paper preserved from disappearing the ideas that failed to be realized in construction, and sustained them in the form of artworks.
Just as Paper Architects created their utopian projects, that were never meant to be built, I build an imagined reality with an intention to bring back to the viewer the joy of looking at the things we are surrounded by and take for granted, things that are the stage sets of our lives. Architecture is first created on paper, to be then embodied into solid material. By photographing the vernacular landscape of Boston’s periphery, I bring its mundane architecture back to paper. My photographs can prolong its life, or they can give it a new life. By making new structures out of my photographs I, perhaps, fulfill what I gave up doing as an architect.
Yeroshenko, Anna, "Enduring Peripheries" (2015). MFA in Photography and Integrated Media Theses. 4.