Portfolio│ Khrushchyovki, by Anastasiia Chorna

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Anastasiia Chorna est ukrainienne. Elle est née, en 1991, l’année de la chute du communisme. Ses photos s’inspirent énormément de la culture et de l’architecture post soviétique. Ayant du mal à accepter ce paysage sale et estropié, elle découvre le monde « étranger » du monde Occidental et à travers la télévision ou Internet. Installée désormais à New-York, elle est revenue, nostalgique, dans la rue de sa maison d’enfance, où ces photos ont été prises.

Cette série d’images est un hommage au plus petit et sûrement au pire modèle d’immeuble d’habitation, développé par le bureau d’architecture soviétique au début des annes 60, et modifié pour être encore plus petit et couté moins cher à l’état, par Nikita Khrushchev lui-même. Ce devait être des logements temporaires mais on y vit encore, dans la misère.

Garance Rochoux-Moreau

Découvrez le travail d’Anastasiia Chorna sur son site.

Anastasiia Chorna is a young artist from Ukraine, born in Odessa, in 1991, the year communism was abolished. Her art is deeply inspired by post soviet culture and architecture. The slow transition of mentalities in this country and the very strong imprint 74 years of Communism left. In her childhood, she lived in a impoverished middle class neighborhood, watching TV shows with her mom about European Interior design and feeling how far it was from the reality surrounding her. Sadness filled her heart, not accepting the dirty crippled world she was living in without being able to see the countries of the first world, except on TV and internet. Her family was too poor to travel abroad, to get a travel visa to see Europe or USA.

After some years she finally left and settled in New York to realize how much she loves and misses her roots. She remembers walking as fast as possible from the bus stop going home from school and then university. Amusingly now she takes the longest time to remember every detail of her childhood hated home route and almost all the photographs are taken along it. The grass is always greener on the other side, huh?

This series is dedicated to the poorest smallest and actually the worst designed concrete-paneled five-storied apartment buildings, developed by soviet architect bureau during the early 1960s and changed to be even smaller and cheaper by Nikita Khrushchev himself, former Premier of the Soviet Union. They were built all over USSR territory as the cheapest and fastest way to give farmers who moved to big cities to work on factories temporary homes. They were supposed to be exchanged in 5-10 years into more solid and better in general apartment buildings but as you may see on her photographs sadly they can live much longer.

Living inside is pretty miserable: you can smell all the cooking fumes in the nearby apartments, all the noises as well, don’t forget the heavy front doors smashing sounds. Inhabitants are afraid to be robbed so all the original ‘cardboard’ doors were changed into 90s mafia-protection extremely solid almost bank safe like doors with several heavy locks on the inside. The sizes of the toilet, bathroom and kitchen are ridiculously tiny. And usually the interior design didn’t change much from the 70s. You are considered really lucky if you have so called ‘Euro Design’ that mimics Western European interior decoration. All the windows on the first 3 stories are often covered with mismatching metal fences that were added after to protect from robberies . For richer families the most important architectural feature is that they have enough money to cover the walls with panels to insulate, so it looks like a dirty rainbow or patchwork, as they all chose different materials and colors. They also add custom made balconies that add space to their interior and make the building look like a birdhouse.

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