by Greta Hansen, Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong, and Warm Engine
From January 28 through February 19 of this year, Warm Engine (Greta Hansen and Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong) rode the entire Trans-Siberian Railway, studying the impact of Communism on the design of the Russian and Chinese cities that grew up along the railroad. TRANS SIBERIA, a show of their photos and drawings, will be on view through April 16 at the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture's Studio-X (180 Varick Street, Suite 1610).
1. PERM, estimate 1960s: Perm, like many cities along the rail route, was a center of technological and industrial developments during the cold war, and required a passport to exit or enter it.
2. HARBIN, 1955: Harbin is the portal to trade between Russia and China and the capital of the Heilongjiang Province.
3. TYUMEN, 1980: After the former city administration building was converted into a state museum, the new municipal headquarters, constructed in 1980, was relocated to the city center.
4. IRKUTSK, 1930, completed 1964: Dubbed the "Paris of Siberia," Irkutsk was designated the administrative center of the region; the construction of the regional command post was begun in 1930, delayed during WWII, and completed in 1964.
5. CHANGCHUN, 2005: Changchun's municipal hall is exemplary of China's new tendency to expand city administrative headquarters as monolithic structures in more spacious city outskirts.
6 YEKATERINBURG, 1954: On the site of a one-story wooden building dating back to the 1700s, Yekaterinburg's administrative building was reconstructed in the 1950s by German prisoners of war.
7. NIZHNY NOVGOROD, 1976: The seat of the regional committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was built in 1976 within the city's Kremlin walls, flanking the 17th-century Michael Archangel Cathedral, the oldest preserved construction on the site.
8. MOSCOW, 1932-34: Moscow's Kremlin suffered many losses after the revolution of 1917 such as the Chudov Monastery demolished for this project. However, some buildings remained, such as the Senate Palace on the left, which was used as a model for the Soviet's new Supreme Council, on the right.
9.ULAN UDE, 1930s, reconstructed in the 1970s: The monumental guardian of the city administrative square, the 1970s Lenin head rests before the city and regional halls, reconstructed in the same decade.
10. MANZHOULI, estimate 1990s: The first Chinese city over the Russian border along the China Far East Railway route, Manzhouli was opened up by the Chinese government in 1992 and has grown on trade between the two countries.
Greta Hansen was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. She received her B.S. in architecture at the University of Cincinnati, studied classics at Boston University, urban planning in Alghero, Sardinia, and completed her Masters in Architecture from Columbia University in 2009. She has worked in exhibition design for projects for the Morgan Library, the Smithsonian, the Jewish Museum of New York, and the Children's Museum of Manhattan.
Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong
Wong worked to design spaces for the Venice Biennale of Art 2009.
Warm Engine is a transdisciplinary practice working at the boundaries of art and architecture. W.E. merges together film, costume, writing, installation, and the built world to narrate and imagine new frontiers in the conception of space. As a creative duo with art and architecture backgrounds, our work takes place on a variety of scales, whether our proposals are to modify a small room or a larger fragment of a cityscape.
by Jess Chayes
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The Russian & The Jew weaves a deeply human fable of a time and place very foreign to our contemporary New York lives. But amid lofty aspirations for equality under Communism, sexism and anti-Semitism bleed through the well-meaning veneer in ways that might feel oddly familiar, here and now.
by Douglas Glover
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He remembers this: in January four Years now, my little niece Rebecca Ann Burgin playing behind the Oxen at the horse Mill, bending to Grasp a shiny Stone when the Brace, which the Oxen pushed to, caught her Head against the outside Post & smashed it to pieces. She could not have felt but an instant’s Pain, yet the Sight of her were difficult to bear.
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Moshfegh’s novel follows a conventionally beautiful 26-year-old woman—tall, thin, blonde—who has no real need to work, living on the Upper East Side in the year 2000, surviving off her dead parents’ inheritance. She has all the privilege and benefits afforded to a young, wealthy, white woman in New York, but all she wants to do is sleep.
by Gabriel Kuhn
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Communism’s reputation plummeted after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.