CreativeReview

Restricted Areas – Danila Tkachenko’s photographs of Soviet ruins

According to the Foundation, the wider season of exhibitions and events intends to focus “on utopian public space and the quest for new national identities across the post-Soviet world”.

Along with Tkachenko’s images of deserted structures left to weather ice and snow, Dead Space and Ruins features the work of three other artists working within photography and film who have also been capturing the decaying architecture of the former Soviet Union: Vahram Agasian, Anton Ginzburg and Eric Lusito.

Danila Takatchenko, 12. The world's largest diesel submarine, 2015, from the Restricted Areas series, Courtesy of the artist-CRsite
Danila Tkachenko. Top of post: Deserted observatory; Above: The world’s largest diesel submarine
Danila Tkatchenko, 23. Sarcophagus over a closed shaft which is 4 km deep – was one of the deepest scientific shafts in the world at the time, 2015, from the Restricted Areas series, Courtesy of the artist-CRsite
Danila Tkachenko. Sarcophagus over a closed shaft which is 4km deep – it was one of the deepest scientific shafts in the world at the time
Danila Tkatchenko, 31. Monument to the Conquerors of Space. The rocket on top was made according to the design of German V-2 missile, 2015, from the Restricted Areas series, Courtesy of the artist-CRsite
Danila Tkachenko. Monument to the Conquerors of Space. The rocket on top was made according to the design of German V-2 missile

Tkachenko’s project examines the “utopian strive of humans for technological progress,” he says, and involved visiting long-forgotten, deserted sites across the country. It includes memorials and monuments, observatories, disused aircraft and numerous abandoned buildings (the full series is here).

Power and Architecture is the Calvert 22 Foundation’s second seasonal programme this year and is curated by Programme Manager Will Strong and Creative Director Ekow Eshun. The aim of the series, say the Foundation, is “to explore the design of the built environment and its use as a device of influence, both physically characterising the skyline, and psychologically in relation to the people who live in its shadow”.

Danila Tkachenko, 33. Memorial on a deserted nuclear station. Russia, Voronezh region, 2015, from the Restricted Areas series, Courtesy of the artist-CRsite
Danila Tkachenko. Memorial on a deserted nuclear station
Danila Tkatchenko, 9. Water contamination test at the lake around the previously closed scientific city Chelyabinsk. In 1964 there was the first nuclear catastrophe, equal in scale to Chernobyl-CRsite
Danila Tkachenko. Water contamination test at the lake around the previously closed scientific city Chelyabinsk-40. In 1964 there was the first nuclear catastrophe, one of the largest in history and equal in scale to Chernobyl, but it stayed secret. The city is surrounded by the lakes which are until now contaminated with radiation
Danila Tkatchenko, 18. Headquarters of Communist Party. Bulgaria, Yugoiztochen region, 2015, from the Restricted Areas series, Courtesy of the artist-CRsite
Danila Tkachenko. Monument of the Bulgarian Communist Party

More of Danila Tkachenko’s work is at danilatkachenko.com. Dead Space and Ruins, part two of the Power and Architecture programme, is at the Calvert 22 Foundation until August 7 (the programme runs until October 9), 22 Calvert Avenue, London E2 7JP. (Free entry, Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 6pm). Part three is entitled Citizen Activated Space – Museum of Skateboarding and opens on August 11. According to the Calvert 22 Foundation, “the installation by Russian artist Kirill Savchenkov explores the individual’s participation in the activation of public space through skateboarding”. See calvert22.org

Danila Takatchenko, 1. Airplane – amphibia with vertical take-off VVA14. The USSR built only two of them in 1976, one of which has crashed during transportation, 2015, from the Restricted Areas series, Courtesy of the artist. jpg-CRsite
Danila Tkachenko. Airplane – amphibia with vertical take-off VVA14. The USSR built only two of them in 1976, one of which has crashed during transportation
Danila Takatchenko, 2. Former residential buildings in a deserted polar scientific town specialised on biological research, 2015, from the Restricted Areas series, Courtesy of the artist-CRsite
Danila Tkachenko. Former residential buildings in a deserted polar scientific town specialised on biological research