An Archaeology of Socialism

By Victor Buchli
This fascinating case study of Moisei Ginzburg’s Constructivist masterpiece the Narkomfin Communal House demonstrates how the architect sought to embody Socialist and feminist principles in the form and fabric of the building. In this way an iconic early Communist project functions as a metaphor for the overwhelming optimism and uncompromising espousal of newness in early Communist thought, just as the subsequent behaviour of the building’s inhabitants as they adapted, compromised with and resisted it, is a metaphor for the adaptations and compromises of Communist ideology in the following decades.

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