Friday, April 12, 2013

Unfinished Utopias: Palace of the Soviets

When I finished my thesis this April, the relief I felt - after stressing out over it for so long - was enormous.

The process leading up to my final year and the first few months of 2012 were absolutely nerve-wracking, and in the beginning things were so rough there was a chance I wouldn't pass. The idea of being stuck at OCAD for a sixth year was entirely unpleasant, and I was plagued with anxiety-driven paranoia until things eventually smoothed out.

Now that thesis is done, my finished body of work isn't anything like I expected it to be. I ended up creating a project entitled Unfinished Utopias, which was a series of images illustrating the reasons why certain monumental architecture and works of art remain unfinished. It explored themes of perpetuity, over-achievement, the pitfalls of ambition, and the constant, unfinished state of people's lives and objects in transit.

One of the earlier illustrations I did for Unfinished Utopias was Palace of the Soviets, based around a building of the same name. It was an architectural project undertaken by the Soviets just before the onset of WWII, designed to show the grandeur of the Soviet Union. They began to erect the steel frame in 1941, but the project was halted and dismantled to build fortifications, railways, and bridges around Moscow.

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