Andrii Dostliev

Imaginary Architecture for Imaginary Communities

Galeria Centrala, Poznań, Poland

26/08/2021 – 25/09/2021

Artists: Olena Bulygina, Max Gorbatskyi, Andrii Dostliev & Lia Dostlieva, Yevgen Nikiforov, Viacheslav Poliakov

Curated by Andrii Dostliev


Architectural plans as utopian visions of future societies, their needs and hopes. A model lifestyle designed with walls, floors, and occasional columns.

Architectural structures as skeletons waiting to be filled by people whose entire lives have already been cast in stone.

A vision that was doomed from the very start.

Building against the human nature. Living against the grains of concrete.

This exhibition of Ukrainian photographers reflects on Ukrainian architecture in its present state. This current look is shaped by the needs of local communities but at some point, these architectural constructions were also designed as a tool for shaping or even constructing these communities from scratch. And Soviet architecture was probably one of the most prominent examples of such community shaping.

The Soviet regime is long gone but its architectural heritage is still omnipresent and now — after 30 years of Ukrainian independence — looks like a good time point to look back at the communities that this architecture was trying to shape and also to look back at the architecture that these communities were continuously adapting to their needs.

Selected photographers — in their own ways — show these architectural pieces and the associated communities as social constructs, both real and artificial. They photograph various parts of the country from East to West, from the capital to the small villages, from the 1990s to the present days touching various aspects of the mutual evolution of co-existence of totalitarian architecture and human resistance and the love-hate relationship between people and their surroundings.

featured on the poster: a photo by Viacheslav Poliakov, from United Kingdom of Soviet Socialist Republics series.

Olena Bulygina, from Stasis series.

Maksym Gorbatskyi, from Change of Scenery series.

Andrii Dostliev & Lia Dostlieva, from Fairy Castles of Donetsk series.

Yevgen Nikiforov, from Perspective/ Non Perspective series.

Viacheslav Poliakov, from United Kingdom of Soviet Socialist Republics series.

Exhibition photos by Anka Gregorczyk.