Roman Bezjak Socialist Modernism

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Texts by: Till Briegleb, Inka Schube, Christian Raabe Edited by: Inka Schube, Sprengel Museum Hannover Graphic Design: Mario Biehs, Sabine Schmidtpeter German, English 2011, 160 Pages, 76 Ills. Hardcover 312mm x 258mm
ISBN: 978-3-7757-3188-1

Whereas the West encounters the now-fossilized witnesses of planned economies and socialist modernism with skepticism, Roman Bezjak (*1962 in Slovenia) takes an impartial view of communist architecture. After producing prizewinning photo essays for GEO and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, for the past five years the artist has concentrated on traveling through eastern and southeastern Europe. Bezjak used a large-format camera to take photographs of residential buildings, institutions, hotels, and palaces of culture in familiar and foreign places—from Tallinn and Tirana to Dresden and Dnipropetrovsk. His series render a kind of archaeology of postwar modernism without nostalgically glorifying the former East Bloc, for he also makes visible the exploitation of utopia and its entry into everyday life. This publication thus captures a world threatened by demolition, parts of which—such as the Palace of the Republic in Berlin—no longer exist. Exhibition schedule: Sprengel Museum Hannover, June 22–October 16, 2011 | Robert Morat Gallery, Hamburg, January 21–March 17, 2012