The Soviet Houses of Culture were supposedly based on the idea of the Worker's Clubproposed by Alexander Rodchenko in 1925 for the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts in Paris. The idea postulated that the club should function not only to provide workers with a navigational base in political matters, but also to supply them with aesthetic experiences, which they should receive through artistic and practical group activities, as well as lectures and seminars. The Houses of Culture, which spread like wildfire across the entire Soviet Union, were designed by leading architects and typically contained a cinema and a theater, a public library, a gym, a dance studio, drawing and photography studios, a ham radio club, rehearsal areas for musicians, a chorus, and a café.
Chto Delat will actualize the genealogy of the Soviet Houses of Culture, exploring them as spaces where different emancipatory encounters with art and culture happened, and investigating how these experiences can be translated into current day counter culture practices. A particular focus will be on provincial cities in the Far Northern regions where the Soviet philosophy of education confronted and influenced ethnic patterns of education and traditions.
Field Research: Liberating Knowledge. Progress Report II
Researcher: Chto Delat