Daily life in Russia seems to continue as before, but beneath the surface everything has changed drastically since Putin invaded Ukraine. Russian journalist Asya Zolnikova, correspondent for De Architect, gives a critical overview of the current state of Russian architecture. Zolnikova is an architecture journalist with Meduza, an independent Russian platform for journalism. The presentation is followed by a screening of GES-2, a film about the renovation of a former energy plant by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, sponsored by oligarch Leonid Mikhelson. After the screening, Merel Pit, editor-in-chief of De Architect, talks to the filmmaker Nastia Korkia.
GES-2 (Nastia Korkia, 2021)
A Russian oligarch tasks Renzo Piano with the transformation of GES-2, a former power plant opposite the Kremlin, into a contemporary art space. Nastia Korkia’s debut boldly forgoes a chronological approach, yet still manages to convey a comprehensive narrative that conveys the unwieldy energy required to breathe life into this former industrial space. Over a period of five years, this wonderful documentary follows the construction workers, curators, artists and security guards as they offer us a peek into a space that resists logic, yet manages to function anyway. Humorous and without pretension, GES-2 is an engaging reminder of the transformative potential of art and architecture.