Categories DesignPosted on

Review of ‘Imagine Moscow’: Architecture, Propaganda, Revolution

Figurinen. Die plastische Gestaltung der elektro-mechanischen Schau Sieg über die Sonne

The basement of the new (and still gobsmacking) Design Museum is host to the exciting ‘Imagine Moscow’ exhibition. It brings together a remarkable Soviet-era archive of architecture design and models that originally imagined the Soviet state as a blissful utopia where people, work, economy and political practice would co-exist in harmony. Of course it didn’t happen quite like that which makes this exhibition all the more fascinating to the modern viewer. SEEN particularly liked the architectural drawings, exquisite in their accuracy and precision, that don’t look dated at all: they could be buildings that exist today. The restrained color palette of many of the designs gave the pieces a distinctly Soviet ambience; perhaps the one element that Western design appreciation has truly embraced.

The posters extolling the virtues of happy workers in a proletarian Eden now have a retro kitsch appeal, which is rather a shame, thinking of the poor workers now consigned to a side-note in design history. Interesting to note that the desire to raise children communally (thus releasing mothers into the workforce) never quite took off. The Ladovsky Communal House design is quite beautiful; using a spiral, the design merges individual living units into a united space. There are many sci-fi-style models of factories, communal buildings, silos etc., that have a resolutely modernist appeal, yet belong squarely in the 1920s and 30s. They are certainly bold and visionary.

Film, ever the tool of the propagandist, includes the famous film by Dziga Vertov: Man with a Movie Camera. Rejecting the usual bourgeois story structures, Vertov’s film tries to do something daring and unique in its use of image and cutting to create a narrative. fascinating exhibition, when viewed in light of the Soviet Union’s dissolution. What would Putin make of it I wonder? The spirit of reinvention lives on, perhaps.

Seen this week

Categories FashionPosted on

MO-GA: Perfectly Imperfect

As the Sun shines on Earth, so MO-GA’s gender-fluid designs grace the bodies of everyone, rejoicing in ambiguity. Multiple sleeves and feathers recall the animal kingdom in all its glorious diversity; it’s a new aesthetic.

Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

Cocktails at the General Store

SEEN is tireless in her cocktail research, and very much enjoyed travelling to Highbury last week to try The General Store’s new summer cocktail menu and to check out the new interior. She was delighted to sample a Honey Mimosa, very sweet and fruity and just the ticket after a hot journey. It was, as its name suggests, a Mimosa with just a touch of honey.

Categories ArtPosted on

Canaletto: A Drawing Workshop with Alexandra Blum

SEEN has long been an admirer of Alexandra Blum’s liminal and apocalyptic renderings of London’s urban spaces, in which the capital seems ever-changing. It is the artist’s job to capture not only space but the passage of time itself.

Categories MusicPosted on

Rock the Strand is Back Thursday 27th July

One of SEEN’s favourite live music events, Rock the Strand, returns to Strand Palace Hotel on Thursday 27th July for a summer showcase featuring a stellar line-up of talented artists. Curated by industry mogul Tony Moore, Rock the Strand is a free music night that showcases an eclectic range of genres from indie alt-folk to country from emerging new talent and established acts, highlighting the UK’s varied and diverse musical landscape.

Categories GuidePosted on

Love Hunt at the British Museum

SEEN had the pleasure (pun intended) of being invited to a ‘Love Hunt’ at the British Museum. The museum, founded in 1753, is committed to preserving art, culture and history, and has collected around 8 million objects. These artefacts come from every corner of the world, revealing a fragment of many significant moments in time, from Mesopotamia to the Vikings; from the Inuits to the Indians. So, when one embarks on a visit to the world famous British Museum, where does one start?