States, Status, Statues and Statutes is a video that was commissioned for the Russian Pavilion at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale 2016. We were invited to reflect on the future of the VDNHk park in Moscow. VDNHk - Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy - is a former Soviet expo site that was inaugurated in 1939 as a propagandistic tool to broadcast the achievements of the Soviet Union on the backdrop of a deep crisis in the country.

It is a large territory spreading over 230 ha and encompasses 400 buildings that are used as fair, exhibition, entertainment and commercial spaces today, many of them still representing the states that previously constituted the Soviet Union. VDNHk has been confronted and shaped by numerous tumultuous events in the Soviet Union, and later, the Russian Federation, mirroring the changes in societal, political, and economical structures.


‘States, Status, Statues and Statutes’ reveals how VDNHk park is used as a spatial technology to advance Russia’s imperialistic agenda even today with new regeneration plans under way. The video is a critical reflection on the appropriation of the term “post-soviet” and how it can be used as a vehicle for delivering a new form of propaganda with the same imperialistic goals over control of the territory disguised under a different political mask.


The narrative is built around a fictional imaginary, where the site is deliberately left empty in the hopes of being used again, of reviving the imperialist and ever-expansionist dream of today’s Russia: in the hope that one day the pavilions would be used once more as they were during the soviet times: to show examples of excellence from all corners of the empire. The domain of power, the realm of expansion. At the same time, it shows the absence of it all, on how it is in reality a hollowed sovereignty, reflecting on the state of emergency Russia finds itself today.




VDNHk park a post-Soviet ruin and a future wish.

Video Essay/3’29’’ ----- 2016