USSR in Construction in Construction at the Canadian Centre for Architecture

On Thursday, July 10, 2008 at 6:00pm, CCA Visiting Scholar Juliet Koss will deliver a seminar showcasing her current research project on the symbolic value of architecture in the Soviet avant-garde. Addressing the paintings, architectons, and drawings made by Kasimir Malevich in the 1920s and the representation of architecture and construction in Soviet culture of that decade more generally, with particular attention to material in the Photographic Collections of the CCA, and culminating in the journal USSR in Construction (1930-41), the project aims to demonstrate how a wide range of architectural representation, from the most figurative and theoretical to the most literal and concrete, emblematized the construction of the Soviet state.

The seminar will be followed on Friday, July 11, 2008 from 10am to noon with an informal presentation and discussion of a selection of Soviet photographs from the CCA Collection, from student work to propaganda, including images of models from VKhUTEMAS, buildings and monuments under construction, and newly completed projects of the 1920s and ’30s.

Juliet Koss (B.A. Columbia University, Ph.D. MIT) is Associate Professor of Art History at Scripps College in Claremont, California. Her research centres on late-19th- and early-20th-century European modernist art, architecture, and related fields, with an emphasis on Germany and Russia. She is the author of Modernism after Wagner (forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press), which addresses a series of linked episodes in German aesthetic discourse and artistic practice from the revolution of 1848-49 to the playful figures of Bauhaus parties and performances in the 1920s and beyond and sets the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk and the notion of interdisciplinarity at the heart of modernism.

Her essays (and a poem) have appeared in such journals as The Art Bulletin, Assemblage, Centropa, Grey Room, Kritische Berichte, and The South Atlantic Quarterly as well as in numerous edited volumes. Previous fellowships and awards include two years in residence at the Getty Research Institute; two years on a Humboldt Foundation Fellowship in Berlin; grants from the American Association of University Women, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Mellon Foundation; a Millard Meiss Grant from the College Art Association; and a Graves Teaching Award.