PROJECT

Imperial Pomp “Post-Soviet High-Rise”

In documenting a unique phenomenon, the German photographer Frank Herfort has journeyed to the most remote areas of the former Soviet Union. After the collapse of the regime, a strangely pompous architectural style sprung up throughout the new republic. The force and magnitude of these buildings appears bizarre, pompous and exotic, it conflates the aesthetics of monumental Soviet architecture with the Western language of form seen in the twentieth century.

Totally unlike conventional urban photos, his images of monstrously massive buildings with an overwhelming presence seem to come from another time and dimension. All these buildings have sprung up as if from nowhere, backed by the new financialelite that formed after the Soviet Union crumbled. There’s no doing things by halves here – these buildings are all about pomp and circumstance and making a statement.

Towering over everything, these phantasmagorical structures look like something from a parallel universe. Between 2009 and 2013 Frank Herfort travelled across Russia and former Soviet republics like Kazakhstan, Azerbaidshan and Belarus. He travelled by plane, train and his beloved blue Volga car, that he purchased in Moscow, to the extreme edges of the country.